Research shows that we don't see what our eyes see. Instead, we see what our brain thinks we are seeing. Your brain tells your eyes what it wants to see, and when the eyes obey, the brain believes what they show. We often see, hear and believe the details that confirm our preset beliefs.
Our beliefs guide our preferences. In turn, our preferences direct our words and actions, which eventually shape our lives. That makes how and what we see important to our lives and those of others who depend on us.
Most of us don't realize that we're so biased. We do not recognize our blind spots; we believe we are rational. Not realizing that what we believe is just one aspect of the complete truth, we become anchored in our version. Our truth becomes an integral part of our being. Defending it becomes our mission, even if it means creating conflicts with others.
Conflicts happen when both sides feel wronged and try to right that wrong. In conflicts, the two parties protect their versions of the truth. When this happens, each person can become blind and deaf to what the other person sees and hears.
We can avoid conflicts once we realize that our individual truth is just one version of reality, not necessarily the right or complete version. When you stand rigid on your post, most others look unreasonable. When you realize this, you can change your default assumption from, "You are wrong and I am right" to, "We both could be right."
We have the ability to make this change. I have the ability to change my anxiety-provoking negative bias to goodness-seeking, positive bias. Research shows that once we train ourselves to look for the positive, we start finding more positive in the world around us. By training yourself to look for the positive, you can develop more positive emotions, better social connections, and greater prosocial behavior.
The next time you realize that you're looking at a situation with a negative bias, strive to overcome this bias by seeking what is right in others. In time, you will default to peace. And when we all look at each other and seek what is right in the other person, the world will default to peace.
May the world notice the good within you; may you notice the good in the world.