Have you ever heard the term Sonder? Something that is often missing in our daily life but dangerous


When was the last time you took a moment to fully understand the situation of the people around you?

How much do we know about the people who work with us? How much from the cashier in the minimarket? From the grandma we usually see at the train stop?

In order to put a word to this emotion, John Koenig, in his project The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows in 2012, coined the term Sonder referring to the realization that each passerby has a life as vivid and complex as ours.


We live focused on our reality, constantly thinking about what is best for us, comparing our life with others in social media with a hint of envy on many occasions; or feeling sadness seeing a commercials focused on the situation of less fortunate, with calls to action but never connecting in depth with us, giving us a feeling of helplessness since there is not much we can do.

The situation is very different when it comes to a person who lives near us. The butcher very possibly have studied nearby, he may have in our same school. The grandmother at the train station could have five grandchildren, has been widowed, and has vacationed twenty years ago in the same place we are planning to go this summer.

Without going too far, the person who works in front of us has a life as complex as ours, but many times we don't realize it because we are used to focusing on our own results, the end of the week and the new TV series in Netflix.

Synergy is visualized as the union of forces to achieve something bigger, and many times it is called for in the moment we need to obtain immediate results, but we never encourage understanding each other better, so that the machine can be in constant optimal operation.

Of course, not constantly considering the complexity of others is a survival instinct. The level of mental stress would be enormous either by knowing that there is so much we could do for others but timely can’t, or simply the feeling of helplessness by not being able to do anything.

But, what could this term mean to me?

The realization of this emotion can help us improve our relationships, but it all depends on the steps we take in the future.


You have to see the big picture to be able to shrink and enhance it. Right now, as much as we want, we will not be able to do anything on a large scale unless you are in a privileged position with resources, but even so that does not mean that our actions can’t have a respective impact.

The human being has finite energy, and has even less to perform activities that don’t bring immediate benefits, but the interesting thing is that cheating ourselves is a very simple task.

Let's start with something simple to get to know people around us, whether in the office, school, hospital (I am not saying that in other places they can’t be used, but I think that the supermarket cashier will not usually answer you in a pleasant way), aim to ask these questions (focus on one person per day):

· Where did you study?

· Do you have siblings? Any children?

· What is your favorite vacation spot?


Once they have answered you try to visualize that person in those places, with those people, in those situations, but not from a third person point of view, but as if you were that person and try to think about how they would react. How was that childhood? What did you think of that summer resort?


Many times we have superficial conversations because we don’t visualize those nuances in people. We talk about minimal and sufficient things to be able to ask for something without making them feel bad. I even know people who are going straight to the point without doing the rapport dance. Being able to see more is what will really allow us to make a change in the people around us directly and on time, opening the door for others to help us, generating important bonds and allowing us to enjoy every relationship more.

We don’t open doors due to fear of commitment of starting a new relationship, but we don’t realize that they can end up being pillars that enrich our daily life. Just as we can take a perspective on the life of others, they can visualize our own, reaching a meeting point, understanding that we are not alone in the things we feel.

Perhaps we are missing out on great friendships, hidden accomplices, suffering companions, simply because we look only at empty spaces, we don’t make eye contact, avoiding committing to potential adventures.

The most terrifying reality in the universe is not that it is hostile, but that it is indifferent.

How conscious are you of the people around you?

Feel it!!!



#personaldevelopment #motivation #workenvironmebt #workhelath #humanpotential #emotionalintelligence #re_creandote #sientelo #empathy #mindfulness #humanresources #culturaltransformation #businessculture #meditation #efr

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