Is it necessary to /permit/ oneself to understand another? I think that it is. Our first reaction to most of the statements which we hear from other people is an immediate evaluation, or judgment, rather than an understanding of it. When someone expredses some feeling or attitude or belief, our tendency is, almost immediately, to feel ‘That’s right; or ‘That’s stupid’; ‘That’s abnormal’; ‘That’s unreasonable’; ‘That’s incorrect’; ‘That’s not nice.’ Very rarely do we permit ourselves to understand precisely what the meaning of his statement is to him. I believe this is because understanding is risky. If I let myself really understand another person, I might be changed by that understanding. And we all fear change. So as I say, it is not an easy thing to permit oneself to understand an individual, to enter thoroughly and completely and empathically into his frame of reference. It is also a rare thing.
|—||Carl R Rogers, “On Becoming a Person”, pg.18|