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  • Bob Burg

“I consider Bob Burg to be without a doubt, one of the world's leading experts on networking.”

~ Dr. Ivan Misner, NY Times Bestselling Author and Founder of BNI

“But *I’d* Never Do That To Someone!”

April 18th, 2013 by Bob Burg

But *I'd* Never Do That To Someone!As human beings we operate out of a Belief System based on factors including upbringing, environment, schooling, news media, television shows, movies, etc., etc., etc.

Our beliefs, paradigms, world-views, world-models, or whatever words we choose to utilize that really says, “this is how I see the world — it is my version of how the world operates” — is the sum total of all that we have experienced since birth.

As human beings, we also tend to believe that others see the world the same way we do. I mean, how could it be any different? We cannot intuitively see someone else’s view. So, we assume our view is also their view.

Or, as Judi Piani, author of the book, Trait Secrets says, “Normal is what *I* am.” :-)

Yes, we think that others see the world as we see it. And, we are usually incorrect in that assumption. And, it confuses us.

Example: Have you ever felt wronged by someone and said to a friend, “I would never say that to someone.” Or, “I would never act like that.”

No, YOU wouldn’t. But they would, because that fits their world model.

This is one reason why taking the words and actions of others personally can be so counter-productive to our own sense of happiness and peace of mind.

Solution? No, we do not have to agree with their world view. We don’t even have to understand their world view.

We just need to understand that their world view is their world view, different from ours. And, that everything they think, feel, say and do will be be based on that frame or premise.

Now, we can be more at peace. After all, it isn’t us. It’s them.

Or, is it? ;-)

———-

On Tuesday, April 23rd I’ll be speaking in Memphis, Tennessee, at my friend, Don Hutson’s The Prosperity Series event. Then on Thursday, I’ll be speaking at the Think And Grow Rich Summit 2013 in Del Mar, California.

If you’ll be in either of those areas, I hope you can join us.

40 Responses to ““But *I’d* Never Do That To Someone!””
  1. Steve Keating said at 8:29 am on

    Great post Bob! Most misunderstandings or disagreements come from looking at someone else’s worldview through the “lens” of our life experience. That’s where the trouble begins. Of course, our lens in the “correct” lens and that causes a whole bunch of other issues. Who was it that said “it’s hard to argue with someone who doesn’t need to be right every time?” :)

  2. Bob Burg said at 8:43 am on

    Steve: Thank you. You summed up the reasons for misunderstandings most perfectly, my friend! The “lens” is thing thing, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing with us!

  3. Joel Comm said at 9:04 am on

    Caught my eye with this one, Bob! I’ve come to terms with the reality (in my world view!) that others have the right to think, feel and believe whatever they want. The more we honor others by knowing who we are, the more we can accept those who see things differently than we do. It’s liberating.

  4. Linda Ryan said at 9:15 am on

    Great post, Bob. I like to think I’ve increased my tolerance and decreased my judgement about others’ behavior. Just because *I* would not say or do something, does NOT mean others are wrong or less than. It just means we are different. A mentor told me, when I was really struggling and frustrated with a client’s behavior, “Keep in mind, you don’t know the whole story AND they’re doing the best they can.” I think what he said and what you are saying may be the same thing. In both cases, I am inclined to THINK before jumping to judgement. Thanks for this great reminder

  5. Bob Burg said at 9:24 am on

    Joel: Great to hear from you. Indeed, so long as someone is not infringing upon the rights of others, they have the absolute right to think, feel, believe and do whatever they choose in pursuit of their happiness. To the degree people honor that (and, as you said, this includes knowing who *we* are), that’s the degree there is peace and harmony, both individually and on a societal level. Thank you for sharing with us!

  6. Bob Burg said at 9:27 am on

    Linda: Thank you. That’s terrific, and I really like what your mentor told you. Understanding both of those points is so helpful both in terms of our peace of mind and productivity. And, yes, when we can THINK before we jump…we’re probably a lot less likely to jump. :-) Thank you for sharing with us, Linda!

  7. Steve Woodruff said at 9:36 am on

    Hammer, meet nail.

  8. Bob Burg said at 9:45 am on

    Steve: LOL. Indeed!!

  9. But I HAVE done that to someone.

    Unintentionally. Accidentally. Or maybe not at all. But a comment I said or an action that I took came across to them as being critical or implying something not nice. *I* didn’t intend it that way at all, but from their perspective, it came across that way.

    Wow, does it feel bad when that happens. First, because you caused someone grief that you didn’t intend. Second, because now, at least for a moment, you’re seen as someone who does that!

    I try to keep this in mind when I’m on the receiving end of “being wronged.” Was that their intention? (probably not) Did it have anything to actually do with me? (probably not) Am I taking it that way because of my own world view? (possibly)

    :-) You should save these really hard questions for the weekend, Bob! LOL

  10. Bob Burg said at 10:25 am on

    Beth: You certainly nailed that one, my friend. Wow – and I’ve certainly done the same. And, felt badly when realizing it. Of course, there are times when we probably never even do realize it but the person goes on their way, ticked off and confused as to why we (meaning, “I”) did or said something like that.

    What I especially appreciated about what you wrote was that realizing this equips us with the understanding when we are on the receiving end that, indeed, it probably was NOT intentional and most likely had nothing to do with us; that it was simply two “world views” colliding.

    Thank you for the share!

  11. Bill Lynch said at 11:43 am on

    Recognizing that my view of the world is different from most other people is an achievement of maturity. (Too bad I am sometimes not so mature as my years should have made me.) It used to shock me that two rational adults could look at the same set of facts and come to radically different conclusions. No longer. The lack of maturity being exhibited in Washington these days is a perfect example of colliding world views. Perhaps Ms. Piani would donate 566 copies of her book to congress and the President and see if it helps.

  12. Lene Jytte Hansen said at 11:55 am on

    SO TRUE Bob!!!!!!!!!!!! Our viewpoints will always be at least a little different from eactother :) – that’s also why truth is never 100 % one thing!!!! Viewing the same thing, there is still 360 degrees around it! I you can follow this “picture”. (Wish I could make a drawing here :) ) SO you have to keep an open mind to being able to “duplicating” another persons viewpoint and to be willing to “go there” and see it. It’s actually an act of creating for the purpose of understanding another person – also called duplicating. Takes practice and an unstuck mindset and willingness to take another persons hand and move to their world – also called trust! I believe that also in it finer aspect is called LOVE. Well this is just some of my thoughts. GREAT article as usual Bob!!!!!!!! You always set my thinking “on fire”. HUGE Hugs from Denmark :)

  13. John David Mann said at 12:09 pm on

    I always love your comments, Señor Clout, but seldom comment. Just had to on this one, though. LOVE it. So true. I can’t believe how many other people think the world is the way THEY think it is … and not the way it really is. (You know, I mean, the way *I* see it.)

  14. Bob Burg said at 12:39 pm on

    Bill: Very-well said. And, it truly IS an achievement of maturity to recognize it, stay conscious of it, and act upon it. And, as you alluded to, I think that, at times, we all do this to less than the mature level we’d like to expect from ourselves. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us!

  15. Dixie Gillaspie said at 12:40 pm on

    As John says, I always love your posts, but don’t always add my $0.02 worth. Usually because there is so much value there already I can only say “What THEY said!!”

    Today though, I’m going to add my little bit – and that is something I said in an interview last night and have thought much about – “We have all been abused, and we have all been the abuser. It is only a matter of degrees and perception.”

    Every one of us has had an experience where we PERCEIVED that someone did us a wrong. And every one of us has had an experience where someone else perceived that WE wronged them.

    We can let our perception BE our reality. OR we can choose empathy/compassion and – not needing to know what experiences or beliefs have formed THEIR reality – we can allow them their own version of reality without resentment or retaliation.

    Of course, being compassionate toward others does not require that you relinquish your Power of Consent over what you allow in YOUR life. You can compassionately release others from your life if their view of right violates your view of acceptable.

    So many more thoughts… maybe I’ll write a book :)

    Thank you Bob and everyone else here for adding to the layers of insight I’m gaining in this area!

