“The best voyages of discovery are not made in foreign lands, but by looking at the world with new eyes.” (Marcel Proust)
In crises or conflicts, a change of perspective works wonders. Even as a child, I was fascinated by the Native American saying: never judge a person until you’ve worn their moccasins for at least half a moon. Slipping into the other person’s moccasins means taking their perspective. Only then will I probably be able to understand her behavior, understand her motives, and show her greater understanding overall. That is why change of perspective is often used in conflict management or mediation processes. Just try slipping into his/her moccasins for a moment when you are angry with someone and ask yourself: what could have caused him/her to behave that way? What does the other person want?
– What would Albert Einstein have done in my place?
– How would Pipi Longstocking have looked for a solution?
– What would the Dalai Lama do in that situation?
However, you can also bring in very ‘normal’ people:
– What would my favorite former teacher advise me to do?
– How would my rival react if he or she knew about my plans?
– What impression would my grandmother have if she could watch me?
– social imprints,
– historical trends
– the dynamics of relationships and contexts
– the fluidity of information and constellations
And last but not least: Changing perspective can also increase our sense of happiness!
Here is a little story about this: