Can you think of a time when you jumped to conclusions about someone because someone else said something not so nice about them, but after getting to know them for yourself you realize that this person is not so bad after all? Did that experience teach you anything?
Listening to not so nice stories about others causes us to develop pre-conceived ideas and hence judge others unfairly. The truth is people will always have an opinion about others. The experience you have with someone may not be the same as someone else. Your interaction with someone at a particular instance can depend on the following amongst others:
- State of mind or psychological state
- Place of meeting/location (environment)
- Sense of self (self-esteem)
- Character (introvert/extrovert)
- Communication skills
- Point in your life
It is always easy to label someone based on too little information or interaction. We cannot know the thoughts and challenges of others with minimal interaction with them. Avoiding judgment is difficult but yet critical in maintaining a more positive outlook on life.
Every interaction with someone is important. It is an opportunity to get to know someone, who like you is trying to make the most of their life. Being more accepting of the goodness in yourself will allow you to approach others with a more open mind.
Can you think of a time when you have been judged by someone? I have! Too often in fact!
In conversation with a friend, I made while studying for my PhD; she mentioned that she had met someone from St. Lucia, who indicated that she “knew” me in Trinidad when I was doing by BSc. She indicated that she was not too fond of me, and that most people were not either. My friend who had a completely different perception of me was indeed shocked and that is why she mentioned it to me.
Oh well! I have been so often misunderstood, that at times I had this begging feeling to be understood. But as I grew up I realized that it was not my loss. In fact I felt it is just unfortunate to deprive yourself the opportunity to get to know someone for who they are.
What you say about others is also a reflection of who you are. Therefore, when you are busy trying to paint a dark and dismal picture the observer is also trying to paint a picture of you. So while painting a picture of others, you are also saying something about you; YOU ARE PAINTING YOUR PICTURE, so make it a good one!