There are many times during daily life that it is useful to be able to see from a different perspective.
In relation to your significant other, or while making important decisions at work, knowing how the other person is thinking and perceiving the world around them is the key to broadening your own understanding how.
But how do you actually do that? What’s the mental mechanism for changing your perspective?
NLP Perceptual Positions
According to the NLP Perceptual Positions model, part of the iNLP Center Online NLP Practitioner Training, there are actually three different ways of perceiving a specific experience.
This technique allows you to adopt each perceptual perception as needed. If you’re not understanding how or why a specific situation unfolded in the manner that it did, it might be useful to change up your perception of it and view it from a different mental space.
When I considered which perceptual position I spend the majority of my time in, I came to the conclusion that, being that my life typically revolves around my husband and daughter, that I view the world through their eyes more than my own. This is known as Second Position.
I am constantly wondering how I can make my daughter comfortable, if she’s hungry or thirsty, hot or cold, or if she’s just bored and needs someone to entertain her.
The same goes for my relationship with my husband. I am the care-taker in the household, and while he goes to work, I clean and prepare meals. (I am also a student, and have a part-time job that I do from home, but that is neither here, nor there.)
This being the case, I am viewing the world through his eyes more than my own as well. I ask myself if he would consider the house messy, and if I should clean it. I wonder what he would like to eat for dinner before I consider what I would like. I am happy with this, because it makes my family happy, which is my ultimate goal.
But, if I were to shake things up and start seeing things through my own eyes and caring more about my own preferences, it might throw my family members for a loop. They are not used to me caring for my needs first. (To clarify, I don’t believe they are being selfish by being this way. Quite the contrary, I seasoned them to this. I consider them well taken care of, and it makes me happy that their needs are considered before my own.)
Looking at the situation objectively, it’s easy to see that some women might consider me to be neglected and that I need to start putting my needs first. I have heard a lot of women that I know say, “This isn’t the 50’s anymore! Men have to help with meals and with tending to the children. It’s a 50/50 job, and it’s unfair for the women to do all the work.”
Though I agree that at times, I need a break to get some me-time, that is just not how my household works and we are happy that way. My husband goes to work for the day, and I get the privilege of raising the children and ensuring that they eat the best meals possible, prepared by me.
Having the ability to change up perspectives in order to adapt to certain situations can be useful in a multitude of different situations.
Whether you are a father, boss, student, teacher, or just a living human being, having the ability to see through another person’s eyes will benefit you.
If you’re trying to help someone, it will be even more useful to you because you will be able to imagine having the problem that a particular person is facing, and the solution will be much easier to determine.
FYI the NLP Perceptual Positions model does not advocate one position over another. It merely clarifies each position and gives you more options for choosing which perspective you’d like to take and when. Very useful!