Connecting with others

One important point is to take into account the sensibilities and mental disposition of the listener. In my own experience, when I talk with someone who may have different views or be in disagreement, first I consider that on the human level we have no differences. We both want to be happy and have close connections in life. If we start from a place that emphasizes differences, such as nationality, faith, or race, we will encounter an inevitable barrier. To remove that barrier, we need to start with a common human goal: living a happy life. In my opinion, to achieve that we have to have this commonality in our own view, which often enables a shift in the other person, allowing more openness, connection, or closeness. If we lead with the differences, we risk encouraging defensiveness, which is usually followed by offense or attack, and there’s no way to connect – H.H 14th Dalai Lama

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