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Good Othering

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Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about good othering. So as we go through our lives, a lot of our interactions with others have this kind of transactional or unintentional quality to them. Whether it's a checkout person at the store, a delivery guy, person in a meeting at work, or a family member, a lot of the time, we just kind of bump into people throughout the day and have these little exchanges of time with them. But in the process of that, how often do we actually pause to take a few moments to really be present with that person and notice their good qualities? For most of us, it's not too often.

And in fact, because of the brain's negativity bias, we're actually much more likely to notice the bad qualities in that person, the things that we perceive as flaws, the things that we feel critical of. So because of our minds conditioning being, you know, to more fixate on floors, good othering does take intention and practice. But it's well worth the effort because when we practice good othering, we give this really incredible gift to other people because we hold up a mirror for their goodness instead of their flaws. So we allow them to feel accepted and appreciated just as they are. We also create feelings of positivity, connection and confidence within ourselves at the same time.

So holding up a mirror for others goodness can't help but also affect your ability to see your own. So how do we practice good othering? The first thing is to simply see if you can slow down a little bit and just be a little more present in the small interactions of the day. So begin to deliberately notice the good qualities in others and see what you appreciate about them. Now, this isn't about kind of like seeing the world through rose colored lenses. It's actually about balancing out the crap colored lenses that the negativity bias creates.

So secondly, be really attentive to people's positive traits and interactions when you see them. You know, we tend, as I said before, to focus on what's wrong with people, what their problems are, what their neuroses are and what we think that they should fix or change about themselves. But everybody also has positive traits that we often overlook such as generosity, playfulness, grit, or compassion. And beneath many actions that we really quickly judge, if we look a little closer, we would see that even though their actions were misguided perhaps, there might've been a positive or protective intention behind them. So thirdly, the, see if you're going to let go of the false idea of perfection.

Everyone, you know, is going to make mistakes sometimes. They're going to have bad days. They have weaknesses and flaws as well as strengths and virtues. We're all beautifully messy, imperfect people. See if you can make room for the other person to be imperfect while still seeing their basic inherent goodness and worthiness.

And fourthly show your appreciation for the other, in your gestures, in verbal recognition or praise, whatever makes sense to you. So that's the invitation for today. And if you care to, for the rest of this week, practice good othering. And I think you'll find when you hold up a mirror for other people's goodness, you'll inevitably shine more on your own. So thank you for your practice and your presence here with us and inviting you now to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Good Othering

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about good othering. So as we go through our lives, a lot of our interactions with others have this kind of transactional or unintentional quality to them. Whether it's a checkout person at the store, a delivery guy, person in a meeting at work, or a family member, a lot of the time, we just kind of bump into people throughout the day and have these little exchanges of time with them. But in the process of that, how often do we actually pause to take a few moments to really be present with that person and notice their good qualities? For most of us, it's not too often.

And in fact, because of the brain's negativity bias, we're actually much more likely to notice the bad qualities in that person, the things that we perceive as flaws, the things that we feel critical of. So because of our minds conditioning being, you know, to more fixate on floors, good othering does take intention and practice. But it's well worth the effort because when we practice good othering, we give this really incredible gift to other people because we hold up a mirror for their goodness instead of their flaws. So we allow them to feel accepted and appreciated just as they are. We also create feelings of positivity, connection and confidence within ourselves at the same time.

So holding up a mirror for others goodness can't help but also affect your ability to see your own. So how do we practice good othering? The first thing is to simply see if you can slow down a little bit and just be a little more present in the small interactions of the day. So begin to deliberately notice the good qualities in others and see what you appreciate about them. Now, this isn't about kind of like seeing the world through rose colored lenses. It's actually about balancing out the crap colored lenses that the negativity bias creates.

So secondly, be really attentive to people's positive traits and interactions when you see them. You know, we tend, as I said before, to focus on what's wrong with people, what their problems are, what their neuroses are and what we think that they should fix or change about themselves. But everybody also has positive traits that we often overlook such as generosity, playfulness, grit, or compassion. And beneath many actions that we really quickly judge, if we look a little closer, we would see that even though their actions were misguided perhaps, there might've been a positive or protective intention behind them. So thirdly, the, see if you're going to let go of the false idea of perfection.

Everyone, you know, is going to make mistakes sometimes. They're going to have bad days. They have weaknesses and flaws as well as strengths and virtues. We're all beautifully messy, imperfect people. See if you can make room for the other person to be imperfect while still seeing their basic inherent goodness and worthiness.

And fourthly show your appreciation for the other, in your gestures, in verbal recognition or praise, whatever makes sense to you. So that's the invitation for today. And if you care to, for the rest of this week, practice good othering. And I think you'll find when you hold up a mirror for other people's goodness, you'll inevitably shine more on your own. So thank you for your practice and your presence here with us and inviting you now to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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