We can have many viewpoints go through our minds, when it comes to considering options and possibilities and trying to be better thinkers about any particular situation. This often (and, hopefully, in fact) includes thoughts such as:
- “Maybe they know more than I do about this”
- “Maybe I am not seeing it as clearly as they are”
- “Perhaps they have a method that will help me”
This often includes the thought “they seem to be doing well, and I am not so sure (at least in regard to this present situation)”.
That is all good, but here is another one that we might want to add to the mix: Perhaps they are just different from you. Now, some people might use this one all the time—any time someone tries to give them another perspective on the situation, their default reaction is to say “well, that might be okay for them, but I am different, so I don’t have to listen”. That might not be helpful.
But if you are like me, you tend towards the other direction—presuming someone else must just have come up with a better way. There turns out to be a slew of articles about “the illusion of having it all together,” which might be interesting to peruse sometime. Or, not—it is obvious that we tend to think this way, isn’t it?
The point I am converging on is this: Another possibility is that the advice or way of doing something that someone else is proposing is right for them, because it is perfectly tuned to their makeup. Perhaps it is the remarkable way in which humans often do tend to converge on common experience (our basic makeup being so similar, so much of the time), that might easily lead us to the conclusion that if someone else is doing something that seems to be better, we might just be “wrong” for not doing it in the same way they are.
But something I have come to notice over time is that other people might be on a different journey than I am on. My mother and her husband figured things out in such a lovely way for them, but they were on a different journey than I am on. How can you possibly know the contours of someone else’s journey? You can guess, I suppose.
Just add this to the mix: that other idea, suggestion, or way of being in the world might work for you, and it might not. If it does not, it is possible that it is just not right for you.