I walk down the street, sit in a restaurant, buy coffee, go to a bar and what do I see? Phones, phones and more phones. Not a big d al as this has been the common trend for a while (although I do recommend the occasional unplug from technology and social media). The question is what comes along with this?
Many of us are selfish, distracted creatures of habit. I know that sounds bad but think about it. When we aren’t in the midst of a crisis (for example hurricane Sandy where folks really come together) we are worried about our hearth, our jobs, our weight, our looks, our love life, our families, etc. and if that isn’t enough to worry about, we tend to try and tackle the things at the same time. Hence, our mind is always skipping around distractedly–or at least for a good portion of the time.
Life doesn’t slow, time doesn’t stop. So while we are wandering around distractedly, we miss things or we are simply unable to recognize those around us.
I have a co worker who is on a mission to become a supervisor because he says he likes people and wants to make a difference. And yet he completely misses the emotional issues around him. This is essential because he will need to pick up on these if he is going to connect with his employees.
Recognizing people’s needs can be very hard as it needs to be practiced actively. Try an exercise (you need to be in a place where there are lots of people). Look around you. Who is there? What do they want? How do you know? How do they feel? Write down what you believe you recognize. This is a great exercise for reading people’s feelings and can help from an interpretation standpoint. It also helps as you try to write character’s emotions. The more you do this the better you’ll get and don’t be surprised if those around you react differently.
Happy writing this week!