W.I.N. Wednesday: Judge Tenderly
“Judge tenderly, if you must. There is usually a side you have not heard, a story you know nothing about, and a battle waged that you are not having to fight.”
Traci Lea LaRussa
It is easy to judge and label others. Based on one brief interaction in traffic, in a store, in the lineup at the bank or in a restaurant we judge and label people as jerks, assholes, ignorant, entitled, self centred, rude, lazy or a bad parent.
Those same people may very well be judging you based on your reaction, your attitude towards them, your body language or the scowl on your face.
What you do not know based on those brief snippets in time is the full story and the true person. You have no idea what they are dealing with at that moment, or in their life. You have no idea how much physical or emotional pain they are in, what loss they have recently suffered, the fact they are sleep deprived because they have a full time job to pay the bills and a second full time job looking after a dying spouse or child or aging parents.
You have no idea if they have just lost their job, their life savings, their home or access to their children in an ugly divorce. You have no idea if they just lost a loved one to cancer. You have no idea if they are a first responder, medical professional or military veteran dealing with PTSD.
I know I have judged and labeled. I know on my bad days others have judged and labelled me.
I have heard Brene Brown and a number of others say they strive to live by the belief that people are doing the best they can. In that moment people are doing the best they can with the tools they have and the challenges they are facing.
If you embrace the “They are doing the best they can.” philosophy you will be willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. When you are willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, and it is not always easy, it will change the way you react and respond. That change in you may just change the entire interaction with that person. Even if it does not change the interaction it will change how you feel in the moment and how you feel as you move on with your day. Feeling empathy will impact you far differently than feeling scorn, disgust or anger.
What’s Important Now? Give people the benefit of the doubt. Believe they are doing the best they can
Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?
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