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Sweeney: Too much focus blurs your vision

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The perception that we have of other people too often is akin to the one we have of ourselves: wrong.

Katlin Sweeney

Katlin Sweeney

We compare and contrast, criticize and charm, compliment and condemn people. We make a mess of situations and worry ourselves thin thinking about what someone else will do.We get distracted wondering if a decision will be made that we have no control over. We analyze problems until there are 500 possible outcomes, but absolutely no solutions.

Worrying and studying other people has often been marginalized into a gendered, feminine trait. But let’s face it: everybody does it. There is an extreme, incessant amount of focus that we place on what other people are doing. If you were to pause for a moment and reflect on the conversations that you’ve had today, how many of those would be interlinked with the statements and actions of others? If you’re like me, that would be too many.

As a species, we seem to be programmed to immediately pinpoint what is wrong with something or someone else. A large amount of the time, those objects of our cognitive affection do not really have any justification as to why they secure so much of our focus.

Sure, it’s interesting to think about what someone else has said about you, how they looked, or why you feel jaded by that person. But often times, we converse to complain rather than to learn anything that will push us forward.

This habit of mindless conversation is something that maintains a steady grasp on a lot of people’s lives, including my own. And while it’s human nature to be fascinated by the unfamiliar, it’s not really that productive.

The time we spend thinking about how other people can change is wasted; consider how you could be using that same amount of time to institute those personality developments on yourself instead.

It doesn’t hurt to analyze outside sources and see where other people are going wrong. In fact, that can be extremely beneficial if you internalize those revisions and don’t critique people to their faces.

Learning from how people treat us is just as important as paying attention to what they are saying. If you pause and observe rather than jump to assumptions, analyzing other people becomes an asset.

As human beings, we thrive as we progress through the stages essential to our understanding of basic concepts. Being patient and comprehending situations fully before making decisions is of extreme importance. However, a lot of us forget that and consider waiting to draw our conclusions an inconvenience. But if we started making a few adjustments to these bad habits, life would be a little more pleasant.

We need to stop criticizing other people and focusing so much of our energy on what they are doing. Personal and professional problems should be approached by erasing the negative and pondering the positive.

Look for how you can improve, not what the other person is doing wrong. Challenge yourself to be better. Find the problem and solve it rather than relishing in its existence. Be on a path of personal enlightenment rather than searching for opportunities to be vengeful.While it may be nice to win an argument, isolating yourself into bitterness and elitism won’t solve anything.

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