“She looks bigger. You think she gained weight?”
I have a question repeating to me over and over again that I wish I could answer: why do we care? Why do we care what others do? Or how small they are? Or what they are drinking? Or what job they do or don’t have today?
It’s not me.
So, why do I care? Why do we care?
Nearly every day I hear someone judge another. Whether it is weight-related, job-related, or some other attribute, so many of us seem to be fixated on the characteristics of others. Money, flashiness, makeup, fitness, how much food we eat, what we do in our free time, how often we are with our family…the list goes on.
We tend to judge others in the same categories that we judge ourselves. If we feel we are overweight or slightly underweight, we pick out those characteristics in our acquaintances. If we think we are not smart, we rationalize that “being smart makes you boring.” If we dislike the shape of our eyebrows, well, we will stare bug-eyed at the shape of other people’s eyebrows–noticing the shape, size, length, and so on.
Judgment usually stems from some insecurity or vulnerability we have within. Instead, turn the mirror. See if there’s something in you that you can take action to change in order to appreciate this piece of yourself. Sometimes, it is simply just to accept your perfect imperfection.
Whenever I feel myself start to judge, I stop myself and say: what is this person reflecting back at me about myself?
Judgment also feels pretty darn crummy. When I overheard someone commenting on another recently, admittedly and shamefully, at first I instinctively agreed. Then, I realized how outrageously horrible I felt. My stomach clenched and my throat clogged up. I wanted to crawl into a tiny hole and write an elaborate apology to the person who had no idea what I had only thought.
Rather, I have chosen to love and accept those around me, or at least tolerate them so that their actions don’t affect my own health and well-being. People who judge less are naturally more likable, more attractive, and healthier. Not to mention, it makes you feel better.
If you are going to judge on anything, judge on the way you feel when you are with the person. If he makes you feel happy, engaged, alive, fun, and appreciated, then who cares what she looks like or what he does for a living. That makes her a friend in my book.