While growing I know we are told to be slow to judge. As I grow older, the more I am beginning to believe that a more accurate statement should be “be slower to judge”. This is what I mean.
In my work as a coach, I have privately listened to stories of hurt, heart break, humiliation and anything in between.
Our past shapes our world view. For example, a person who grew up under a lot of love, warmth, smiles and positive affirmations will automatically look at life and people with a positive outlook.
A person who grew up under hate, abuse, being told they will never amount to anything will look at life with a cautious view and most likely an unhealthy outlook towards humanity.
So, whereas before I would look at someone with a sad demeanour and quickly judge them as being negative, now I use a different approach.
I might think to myself – “I am curious as to what could be going on in her/his inner world?” Or, I could think – “I wonder what could be influencing him/her to appear this way?”
Part of what has influenced my thinking is a quote I came across a few years ago – “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” Philo.
The beauty with this kind of thought process is that next time you are engaging a person, rather than quickly putting them in a ‘box’ (read judgment), you will instead be open to understand them.
The moment you are slower to judge but instead curious enough to be more understanding, then you get a picture that is closer to the truth rather than judgmental impressions which could be wrong.
So, how slower are you going to be when it comes to judging people?