I am writing a small essay wherein I want to urge the reader to "look at his problem from the other person's perspective" (to understand why the other person is behaving in a particular way).

Example: (just making this up, not from my actual essay, which is somewhat ... uhm, confidential)

Jane: My husband is always late from work, and he even works weekends. He never seems to have time for me.
Friend: I have sympathies for you. However, try looking at this from his perspective. Well paying jobs are hard to come by, and he needs the overtime to build a good future for your family.

Is there a more "flowery" or idiomatic expression I could use to replace the italicized phrase?

I used to occasionally use put the boot on the other foot, but I recently realized that it doesn't mean what I thought it meant.

2 Answers 2


Looking at this from his perspective sounds good to me. You could also say

  • putting yourself in his position
  • looking at it through his eyes.

If you really want an idiom, in addition to putting yourself in his shoes, you could try walking a mile in his shoes:

walk a mile in (someone's) shoes
To spend time trying to consider or understand another person's perspectives, experiences, or motivations before making a judgment about them. I know that certain people can come across as selfish or mean-spirited, but you should try walking a mile in their shoes before you dismiss them too quickly.


put oneself in someone's shoes or in someone's place are the only expressions that come to my mind.

  • Are they formal expressions ? Can they be used in academic writing ? Jan 23, 2017 at 0:48

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