Seeing with new eyes

In the next two days between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day you may be exchanging gifts between you and loved ones. If today is a working day for you, perhaps there will be gifts exchanged between you and co-workers.

You may have drawn the name of a difficult family member or co-worker in the gift exchange. Perhaps this is the one time of the year you will see this person whom you have struggled to get along with. There may be history between the two of you where harsh words have been said and disagreements that have never been resolved.

Today, make the conscious choice to see that person with new eyes.

You see our brains have a natural tendency to focus on the negative. When we make the intentional effort to capture the good in that person, a positive shift happens in how you interact. You are able to see beyond the surface of an apparent gruffness, sarcasm, or criticism to a person of worth.

Here are five suggestions to see beyond the surface and focus on the good:

  1. Intentionally set aside past disagreements and negative opinions, and be open to who they are on the inside. A human being just like you who wants to belong, know they matter, and be accepted.
  2. Let your face show interest, compassion, and good will. Notice how you interact affects the response you get from the other person – perhaps in their tone, showing kindness, or a decrease in sarcasm.
  3. If you exchange gifts with this person, genuinely look into their eyes and express appreciation. If they received your gift, let your tone express how much you hope they like or enjoy it.
  4. Take in any moments of goodness from where you are standing, the expression on the other’s face, the feeling of positive sentiment. Imagine you are taking a snapshot in your mind to remember at a later time.
  5. Whatever the other person does or doesn’t do, be mindful of the person you want to be and deliberately choose your actions from there. When all is said and done, you are still responsible for your response regardless of how others behave. From this place of strength, you are deciding to end accusations and negative positions. When you do this, you will feel better and act better.

When you interact with difficult family or co-workers, make the Conscious Choice to see them through eyes of compassion, worth, and value.


Bonnie Artman Fox is a Mindfulness Trainer and Coach who has over twenty years in the healthcare and psychology fields. She specializes in helping Small Business Owners, Corporate Leaders and HR Professionals stay calm, be decisive, and lead by example. If you would like to improve your focus, presence, and inspiration as a Leader, contact Bonnie at 412.877.8331 or 

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