The invitation to meet others where they are is an important one. Without this approach, it is difficult to establish a connection with them. Meeting others where they are, requires empathy. In this context, I’d describe empathy as a mix of being interested in the person and curious with them. Interest drives us to develop our image of that person and curiosity is the way we engage with that person to involve them in that exploration. An easy version of empathy is to stay with our interpretations without validating them. It leads to meeting the person where we see them.
Once we’ve found that meeting place, we’ll inevitably discover things we’d like to see change or the person wants to change.
These ideas are the next best thing to disconnect from the other.
The opportunity to help or guide someone else towards a change regularly leads us to either want to push or pull others into a change we see as important for them. Wishing to help others is a beautiful approach to life and others. Why not, then, do it effectively? To help someone means to do it with them, not on our own. The hard work is to find a sweet spot which is accessible to them from where they are and also one they will seek to reach.
Helping them see might even be everything they need. And if they can’t see now, it might not be the right time or too hard to see. We might be there too early or at the wrong meeting place.