I've been thinking a lot this week about how I judge people. Based on what someone is wearing and their overall appearance I will quickly put them into a group; such as class or ethnicity/race. Based on their actions and the location I'm in, I may make other judgments (for example, if I am walking down a street alone at night, I'll be fearful of anyone walking close by).
When someone says 'you are so judgmental' I believe they are saying 'you are making decisions about who I am before really getting to know me'. So in that sense, I believe that judging a person can be an opposition to empathy.
I don't usually consider myself a judgmental person. However, I am trying to build up my empathy. So recently, when I read this article, it got me thinking about my own rushes to judgment. The story is about a woman who did a series of self-portraits, which captured people judging her based on her appearance. What I found most striking about the article was how it seemed to be so easy for her to find images that contained these judging looks from strangers. Was I like them, so quick to judge? Was I giving strange looks to strangers?
There was another interesting story from 2012 about a woman who had been ridiculed for her weight online. She was a video blogger, so she, of course, made an excellent video response to her critics. One thing that she said in her response stood out to me - that when you see a person, remember, you don't know where they are in their journey. I think this can be applied for any of my judgmental behavior.
So I've resolved to try to break this habit of judgement. To see the person and not their appearance.
I'm doing it by focusing on a person's eyes and facial expressions before I do anything else. I have been trying to avoid looking at what people are wearing or how their bodies look, and to try to see them as people first.
Judging seems to be the path to fear, and it's much easier for me to feel fear by pushing people away rather than bringing them closer. This is part of my own journey, what I'm trying to do.
Thanks for listening. Please add your comments below (anonymous comments welcome).
- ► 2015 (12)
- ► 2014 (29)
- ▼ February (8)