When I was a kid, I didn’t fully learn English until I was in Grade 3. I was in ESL for the first few years of school because my parents didn’t speak English at home and no one was able to teach me so I didn’t talk much. Because of this I listened alot, observed everything. I’m a pretty good listener today so alot of my friends come and tell me things. They get someone to talk to and I get to learn from everyones experiences, so it’s a pretty good trade off.
Today was a pretty chill Sunday. I ran around like a crazy, high-strung crack head yesterday trying to get everything done and was late for all of my appointments so to be able to slow it down today was a good change. (I was ready to crack yesterday.) A sunny patio lunch at Granville Island with my friend turned into another learning experience. We’re always looking for the right person, the one that makes us laugh, listens to us (actually listens instead of just asking and responding by changing the topic), tries the things that we like to do, and so on. But while we’re always focused inwards on what we want, what about focusing outwards? How many of the qualities that we look for in the other person are we actually lacking ourselves? Imagine you were the other person and both of you were looking for the same qualities. My friend was saying how the guys she dates never listens to her and always just talks about themselves. I asked her if she listens to them and after a moments pause, she admitted that she doesn’t really listen that much either. “But only because they never listen to me!” she said. How sad would it be if you finally found a person who fit all of your qualities, but because you’d been so focused on what you wanted, you never realized that you have to be a person that they want too. They’d probably leave you wondering why they’re not calling anymore cuz they’re just not that into you.
To know your faults is a strength. To acknowledge them and want to consciously improve is an admirable trait. I asked some people what the worst trait a person could have and the most common response was selfishness. Imagine if you had a horrible day and wanted to call up your girlfriend/boyfriend to vent and instead of getting a listening ear, you get a “uh huh. That sucks baby. Oh guess what, the [insert story that has nothing to do with what you were saying here]” How frustrating is that? But we all do it, some more than others, some all the time without realizing it. And then you wonder why you’re breaking up when you’ve done ‘nothing’ wrong.
Your EGO has alot to do with it. When you’re so focused inwards and it’s always ME ME ME you tend to forget that there are other people involved . You forget that while you’re looking for the perfect qualities in someone else, that you have to show those qualities too. You can only rely on looks for so long and I’ve learnt that relationships based on physical attractions only last 2 and 3/4 months. Then you start to look deeper for something. We ended lunch today asking how do you look for your own faults when the majority of people seem to think they’re perfect and that they have no faults. Experience is the hard way to learn, but that usually involves stress, deflation of ego and heartache. The easy answer is to look and learn from other people experiences. It’s a bitch usually, that experience teaches you the lesson after you’ve had the test (and failed), but if you pay attention and learn from others, maybe you can save yourself from heartache. I’m definately learning from my friend today.