Three Signs We are Seeing People as Objects

by | Feb 8, 2017 | Articles

Three Signs We are Seeing People as Objects

by | Feb 8, 2017 | Articles

I am not naturally an outgoing person.  For those who know me well that is kind of a “duh” statement.  I enjoy being around people but I am not typically the one who is going to bring the “fun” to a party.  However, if I enter a conversation about something for which I am passionate, then it’s hard to shut me up.  Take for instance seeing people as people and not just tools or objects – that can be a conversation starter for me.  People aren’t tools – they are people who feel, dream, explore, and have value that is equal to my own.  However, I think each of us can struggle with turning relationships into objects a tendency which fosters an unsafe world.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I can be just as obtuse as the next person.  I can get busy pursuing my goals or things that I am passionate about and forget that I am talking to a fellow person.  Not a thing – a person.  When this happens, I have just as much propensity to see people as objects or obstacles to my objectives.  I am not immune.  Just the other day I was returning an item to a store that didn’t fit.  There was a couple ahead of me taking FOREVER!!!!  Inside, I could start to feel frustration welling as I was trying to return to my family.  When I finally got to the clerk, I really had to check myself because she was moving slooooooow and a line was growing behind me.  And then I stopped.

I stopped because I noticed she looked a little haggard and tired.  I could tell she was trying but I sensed that her day wasn’t going so well.  Lots of requests and needs but probably not a lot of thanks.  And then I noticed she was wearing an Apple Watch and that was my opportunity.  So, I asked her about it.  How she liked it, what she did with it, etc.  All of sudden she had a smile on her face, and she told me how it was a gift given to her (lucky girl – that’s a GREAT gift!) and she loved not missing messages.  The conversation didn’t take long, but something had changed within me.  It wasn’t about the wait or the line anymore.  It was about an interaction with a person about something they enjoyed and my ability to begin seeing her.  No longer was she a means to an end, i.e. getting a shirt returned, but she was someone who has value and dignity simply because she’s a person.

So, how can you know if you are gravitating toward seeing people as objects?  Here’s a couple things to consider:

  • Have I stopped to ask myself whether I am forcing someone into a mold – a preconceived expectation of a response? Have I taken the time to actually listen?  All of us can have preconceptions as to how we think someone should respond.  That’s a huge mistake.  Start first by listening and make sure you are really hearing the other person.

  • Do I find myself getting frustrated when things don’t happen in my time table in regards to other people? Do I get angry in traffic, at the gym, or in the workplace because I have to wait on someone?  That’s another good indicator that I am seeing people as objects.

  • Do you find yourself thinking about your response instead of listening to someone talk? Or do you find yourself interrupting someone because you weren’t hearing what they had to say?  Both of these are tendencies when we don’t stop to see someone as a person.

All of us have the propensity to treat people like objects.  The solution sounds really easy – seeing people for who they really are…people!  In fact, it requires us to live counter-intuitively without solely being focused on our own wants and needs.  But it’s also rewarding, for I have found we can accomplish much more when we work together, respecting each other’s needs, and helping leave places we live, work, and play better places for all.  If you would like to talk more about this feel free to drop me a line and we can grab coffee.

Until next time,

Dan

 

Three Signs We are Seeing People as Objects

by | Feb 8, 2017 | Articles

I am not naturally an outgoing person.  For those who know me well that is kind of a “duh” statement.  I enjoy being around people but I am not typically the one who is going to bring the “fun” to a party.  However, if I enter a conversation about something for which I am passionate, then it’s hard to shut me up.  Take for instance seeing people as people and not just tools or objects – that can be a conversation starter for me.  People aren’t tools – they are people who feel, dream, explore, and have value that is equal to my own.  However, I think each of us can struggle with turning relationships into objects a tendency which fosters an unsafe world.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I can be just as obtuse as the next person.  I can get busy pursuing my goals or things that I am passionate about and forget that I am talking to a fellow person.  Not a thing – a person.  When this happens, I have just as much propensity to see people as objects or obstacles to my objectives.  I am not immune.  Just the other day I was returning an item to a store that didn’t fit.  There was a couple ahead of me taking FOREVER!!!!  Inside, I could start to feel frustration welling as I was trying to return to my family.  When I finally got to the clerk, I really had to check myself because she was moving slooooooow and a line was growing behind me.  And then I stopped.

I stopped because I noticed she looked a little haggard and tired.  I could tell she was trying but I sensed that her day wasn’t going so well.  Lots of requests and needs but probably not a lot of thanks.  And then I noticed she was wearing an Apple Watch and that was my opportunity.  So, I asked her about it.  How she liked it, what she did with it, etc.  All of sudden she had a smile on her face, and she told me how it was a gift given to her (lucky girl – that’s a GREAT gift!) and she loved not missing messages.  The conversation didn’t take long, but something had changed within me.  It wasn’t about the wait or the line anymore.  It was about an interaction with a person about something they enjoyed and my ability to begin seeing her.  No longer was she a means to an end, i.e. getting a shirt returned, but she was someone who has value and dignity simply because she’s a person.

