The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Seeing others

A basic act of generosity is to “see the other”. It may seem to be normality and yet it is harder to be regular at it then we might think.

When you enter a room, you might scan to see who all is in the room. Does everyone look back?

Earlier on, I was leaving a place and seeing a person sitting behind the counter and wished him a nice evening. I’m not sure he heard or saw me, I still felt frustrated that he didn’t answer.

Two harmless examples, and yet they touch basic needs experienced in the relationship. If they are satisfied, we find ourselves building a relationship. If they are not met the relationship is impacted as a lack is experienced.

Being seen can also be described as a stroke. Depending on how we handle the idea of seeing the other, we will offer either attention, care or recognition. Depending on what we offer and how we offer it, those receiving it get a confirmation of their self-worth, self-efficacy, and place in the relationship.

The importance of “being seen” becomes evident here.

It’s a medal with two sides: Seeing others and being seen. It means to be generous with others and accept that we might fail to do it all the time. It also means to be conscious about how we are being seen and the choice we can make choose environments according to it. Remember the last time you chose a restaurant because of the way the waiter served you before?

It’s relevant everywhere, including your working space.

What’s interesting about it, is how strokes are hidden in so many seemingly small details. In the day to day way of handling the relationships we encounter.

If it’s missing you’ll notice how games start to play a role. How negative care is distributed and beliefs about the others, the self, and the world are being reinforced. That’s, for example, this moment where you remember that you’re “always” served last or how your contribution is “again” misunderstood.

While they are uncomfortable for everyone, they serve as defense mechanisms. They exist to deal with the lack of strokes. They also signal a fear to connect and overcome the lack of strokes. It can be the person, it can be the environment.


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