Most of the time, most of us will face people that are not ourselves (okay, and even ourselves) with preconceptions. If it is a stranger: What are they wearing? How are they presenting themselves? What are their gestures, the look in their eyes, their voice and choice of words? If it is a friend, relative or lover: What situations do we know them in? What have we experienced in relation with them? We will try to fit these traits in a concept in combination with our associations and previous experiences.
While this is natural and happens subconsciously, it also limits our present and subsequent experience with the person we are facing. With someone close to us, the preconception might be: I know them so well, if I say this or do that, they will react like this or that. The issue with this is that people are evolving constantly, we are complex systems that are undergoing transformations in any moment. Having known someone for years is, therefor, no guarantee of knowing their response.
With a stranger, we might limit the possibilities of the interaction right away by choosing to only show them a specific part of ourselves.
We decide in our minds that our counterpart would only be able to handle so much of what we think or do – of who we really are, in a nutshell.
If we start meeting each other as if we would understand each other,
it might just happen that we indeed will.
I have been experimenting with that lately, and my experiences are startling. Turns out that, when I confront people with what is true to me, more often than not, I will be presented with a surprising amount of understanding. The trust I put in the other person by showing them my real self in that moment is received and comes back. I do not act as if they couldn’t handle it, and the respect I show them by leaving the choice to them if and how they want to handle it reflects back. People are more capable than you or they would know.
In addition to learning to be able to speak your true self, practicing this kind of trust and confrontation might open up unexpected new connections to you, quicker and deeper than you would have thought are possible. I have been getting quite some glimpses of it already.