See Ourselves as Others See Us Is a Most Salutary Gift

Topics: Cognition, Visual communication, Mind Pages: 2 (685 words) Published: April 28, 2012
"To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. What is more important, however, is the capacity to see others as they see themselves." (Aldous Huxley) Aldous Huxley made the previous statement probably with several meanings in mind. He might have thought about the egoic self analysis as well as the impact of knowing oneself and having the capacity to ‘see others as they see themselves’ in interpersonal communication, therefore conversation or dialogue. The human ego is very much involved in interpersonal communication. In many cases it controls even the whole direction or result of a conversation, without being noticed by the speaker(s). Stereotyping is one good example. By stereotyping we already have an opinion of the others and we develop a sort of selective hearing. Since we believe, we already ‘know’ what kind of person we are interacting with, we ‘hear’ strongly these parts of the conversation, that reassure us in our opinion and many times we are inclined to overhear that there might be way more to our picture of the other than we thought. We often stereotype on an ethnical level. We all have a picture of certain social classes and/or certain cultures and countries in our mind, that makes our interaction and communication with members of these groups biased. We tend to imply certain things that might not even be remotely true, but since we have our stereotype thinking manifested in our mind, it needs a lot of self control and or convincing to open our mind far enough to actually listen and hear what is really transmitted. If we can free our self of this stereotypical thinking, labeling, we can go on to the next step which Huxley correctly sees as the more important truth: We can try to see others as they see themselves. If we master this skill, we have reached a huge breakthrough in matters communication skills. We can more likely go into a conversation with individuals from other ethnic groups or cultures and not only more effectively...
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