  16. Bob Burg said at 12:46 pm on

    Lene: I love your thoughts. One area in which I might respectfully take a bit of issue: in the second line of your note, where you say, “that’s also why truth is never 100 % one thing” I’m not sure that is “the truth.” :-) Truth is “what is” regardless of anyone individual belief or vantage point. A belief is “the truth as we see something as being” (which is based on our “Belief System” or vantage point. Regardless of how many different peoples’ beliefs, world views or vantage points are at work, what is…is. That doesn’t change. It’s only how each individual sees it which makes for disagreement. Now, so long as we respect others’ right to believe as they choose to believe (which doesn’t mean we cannot attempt to persuade, when that is appropriate), then we are able to live in peace and harmony. Of course, this is just “my belief” and my viewpoint. It’s NOT necessarily “the truth.” ;-) Hugs back to you and all my friends in Denmark! And, thank you for sharing with us!

  17. Bob Burg said at 12:52 pm on

    Ahhh, Señor Lev: Always a pleasure when you join our community of commentors, commentators, and crystal clear communicative collaborators. Yes, it’s truly an enigma to me; I mean, realizing there are people who actually don’t see the world the same way I do. I mean, “what are they thinking?!” Somehow, it jes’ don’t seem right! ;-) ;-)

  18. Lene Jytte Hansen said at 1:03 pm on

    I totally agree that truth is “what is” – AND to the single person what they “SEE” is!!!!! I do not think we have different viewpoints here or oppinion on this Bob – Actually as I read it we agree – just expalining the same ting in different ways – anyway I agree with YOU – LOL I LOVE what you write “we respect others’ right to believe as they choose to believe” VERY IMPORTANT – That is what I described as the willingness to trust! :)

  19. Bob Burg said at 1:24 pm on

    Dixie: Wow – powerful thoughts, my friend! Yes, “PERCEIVED”/”perception” is the key – that is our belief systems kicked into action, stimulated by…something. Reminds me: I loved the chapter entitled, “Perceptual Realities” in Roy H. Williams’ classic, “Magical Worlds of the Wizard of Ads.” He related the famous story of the seven blind men of Indostan who, each feeling a different part of an elephant, were all convinced that the (truth of the) elephant was according to their perception. The one feeling the tail was sure the elephant was a long rope. The one feeling the tusk was certain the elephant was a hard spear. The one feeling the side was convinced that the elephant was a huge wall. Of course, they were all correct according their perceptions, while the actual truth was that the elephant was…everything that comprises an elephant. And, loved your thoughts on compassion, as well. If you have a link to last night’s interview you’d like to post, I’m sure many of us would love to listen to it. Thanks again for sharing with us!

  20. Bob Burg said at 1:25 pm on

    Awesome, Lene! (And, when I say, “Awesome” I’m describing you. And, that IS the truth!) :-)

  21. Lene Jytte Hansen said at 1:56 pm on

    AAAWWW thank’s Bob :)
    Dixie – I absolutely LOVE your thoughts – I’m glad you chose to state them here! Thank’s :)

  22. Thanks for another Great post… Indeed and so true… We can agree to disagree if You will. There is NOT ONE WAY to anything in this world and to thing so would be extremely naive of us. The world is one HUGE Melting pot as they say. I go back to is what we hear at any given time in our life’s is it criticism or feedback and at the end of the day we Choose to take things personally or not…

  23. Ah yes, the “truth” about the elephant. And none of them were wrong, but none of them were right. Perfect example!

    Yes, last night’s interview was a culmination of a lot of personal truths, which are a separate thing from what people would call the “truth” of the actual events. As you know, I’ve been resistant to speaking publicly about it. Thanks to you for your wisdom and friendship, because as I say in the interview, it helped me immensely to move past that wall. The link for the replay is here is you want to listen. http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventID=40430217

    Thank YOU Lene – this is such a wonderfully safe place to share thoughts, isn’t it? I enjoy finding yours here as well.

  24. Doug Wagner said at 4:13 pm on

    Thanks for the great post Bob and the tip Dixie.

    “What they said.”

    Or didn’t say. Saw. Or didn’t see. Or believed. Or didn’t believe.

    That.

  25. Bob Burg said at 4:43 pm on

    Carly: Thank you. Great points. I appreciate you sharing with us!

  26. Bob Burg said at 4:54 pm on

    Dixie: Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I’ll look forward to listening.

  27. Bob Burg said at 4:55 pm on

    Doug: Exactly! Or..something like that! ;-)

  28. Michelle said at 7:20 pm on

    BB, This is ‘one’ of my most favorite post ever! I have been gone all day and could not wait to get home to read your blog. I read it almost daily but do not always chime in.

