A person is not his/her behaviour

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

This is often a difficult thing to wrap our minds around, we tend to judge people (and ourselves) by their behaviour. If we see someone in the office who always appears to be angry we tend to think of them as angry people. When people say 'no' or push back on our ideas we may think of them as resistant, or not open-minded or lacking vision etc. When we make mistakes we think of ourselves as failures.

The reality is that these things are not our identity, we are so much more that a single behaviour or emotion. The person we thought of as an angry person may simply be dealing with things that we are unaware of. The people who say 'no' may do so in reaction to fear or because they don't think the idea has merit or becuase they need to know more to understand, contribute or accept what is being said. We all make mistakes, that's how we learn, how we change and ultimately how we succeed.

When we separate someones behaviour from their identity we become more tolerant, more curious about what else might be going on and better able to communicate. Changing our behaviour is completely within our control. We may not be able to do it alone but we can choose to change, choose to learn, choose to trust others to help us.

By believing that what you do and what you have is the real you, you are short selling yourself and others. So ask 'what else could be going on here?' 'how could I communicate more effectively?' 'what do I need to do differently?'