“You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view”. – Harper Lee
I love this quote and have to remind myself quite often not to judge someone before actually getting to know them. You never know what someone has experienced until you can understand it from their point of view.
In the past I caught myself judging others very quickly and could have have been very wrong, unfortunately the opportunity to get to know them has passed.
I attended a conference a while ago and there was an exercise during this conference that hit me hard and made a clear point about how I think and how far off my thinking is when it comes to people I do not know.
During the exercise you were instructed to look around the room and find someone that you may not like, we were instructed to do what most of us do so frequently without even thinking about it. This time we were asked to consciously think about it. It could be for any number of reasons; hair color, the way they smile, the way they talk, they may remind you of someone, their laugh, etc.
Take a good look at that person…. And now walk up to them! huh! walk up to them..
Now at this point my palms began to sweat and my heart stopped as I approached this gentleman, everything I was thinking about him that I couldn’t stand was flashing through my mind. Wow, now he is going to know I have an issue with him.
10 minutes after meeting him and getting to know him I couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
He was an amazing man with an incredible life story and I was wrong. Not only was I wrong, what I believed began to crumble. The thought process I believed in so much, the thought that “I know people” could be wrong.
I had this process down too, so I thought. It’s what I told myself to justify being right, I would say to myself “he is creepy and I don’t like him” and in most cases would have not ever approached him to find out, therefore being right.
In this case I was very wrong, and it made me question all the others during my life that I judged, disregarded and never gave a chance to know.
I began to question myself and my beliefs about “knowing how to read people” and I’m not going to lie, I still judge people with one exception. Now I give more of them a chance by meeting them and finding out if I’m wrong or not. I am in most cases wrong now.
People are not the monsters I make them out to be in my head, yes there are still the people that drive me crazy but that’s inevitable. Our judgments end up saying more about who we are than who we judge.
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