    I can think of many lessons I have learned in this area.Time has a way of sneaking up on us and reminding us of the times we have judged others. One lesson that stands out boldly for me in my own life is the story I often share when I speak (Below):

    Hypothetically, I was in my 20′s and 30′s ( as you know I am only 29) and married… I would see some of the single ladies come into church on Sunday mornings after being out all weekend and I would tell my husband that I could not believe the lifestyle they had. *I* would never have that sort of life!

    Well in my mid 30′s(still hypothetically) *I* found myself divorced after 14 years, feeling lost and searching for what I was to do next. Yep, you guessed it; I started going out frequently and did so for a few years.

    Fast forward (because this could go on): When people ask me what the turning point of my thought process in life was I always make a joke(kinda) and say I woke up one morning and knew I needed to make a change. I sat up in bed and did a ‘Home Alone’ grabbing of my face, screaming/moaning”, Oh My God; I am the BARFLY! *I* am the girl that I use to talk about in Sunday school”!

    Of course I have changed my ways since then. I no longer grab my face that way. It can cause wrinkles!

    Lesson: Sometimes what we think we would or should do at a certain time… changes with time.

    Great post and I love all the comments as well!

  29. Bob Burg said at 7:25 pm on

    Michelle: Thank you for sharing that story – and a part of yourself – with us. Great lessons. Difficult to picture you doing that “Home Alone Face-Grabbing” thing though, and glad you have stopped. You have much too nice a face for that. ;-)

  30. Scott said at 6:48 am on

    Seems we need to have a standard by which we can ALL see, oh say, ten major things in common: the first two tablets were smashed, but we still have those ten commandments available along with a great summary of the first four to (a) love the Creator with all of our heart, soul, mind, body and then the other six summarized (b) to love our neighbors as we ourselves.

  31. Bob Burg said at 7:16 am on

    Scott: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I’m sure many would agree with you and many would disagree with you…based on their own personal belief systems. :-) I appreciate you joining the conversation!

  32. Scott said at 7:20 am on

    You’re welcome, Bob, and thanks for providing such a great open forum as, yes, your reply is a “case in point” to the whole matter. Continue to keep folks honest as the path along that “extra mile” is not crowded.

  33. Bob Burg said at 7:28 am on

    Appreciate ya’, Scott! :-)

  34. Scott said at 7:30 am on

    Likewise, my friend!

  35. Mike Paschen said at 9:56 am on

    Bob, again, I absolutely love your words! This has been a great reminder that while there are many “truths” there are far more “perspectives” of any given truth. The value this writing brings to me is while we do not necessarily need to understand all that makes another persons perspective “their perspective”, we do ourselves a great service by accepting that others will & are allowed to have a perspective different than or own. Thank you for sharing this.

  36. Bob Burg said at 10:00 am on

    Mike: WOW – I love everything you wrote. Excellent summation of the entire principle behind the post. Thank you for sharing with us!

  37. Michael said at 7:13 am on

    This is a rare post Bob. I am encouraged. Thank you for sharing.

  38. Bob Burg said at 5:48 pm on

    Michael, thank you for your very kind comment! So glad you found it to be helpful!

  39. German A Sanchez said at 9:26 pm on

    Great thoughts are being expressed here not sure I can offer anymore than what’s already been said. Although I do want to say how speaking of perceptions, beliefs and experiences reminds me of something Eckehart Tolle said about situations. I’m paraphrasing but he explains how experiences are simply that… Experiences! Nothing “good” or “bad” actually happens. All is relative to the experiencer! He adds that “your thoughts” about the situation, in this case beliefs and perceptions, are what cause the unhappiness not the situation itself. It’s humbling to understand how our minds enter cognitive bias and distort what we experience! Awesome post Bob and great discussion here!!!!!

  40. Bob Burg said at 9:32 pm on

    German: Thank you for joining the conversation. Great to have you with us. Yes, Eckhart Tolle is very wise indeed. While I might personally not go as far as him in his dismissal of “good and bad” I certainly understand – and agree with him – that 99.9 percent of the time it is much more about how we interpret “the thing” itself. Indeed, the thoughts we have about it are key. And, yes, understanding how little we know and how little we are actually conscious of, even when we know it, is very, very humbling. Thank you again for joining the discussion!

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