It is so hard not to be judgmental – we are all dying to give our opinion on everything, whether it’s asked of us or not. “Here’s my two cents on the subject” (“Didn’t ask you for it”); “If you want to know what I think about it…” (“Um, no not really…”); “I can’t believe that you don’t know…” (“I can’t believe you just said that”); “In my opinion you should…” (“So who asked for your opinion?”).
We pass judgment on everything, and of course our blessed opinion is always right simply because in our mind, our judgments are just so darn good! We have the best common sense and we need to leave our influence on our little corner of the world, if indeed anyone cares to listen.
Here’s the problem: while we are busily judging others we are also scared that they are judging us right back, and not always in a positive way.
“I wonder if she thinks I’m fat?”
“Is he looking at me funny? What’s he looking at anyway? What’s wrong with me?”
“What did she mean by that comment?”
“His tone was a rather harsh. What does he think I’ve done now?”
Most times this paranoia is unwarranted, but we don’t know it. The look we perceive as “funny” is just a look, the comment is an innocent one, the tone is influenced by something outside of us and has nothing to do with the interaction.
What a relief if you can just unload all the judgment and let things go. Let life happen without worrying about every little thing, without over thinking things, injecting undue gravity where their need be none. Trusting that if seriousness is warranted, it will be requested. What a far better way to live your life.
Frontloading this change with the important relationships in your life is so helpful. Before departing on that long family vacation, before any squabbles begin, how about announcing, “Let’s have a fun trip by deciding in advance that no one is out to hurt anyone else’s feelings. We agree to treat each other with respect and honesty and will give each other the benefit of assuming best intentions.”
By being proactive and setting this up in advance it should eliminate accusations down the road of, “You can’t tell her anything – she just wants everything her own way” and “I’m so sick of his games – he says one thing but means another” and many of the other ridiculous tirades that ‘loving groups’ in close proximity inevitably engage in, as they get on each other’s nerves.