In this second episode of JTF Homefront, Jamie discusses the recent government shutdown and introduces the strategy of perspective management for handling this and other stressful situations facing us on the Homefront.
Suggested Strategy for Managing Perspective (on life, on relationships, on stressful situations):
- Take a moment to observe that your own perspective is one of many.
NOTE: this is not an exercise of “who is worse off than me”, it’s simply a way to put ourselves in the present and open ourselves up to the existence of other people’s experiences who may be going through the same things we are or living life in the same community as us be it the military or our neighborhood.
- Take time to think about where your own perspective comes from.
Instead of challenging or arguing about the perspectives of others, think about your own perspective. Where do your views come from? What’s motivating you to hold to those viewpoints?
- If empathy (trying to relate to how others feel) is too challenging, try perspective taking.
Sometimes as military partners, we are already burned out of emoting whether we realize it or not. We feel our own joys and pains (maybe in separations or deployments), we feel the joys and pains of our children or our partners who are on the front lines or back at home keeping our lives “together”. If you feel like you’ve got nothing left to give, try perspective taking, or considering what others are THINKING and where their interests reside.
Perspective Taking vs. Empathy
- Manage your understanding of perspectives before engaging with others as you problem solve.
Consider the perspectives of everyone involved before engaging others in your attempts to solve the dilemma. Before asking someone else a question about information they’ve shared, think about how many other people that individual is having to engage with and see if what’s been provided already answers your questions. Consider the work loads of others, the stress levels of others, what they might be thinking and dealing with as well.