Seeing Things from Another’s Point of View

Taking the time to reflect on how others perceive you can offer valuable insights and be a beneficial exercise.

While receiving criticism can be challenging, it's important to remember that such feedback can offer opportunities for personal growth and improvement. Jamila Rodrigues reveals how actively paying attention to the opinions of others has allowed her to view things from a fresh angle.

We learn from one another

Nick: I guess we are our authentic self, when we are lost in writing or drawing or singing, we are expressing who we are. And so if we have people critique that, and we're open to feedback. Or even just critique who we are. ‘How am I as a person?’ Be honest. If we're open to that feedback, it will be very helpful. That's quite related to, is it Naikan?

Jamila: Yeah, it could be Naikan. Yeah, where you spend your time in introspection. What the other did for you good, and what did you did good for that person? And then come to a place where the therapist comes and talk to you, but essentially, just very minimal talk. And you come back into this reflection.

Nick: I strongly see it very much as self-reflection, and you verbalize it to total strangers.

Jamila: Yeah. But I think that's important, right? I mean, usually, if I do have something in my life that I don't know how to fix or it's really bothering me, I want opinions from people who know me, or sometimes people who don't know me, so they can be more neutral.

And different opinions help. I think having an eye from outside help. It helps you to be better. And observing other people, helps you to observe yourself as well. I think my work as an anthropologist, one of the things that we do as anthropologists is observe people, right?

And I think by observing others, and observing other people's behaviors, and the way they see the world and construct the world, you learn about your own world. You learn how to challenge your biases, how to debunk your biases, how to be more inclusive, more diverse, to open your horizons.

And also, you know, to get out of your comfort zone. Not all my friends tell me you're doing the right thing. It also takes bravery for the people that know you well, and say, you're not doing the right thing. I think I value that a lot, not just the ones that say, ‘Well, I support you fully in what you're doing.’ ‘Actually I don't support you, because I think this might be dangerous, or this might lead to a, b, and c.’

And then all of a sudden, you start seeing things from a different perspective. Those opinions, you have to cherish these opinions, and you have to embrace them and be humbled enough to say, well, maybe, the way I'm stubborn in doing things, or, my way of thinking or my way of seeing this problem, let's see what this person here, this is quite a contribution. So, thank you. But that takes guts, right?

Nick: Yeah. It takes vulnerability on your part, and honesty. I mean, a lot of friends, maybe they've added discomfort or care and maybe they're not gonna be fully honest. So there's that vulnerability on your part to ‘Hey, I want you to critique this, or tell me what you think I am or who I am.’

And hopefully, you do have friends who will be honest to say, ‘This is good, but what you're doing here, I don't think it's you or it doesn't seem to align to your values. So I'm not sure why you're doing it. Why you're doing this?’ That's a good friend. A friend you can trust.

Jamila: I mean, because we all need mentors in life, right? Our school mentors, our club mentors, our friends are our mentors, our partners are our mentors, they are our masters, and we are all masters for each other.