Through Whose Eyes?

I saw this Facebook post today from my good friend Tamyra Bourgeois, a psychotherapist and author of “Once Upon A Blue Moon: Memoirs of a Woman in the Middle of Her Life”.

From Tamyra:

“I had a favorable opinion of someone, and the person I was with did not. They starting spewing negative assessments about that person to me. And with great clarity, I stopped them and said; “I feel you would rather I see this person through your eyes and not my own. I’m not willing to do that.”
The person with me fell silent and didn’t speak about that other person again. I felt really empowered and clean, and living in my inner integrity. Not every time I have an exchange like this do I catch myself. Too often I pretend to agree. But I feel I’m growing up in this way. I feel good about that.”

Reading her post made me reflect on how often that dynamic pops up in conversation. Tamyra nailed it as an invitation to see a situation or person the way the other person sees it. It can be indulgent to vent and it’s a natural human tendency to surround ourselves with those who agree with us. I certainly grant someone the right to their opinion, but occasionally find myself at a loss for words when someone is spewing. I don’t want to join in and usually either say nothing (which leaves me feeling a little cheesy at not having defended someone) or simply, “I don’t see it that way,” which almost seems like a version of “Yeah she is”, “No she isn’t”, “Yeah she is”. I like Tamyra’s wording, and will likely adopt it.

Any time we can clearly state the essence of the dynamic that is actually happening instead of what is just being talked about, it has the ring of clarity and avoids making the other person wrong.

Given a choice, wouldn’t you rather someone see you through loving eyes than critical ones? Choosing our words thoughtfully is Love Applied.



  1. Charles Elliott says:

    Good thoughts and words your “Choosing our words thoughtfully is Love Applied.” Read this one the other day: Not being judgmental is an act of heartful optimism. Petty hurtful is a slippery slope. I suspect we often do it without being thougtful, which makes your advice all the more true, helpful, and heartful. Thanks for the reminder to be nice.

    • melinda! says:

      I like ‘heartful optimism’, Charles, what a beautiful way to put it. We affect each other (and ourselves) more than we realize!

  2. I’m honored that my post was meaningful to you.
    On that particular day, I was quiet in my body, and listening to the intention under his statement, and could hear the request he was making to change my mind about how I saw this other person. And what was cool about my response is that I didn’t say it with my usual sarcasm. I said it instead with a lot of empathy and dignity and love.

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