Posted at 00:00h
“The most important trip you may take in life
is meeting people halfway.”
- Henry Boye
I have a confession to make.
I used to be super judgmental.
It’s hard to admit, but at one point in my life, I actually made it a point to focus on the reasons I didn’t
like someone. It was subtle of course, and I didn't even realize I was doing it at the time... but the first thing I searched for when meeting someone new was, “What don’t I like about you? In what negative ways are you different than me?”
I set my connections up for failure. And I did it all under the guise of being a quality person with high standards who simply didn’t have “room” in my life for anything less than extraordinary relationships.
Now don’t get me wrong… I absolutely recognize the importance of social discernment. The journey toward becoming our best selves undoubtedly entails associating with people and things that reflect and strengthen our most deeply held values.
And (being the science lover that I am) I see the evolutionary value of judging others, too. Historically, seeing someone who looked or acted differently than you was a red flag – a potential threat to your food, shelter, and other vital necessities.
So it’s easy to see how “being judgmental” has quite literally become an instinctual reflex.
But wake up in the 21st
century, and you’ll see that most of us are conditioned to judge others for no real reason or inherent benefit. We do it recklessly, for sport, without ever realizing that our own mental and emotional lives are what suffer the greatest consequences.
This was something I had to come to terms with in myself.
And throughout my quest to better understand the mechanism of judgment (and wield it more wisely), here are some of the most important things I’ve found to be true…