I just found some material that ties into a previous post that I did on layers. Are you a center of influence person, or are you a center of attention person? Don’t answer too quickly; wait until I explain and then think through your answer. In the previous post on layers, I spoke about people’s fears and how they start to build up protective layers because of those fears. Then they build up layers on top of those layers to keep anyone from even getting close to those fears. These layers determine the way people respond and act under different circumstances. This new information provides a great example of how to identify if you have built up layers and maybe don’t know it. It also helps show you how you will think when you minimize the number of fears you have, which in turn, will eliminate layers.
A center of influence person is aware that every thought, emotion, word, and behavior he expresses has an effect. If you are a center of influence person, you understand that you set the tone for your relationships. You take responsibility for how you interact with others and how they treat you. You cannot control what other people think or how they behave, yet your beliefs and behavior serve to teach others how they should treat you. If you are in a difficult situation with someone, you ask yourself, “What effect did my communication have on that person and that situation?” As a center of influence person, you see others in terms of their needs, not yours. And you acknowledge the way you feel and recognize that you are the cause.
As a center of attention person, you emanate fear and see other people according to what they have done to you or what they should be doing for you. Emotionally, you believe others should change to meet your needs and wants—that others should fit your ideas and beliefs in order for you to feel complete. The world must conform to your expectations. When it does conform to your expectations, you say that things are going well. When it doesn’t, you are unhappy. When your well-being comes from outside of you, there is always a fear that you won’t get what you need or want. You see the world as having caused you to feel hurt or angry.
If you are a center of influence person, then you operate with very few layers. If you are a center of attention person, then you still have many layers that need to be worked on and removed. It is easy to look at specific situations in our lives and say, “I get along great with people” or “I do think of others.” We think of people we like or situations that are in our favor, and we can easily convince ourselves that we don’t have many layers. But the way to analyze this is to think of people we don’t get along with, people that have different opinions than ours, and situations that are not in our favor. Does your opinion of those people change, or do you try to understand why they think the way they do? Do you blame the situation for why you didn’t do what you were supposed to do? Another way to analyze this is to look at your long-term relationships. Do you keep many, or do you lose most of them? People with few layers keep many long-term relationships because their happiness and self-assurance are not affected by other people. They can easily be around people that have different opinions and beliefs because they are secure with themselves and who they are. They don’t feel the need to defend themselves, so in turn, they don’t violate the relationship.
So how do we remove the layers we have? There are four steps that help accomplish this goal. 1) Start reading self-development books and gain an understanding of human nature. 2) Work at something and build your self-esteem. 3) Find a mentor that can help you identify your layers or blind spots. 4) After interactions with others, analyze why you reacted the way that you did. The purpose of these four steps is not to learn some new technique, but rather to give you a different perspective. People skills alone will not change you from a center of attention person to a center of influence person. Somewhere in you, there is a layer ( pre-supposition) that is affecting how you behave, and the goal is to root it out. Only gaining a new perspective and being secure with who you are will allow you to be confident in your interactions with others.