I got to thinking about judging those around us. We all do it. We all will keep doing it. But if we can remember that we don’t really know what’s going on unless we “walk in that person’s shoes,” we can tweak those judgemental attitudes just a bit. We won’t be perfect–but we can be slightly more accepting.

Let me explain something that happened recently. I met a new girl who will be around me often. (There will be no specifics.) And she doesn’t smile a lot. She seems aloof and not happy; she is shy and does not talk much. In fact, she seems scared most of the time! I couldn’t figure her out… until I realized something in myself. Basically, she is me. At least, until you get to know me.

Of course, like the human being I am, I took this as her being upset or unhappy or angry. But after getting to know her a bit more, I realized that wasn’t the case. She’s just shy and doesn’t open up right away…. just like me! I judged way too soon… as I’m sure others do with me, with my chronic resting bitch face. Honestly, I feel horrible for judging someone like that; I get so offended when people around me seem off-put by my naturally stoic and reserved manner. (We don’t all have to smile 24/7, people!) So, after some identification of her personality and matching it to mine, I decided to push her out of her comfort zone: I would talk to her. And it was a success! I don’t see us being best friends, but at least the judgment has passed. And who knows? Maybe she was judging me this whole time, too. Wouldn’t that just be my karma? But it’s deserved.

What’s really interesting to me, though, is that I didn’t identify myself in her right off the bat. I just decided that she wasn’t friendly. Sure, I forced myself to get to know her a bit better, but I also judged her. Why would I do this to someone just like me? Does that mean I don’t like myself as much as I think? I think these are interesting questions. Can we not identify those qualities in others that belong also to us? What do you think?

So I’ll try to judge less. And you can, too. It’s all about reading people and going from there.