We judge, we all do.
We judge people who say things we wouldn’t, that do things we wouldn’t, who love things we don’t, buy things we find unworthy… We don’t understand why they say nor do so. We think they are wrong, leading us to think they are uneducated people or worse, bad people… unworthy of our attention and care.
Quite often, we react because it’s not what WE would do, think, love or buy. Because it doesn’t fit OUR way to see life, relations, communication, needs, responsibilities…
*** The “I am right you’re wrong” matter will be covered in another article, as it’s important to say that there is no Truth apart our own truth, which is different from other’s truth. And none of them is “truer” than the other ones, just different.
Other times, we judge because we don’t understand HOW can that person act / speak like this. It is such evidence for us what the good way to behave is, that we can’t figure out how he/she couldn’t know better. So again, we categorize the person as bad or unworthy, and we reject.
Let me share that little story
Take 2 children, one in first grade and the second in sixth. Have them face the same conflict, individually. Chances are that the sixth grade child will be more likely to be able to express his feelings and understand the other person’s side, as on the opposite, the first grade child may react more intensely and come to physical response.
Someone from the outside witnessing both responses will probably condemn the first grade child and reward the sixth grade child for his manners.
And it’s normal.
But does it mean the first grade child is wrong? Is he a bad person? Is his reaction worthy a punishment?
As I’m concerned, he is no worse or wrong…
He’s only in first grade!
This sixth grade child can count on an extra 5 years of experiences, learning and opportunities of personal growth. Maybe he would have reacted the exact same way when he was himself in first grade… or maybe worse! Who knows?
Can we judge the first grade child for reacting this way? What if it was the first time he ever had to deal with this kind of conflict? What if he just didn’t know better? What if he really tried, consciously, and did his best? Can we give him a chance? Can we help him do better the next time?
The sixth grade child is no “better” than the first grade one.
He only has a better quality toolbox.
The thing is we all have different quality toolboxes. They’ve been filled up by our parents, our family, the good (or bad) friends we had, the experiences we lived, the people we’ve met, and so many others things.
Society is made of people with various toolbox qualities
Not different worthy levels
Some of us were lucky enough to fill up our toolbox with good quality tools, as DeWALT drills or Victorinox knives. But for many others, they received tools from the dollar store.
Does it mean they are wrong people? Unworthy?
Maybe they just need time and help to improve their toolbox…!
Once you open yourself at the possibility that the person in front of you deals with a lower quality toolbox than yours, you open yourself to understanding, compassion, care and openness. You start thinking about how you could be of some help, which tip you could share, which tools you could improve in the other person’s toolbox…
You are now in an “opened and active” communication mode, instead of being in a “closed and rejection” mode. You can now open yourself to understand the other person’s reality, wounds, weaknesses, strengths, qualities, beauty… leading to a more comprehensive and respectful approach.
And guess what! The moment you switch to that mode, chances are the other person will likely change to that mode too. If not, then his toolbox is just not enough filled yet!
Important though, I am not asking you to change the other person’s toolbox, but to better understand it.
If your own toolbox is filled up with good communication skills, you may be able to share some tips the person will apply. Plus, if you’re opened enough, you may even find in his/her toolbox something you can improve in yours! As I said, we all have our own truth which is different from everyone else’s. 🙂
We can all learn from each other, and become better people.