Blindside has only two definitions in each of the dictionaries (Collins, dictionary.com, Oxford, and Merriam-Webster). This is a little surprising considering that most words usually have various definitions.
One meaning of Blindside relates to sports, “to tackle, hit, or attack (an opponent) from the blind side.” The other, is considered an informal word used, and means “to attack critically where a person is vulnerable, uninformed, etc.”
I love the Oxford’s definition better though;
“to attack someone from the direction where they cannot see you coming” and “to give someone an unpleasant surprise.”
There’s the movie, The Blind Side, which relates to the first definition. This post is about the second.
We all tend to focus on one or two things in life and neglect other equally important areas. Good if it’s for a period of time and we suddenly catch ourselves and change. Unfortunately there are those who are unaware and live it perpetually.
Those neglected areas often hunt, bite, or unexpectedly attack us and we are unpleasantly surprised by the neglect. These are life blindsides.
- Some folks may focus on their career or business and ignore relationships or personal finances. Or vice versa.
- In dating, some may chase the “obviously” handsome or beautiful and ignore those with flawless characters carbons-metamorphosing-into-diamonds.
- In friendships, we sometimes focus on certain gregarious and extroverted folks while paying little, or no, attention to subtle niceties and empathetic affections of the introverts.
- In businesses or at work, sometimes the boss focuses on one employee to the detriment of the team, and the unhappy employee(s) bailout. Most often it is the team that produces the result, but the one employee who gets all the focus becomes unproductive without the rest. By the time new employees are hired, productivity would have suffered and the employee would have burnt out.
- In families, most dads are present, but barely engaged in the affairs of their children; they think that leaving the ‘dough’ on the table equates fatherhood; yet the moms that are readily available and accessible seem to be taken for granted. What a life!
Worse yet, we’re able to see clearly how another person is ignoring an area of their life, but blind to ours. Can you relate?
By the time we realize that we’ve left an unattended area for too long, it’s often too late.
I have been blindsided a few times in the course of my life. But this recent one stood out. How or why? Because I heard it loud in my spirit: “you’re so focused on that, but you’ve ignored this!” This and that were two personal things (or issues, if I may call them that, that were supposed to happen on my recent birthday.) The truth was that I was indeed focused on one and totally ignored the other. But with “hearing,” I now changed, and all was well. How I wish I could hear that 24/7 or whenever I’m faced with a decision. How great that would be.
That was the Holy Spirit ministering to me days before my birthday last month. without which I wouldn’t have had the good day that I had,
Effects of Blindsides
Blindsides are painful and unnecessary because we know they could have been avoided. Communication, the act of talking and active listening, is a necessity in life scenarios. In the examples given above, on one hand, one person is unhappy, uncommunicative, and checks out. Another is feeling in, but rejected and surprised by the blindside. What’s going on?
How to avoid being blindsided
The more self-aware you are, the easier it will be to understand the motives of others.Jill Weber
- Be vigilant. Know yourself, express your emotions, and learn to know others and their emotions. It is by so doing, that you can catch the feelings or reactions of others when something is wrong.
- Never take anyone for granted. Unfortunately, though ironic, is that those who readily offer help and are readily available and accessible are taken for granted. Why, beats me. Eventually those taken for granted will realize that they are and will not be there when you need them the most because they got tired of being a doormat.
- Communicate to avoid the unpleasant surprises. Everyone is talking and few are actually listening. In families, relationships, at work, or in business, learn to communicate and ensure that everyone understands the message you’re sending.
- Ask for feedbacks. Pairing your communications with feedbacks helps reinforce a clear message and that all are on the same page. Also be ready to receive both the positive and negative feedbacks. You might not agree with all, but be accepting of them, else people will not want to give you feedbacks again.
- Have a vision and be far-sighted. Where do you want to be in X years? How are you getting there? Who’s helping you get there? Having answers to these early will help you stay on track and minimize sidetracks.
Being farsighted is both a wellspring of new opportunities and a buffer against disruption.IMD
- Be relevant and present by regularly weighing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). For example, being aware of your weakness(es) might help you avoid certain places, people, or things.
Doing the above six can help you avoid being blindsided.
Have you ever been blindsided? Did you realize that you were while in the process, or you did in hindsight? Leave a comment if you please. Thanks.