Monday, January 8, 2018

Be Curious, Not Judgmental

For me, it is very important to continue to work on not being judgmental. Certainly, I do not want to stifle my curiosity, and yes there is a way. In fact, curiosity can actually help us be less judgmental. I can hear all of the, "How can this be?" from readers. I have heard it all face to face with friends in conversations.

Let me share a few examples with you. First thing I do is to try to walk in their shoes, which will give them the benefit of the doubt. Let's say that you have a tailgater while driving. Instead of yelling four letter words at him and getting your own blood pressure up, why not think of this poor soul having a boss that may fire him if he is late for work. Then just scoot over and let him pass you. 

Another perfect scenario that we all have experienced is a rather rude salesperson or cashier. Mentally, I used to be thinking some rather nasty thoughts about this person, but just for a moment try turning your thought process around. Maybe they are having to work double time due to another worker calling in ill or maybe they had to leave a sick child at home or even maybe they are not feeling so well. Talking to them gruffly is not going to get you any better service. Perhaps asking them if there is anything that you can do to help them may show them that there is someone who cared enough to ask. It also may help them recognize how their behavior appears to others.

The big picture that I try to look at is that judgments are assumptions, not truths. Being curious is a much more gentle way to approach most situations. It tends to give you a reason that you should not be taking another person's behavior personally. It is not all about me. The other person has a story that deserves not to be judged.

Being curious is using our own critical thinking skills of analyzing, evaluating, problem solving and questioning. It seems always to keep me in a better frame of mind than judging others. Who am I to judge?

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