I’m an incredibly judgmental person.
Not in the sense that I dislike someone for what they are wearing, their socioeconomic status, the color of their hair, or their job.
I judge a person’s character on how they drive. If you are a bad driver, I secretly want retribution to find you. Put down the cell phone. Stay in your lane. PAY ATTENTION. Are these too hard to ask?!
I judge a person by the way they treat wait staff at a restaurant. If you do not acknowledge the person that is bringing you your food, and you do not use your manners when they refill your glass and bring you more tortilla chips for your third run to the salsa bar, I will secretly think that’s you’re not quite Satan but maybe some other loser demon that does all of the lackey work around the office.
Here’s a hot one that’ll push some buttons. I will judge you for smoking cigarettes. I think they are disgusting and proven to kill you. I’ve seen how addicted people can become to them and will choose buying a pack of cigarettes over buying food and drink or their kid. Both of my parents smoked, and I have an overwhelming disdain for it.
Let’s take a step back for a second.
It’s easy for me cast out these judgments and proceed to be offended by the fact that others aren’t going to do things the way I would do them. However, what does it accomplish? Who does it benefit?
I work hard on re-framing my thinking. If someone is driving super fast and switching in and out of lanes, I try to think “Well, maybe his wife has just gone into labor, and he’s trying to get to her.”
The person who hasn’t looked up at their waiter may be severely depressed and finding the words to say require too much energy. He may be sitting in a complete daze not even able to concentrate on what is going on around him, let alone say thank you every time someone refills his cup.
People who smoke all have different reasons for why they do it despite the known health risks. Someone may be smoking because they needed to trade an addiction to a more dangerous substance to cigarettes. Someone may be very lonely, and that cigarette provides them with enough comfort to keep moving.
My judginess began to shift the more familiar I became with mental illness. I found myself to be more empathetic in seeing why people do things the way that they do instead of getting worked up over why they just don’t see it my way which is more efficient, well thought-out, and just all around better for the world at large (I have a chronic case of Imalwaysrightus that likes to flair up from time to time.
Tomorrow I’m going to share with you some specific examples from my life where I deliberately chose to shift my perspective about someone(s), and how it liberated me from one link in this chain of mental illness.
Thanks for stopping by my comfy corner. Come back again tomorrow night as I share a bit about childhood trauma and its affect on me as an adult.