Seeing The Complexity of People

Sometimes, people end up being very different than we think.

Every person you meet will be different from everyone you already knew. At this moment, there are billions of people living on this planet. Each of these people has a slightly different way of viewing the world and the events that happen. They all have thoughts that lead them to take different actions and meet different people. These people are all complex.

It’s important that we understand what it means to be a complex person.

It’s Easy To Compare People

It’s impossible for us to fully grasp billions of different thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. We can’t see into someone else’s brain and fully understand what they’re thinking and seeing. This inability to understand the full range of things leads us to generalize and stereotype. We generalize ideas and stereotype people hoping to contain their being in one of our preset groupings. We try to limit their infinite possibilities into a few labels that we can understand them by.

This simplifying of concepts often feels natural and easy to do. It’s something we all do to a certain degree. Through this process, we’re able to maintain a semblance of consistency and security in our life. It allows us to develop a bit of an understanding of how our world works.

It might not be possible to remove all of our generalizations and stereotypes, but we can be more aware of when we generalize. We can acknowledge when we’ve labeled someone as solely good or bad, happy or sad. And through this acknowledgment, we begin to look at the person as a whole. Sometimes, the most important part of understanding someone is realizing that you can’t fully understand them. You may think and act in similar ways, but there will still be different thoughts and predetermined perspectives you’re unable of comprehending. Acknowledging the complexity within people opens us up to new possibilities.

Embrace All The Parts That Make A Person

Ever meet someone with an annoying habit, and all you can focus on when you’re around them is that habit? In addition to generalizing people, we tend to focus on particular parts of their personality. These can be things we like about them or things we dislike about them. Either way, it’s reducing another amazingly complex person to a few qualities.

Even people we love spending time with are sometimes oversimplified. There is no better feeling than realizing someone we already loved has even more to them than we realized. When we allow ourselves to understand the many complexities that make someone, we’re able to fully embrace their character.

Fully Embrace Yourself

If we really want to embrace others, we have to be willing to fully embrace ourselves. We have to be willing to look at the parts of ourselves that we don’t like and accept them. When we ignore our flaws and mistakes, we fall into a trap where we become defined by these flaws. We’re sending a message to ourselves and others that character flaws say more about a person than who they are actively trying to be.

We constantly analyze ourselves, and we’re going to find things that appear to be flaws or mistakes. Very rarely, however, are these things actually bad. Most of the time, these rough edges allow us to have unique identities. They let us look at life with a different perspective and act in different ways. Just like there isn’t a single joke that is universally funny, there isn’t a single person that will be universally liked. We all want to meet people we find interesting and unique, meaning we also have to embrace ourselves as interesting and unique. It’s a choice we must reaffirm day after day.

Allow Some Room for Complexity

Our society has learned to fully embrace simplicity. We look for simple solutions and simple lifestyles. This focus has provided so many benefits to individuals and society. We do, however, still need to embrace the complexity of life.

We may never fully understand people or the workings of the universe. We may never have a single sentence to explain life as we know it. That’s okay, we can still do what we think is right, we can still try our best to understand people and their decisions, and we can still love life for what it is.

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