I wish that I could automatically think the best of people and situations, but I confess that I do not. Recently, I was talking with my husband about how someone was annoying me. He turned to me with the bluntness I love.
“You’re awfully judgy. What did they ever do to you?”
I was silent for a few minutes, but the need to defend myself as a “nice person” overwhelmed the wisdom of silence.
“I’m not being judgy! Don’t you think that…” I listed the person’s faults as I saw them.
My husband just looked at me.
“Okay, I see what you are saying.” Even as the words poured out of me, I felt tainted by them. I was saying unkind things that were really just assumptions of someone’s character with no concept for their background or personal situation.
This morning, we had a stimulating discussion that was a follow-up to the cognitive behavioral therapy techniques we had used from last week’s class (http://elizabethauwarter.com/2018/03/19/getting-out-of-the-pit/). One particular story struck me as a perfect example of how we must not judge others.
A man in the class shared a story of how he was annoyed with another driver for passing him on the shoulder in terrible traffic. His thought was, “Typical BMW driver.” As he drove on, he passed this same BMW on the shoulder. The person inside the BMW had scrubs on and was helping at the scene of an accident.
I never know other people’s stories. I must not make the mistake of thinking that I do. I hope that I remember this lesson as I continue this week.
Do you have a story of when you misjudged someone? Did someone misjudge you? Did you ever hear a judgment about someone that you later found out was not true? Do you have techniques you use to stop yourself from judging others? Please comment below. I would love to hear your story!