Consider the Source
Jen landed the job of her dreams. She can’t believe she did it but she did. The only thing standing in the way of Jen and her amazing opportunity is a thousand miles. That’s right, her job is in Atlanta and she lives in Denver.
Jen’s not worried, she’ll just fly home a lot. Besides, won’t everyone want to come visit her? What a surprise to discover that not everyone is in her corner.
Jen’s adventurous grandmother is just as excited as Jen and tells her to go for it.
Jen’s favorite aunt starts weeping while telling Jen how lonely she’ll be. Why would you move so far from home, you’ll hate it, she tells Jen.
Jen’s Mom and Dad are bursting with pride. After all, it recognizes just how talented their daughter is.
Jen’s best friend is sort of happy. She knows it’s right for Jen but she’s going to miss her terribly.
Jen’s co-worker immediately criticizes Jen’s new company and belittles the job Jen has accepted. Jen’s co-worker even goes viral with these comments.
Jen’s current boss is happy and proud for Jen but she keeps wondering how she’ll ever replace her.
That’s a lot of reaction to one person’s decision to take a new job. With that many reactions, it’s easy to begin to question the decision. That’s why it is important to consider the source of each comment.
Each of the comments reflects the individual’s perspective. The grandmother’s love for Jen is greater than her personal desire to have Jen close to home. Conversely, Jen’s aunt is unable to get beyond her own emotions. Perhaps the aunt made a long ago choice to stay near home and thinks everyone should do the same. Whatever the reason, personal emotions are coloring Jen’s aunt’s reaction. The same holds true for Jen’s co-worker whose emotion may be envy.
As the recipient of advice or counsel, we must each be sure we consider the perspective from which the other speaks. Is there something that is coloring their view? Do they have an ulterior motive for the thought or advice they are sharing?
Each of us sees the world from our own perspective. It’s our personal mental set. Often, that colors the advice or opinions we give to others. We don’t set out to misadvise. Rather, we share our vision, how we see the world.
Equally important, when a person tells you that they have your best interests at heart, be certain you consider that person’s underlying biases and perspective.
Input from others can be useful. On the other hand, we are each in charge of our lives. It is our opinion that must be the final world.