Expand Your Perspective

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

In challenging times, it is important to remain flexible and see the situation from multiple points of view. Unfortunately, the ability to tolerate differences in others tends to diminish when people are stressed. It then becomes easy to react negatively to the differences in others, rather than positively to the adversity at hand.

Gaining the ability to consider the perspectives of others in stressful situations can help resolve conflict and ease intense emotions. So be curious and keep an open mind so you can listen and truly understand. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and broaden your perspective.

 

Ask Yourself:

  • Is the way I’m thinking helpful? Will it bring about positive change?
  • What are some other points-of-view? How might someone else think or feel about this?
  • If I look at the bigger/smaller picture, does my perspective change?
  • What evidence do I have that what I’m thinking is really true? What is the evidence against it?
  • Is my thinking fact or opinion? A want or a need?
  • Will this matter a year from now?
  • What is the worst/best/most likely outcome here? If the worst did happen, how could I cope?
  • Is there anything I can do about this right now? If yes, take appropriate action. If no, accept and move on.
  • What would I tell a friend in this situation? (perhaps follow this advice)

 

Resources:

Lyceum Speaker Series - The Lyceum Speaker Series provides cultural enrichment and educational opportunities for all in the WSU community. 

KEAP Diversity Center - Check out events and programs by the KEAP Diversity Center to explore and expand your perspective. 

Engage Winona - Connect with other people from our community for open conversations on how we can make the world a better place. 

Winona Area Support Groups - Groups and support are a great way to expand your perspective as you talk through the tough stuff (and the great) stuff in a group setting. 

5 Apps that Will Increase Your Kindness Quotient - Expand your perspective by challenging yourself to act in kindness. 

Random Acts of Kindness - Take action to gain perspective and become a "raktivist."

Taking Perspective Worksheet (PDF) - Work through this exercise to gain new perspective on a time when you disagreed with someone.