So, how can you know if you are gravitating toward seeing people as objects?  Here’s a couple things to consider:

  • Have I stopped to ask myself whether I am forcing someone into a mold – a preconceived expectation of a response? Have I taken the time to actually listen?  All of us can have preconceptions as to how we think someone should respond.  That’s a huge mistake.  Start first by listening and make sure you are really hearing the other person.

  • Do I find myself getting frustrated when things don’t happen in my time table in regards to other people? Do I get angry in traffic, at the gym, or in the workplace because I have to wait on someone?  That’s another good indicator that I am seeing people as objects.

  • Do you find yourself thinking about your response instead of listening to someone talk? Or do you find yourself interrupting someone because you weren’t hearing what they had to say?  Both of these are tendencies when we don’t stop to see someone as a person.

All of us have the propensity to treat people like objects.  The solution sounds really easy – seeing people for who they really are…people!  In fact, it requires us to live counter-intuitively without solely being focused on our own wants and needs.  But it’s also rewarding, for I have found we can accomplish much more when we work together, respecting each other’s needs, and helping leave places we live, work, and play better places for all.  If you would like to talk more about this feel free to drop me a line and we can grab coffee.

Until next time,

Dan

 

I am not naturally an outgoing person.  For those who know me well that is kind of a “duh” statement.  I enjoy being around people but I am not typically the one who is going to bring the “fun” to a party.  However, if I enter a conversation about something for which I am passionate, then it’s hard to shut me up.  Take for instance seeing people as people and not just tools or objects – that can be a conversation starter for me.  People aren’t tools – they are people who feel, dream, explore, and have value that is equal to my own.  However, I think each of us can struggle with turning relationships into objects a tendency which fosters an unsafe world.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I can be just as obtuse as the next person.  I can get busy pursuing my goals or things that I am passionate about and forget that I am talking to a fellow person.  Not a thing – a person.  When this happens, I have just as much propensity to see people as objects or obstacles to my objectives.  I am not immune.  Just the other day I was returning an item to a store that didn’t fit.  There was a couple ahead of me taking FOREVER!!!!  Inside, I could start to feel frustration welling as I was trying to return to my family.  When I finally got to the clerk, I really had to check myself because she was moving slooooooow and a line was growing behind me.  And then I stopped.

I stopped because I noticed she looked a little haggard and tired.  I could tell she was trying but I sensed that her day wasn’t going so well.  Lots of requests and needs but probably not a lot of thanks.  And then I noticed she was wearing an Apple Watch and that was my opportunity.  So, I asked her about it.  How she liked it, what she did with it, etc.  All of sudden she had a smile on her face, and she told me how it was a gift given to her (lucky girl – that’s a GREAT gift!) and she loved not missing messages.  The conversation didn’t take long, but something had changed within me.  It wasn’t about the wait or the line anymore.  It was about an interaction with a person about something they enjoyed and my ability to begin seeing her.  No longer was she a means to an end, i.e. getting a shirt returned, but she was someone who has value and dignity simply because she’s a person.

So, how can you know if you are gravitating toward seeing people as objects?  Here’s a couple things to consider:

  • Have I stopped to ask myself whether I am forcing someone into a mold – a preconceived expectation of a response? Have I taken the time to actually listen?  All of us can have preconceptions as to how we think someone should respond.  That’s a huge mistake.  Start first by listening and make sure you are really hearing the other person.

  • Do I find myself getting frustrated when things don’t happen in my time table in regards to other people? Do I get angry in traffic, at the gym, or in the workplace because I have to wait on someone?  That’s another good indicator that I am seeing people as objects.

  • Do you find yourself thinking about your response instead of listening to someone talk? Or do you find yourself interrupting someone because you weren’t hearing what they had to say?  Both of these are tendencies when we don’t stop to see someone as a person.

All of us have the propensity to treat people like objects.  The solution sounds really easy – seeing people for who they really are…people!  In fact, it requires us to live counter-intuitively without solely being focused on our own wants and needs.  But it’s also rewarding, for I have found we can accomplish much more when we work together, respecting each other’s needs, and helping leave places we live, work, and play better places for all.  If you would like to talk more about this feel free to drop me a line and we can grab coffee.

Until next time,

Dan

 

Comments

DID WE SPARK AN INTEREST?

Even if you're unsure about your need for consulting services, check out the quick connect form offered for you to find out if PrairieFire Consulting™ is a good fit.

Let it burn!
Share This