Let’s talk about…judgement. This is no new concept. I can guarantee you that cavemen judged just as much as pilgrims judged each other way back when. If you think about it, it is a natural action of human beings. This action can be used when assessing dangerous situations or important life decisions, but it is also used in a petty way as well.
Nowadays, making conclusions and judging can be made easier with social media. In high school, I saw a lot people who also judged based off of pretty much everything; friend groups, sports/clubs, personality, but the biggie was appearance.
I lucked out a bit on that front throughout my years in high school because I had the benefit of wearing a uniform (and yes, surprisingly, there are benefits! haha). Anyway, what I am trying to say is: kids, teenagers, adults, and even elderly people judge.
So judging…or as I like to say, “observing” has life benefits but when it comes down to judging others for the wrong reasons, it’s best to learn to keep an open mind. Here are some of my thoughts, stories, and advice.
Everyone has a story – This, I learned especially in my sophomore year of high school. I met this new girl on the tennis team and well, I would say that she was different, but I would say quirky (See! I even made judgements right off the bat) Anyway, I was also new to the team so I introduced myself. She turned out to be very friendly and we shared a lot of common interests…not to mention she was a top class tennis player. As the season went on, we became really good buddies, both on the court and also during school.
Being a quiet person who prefers to blend in the background, I would silently change in the locker room before practice, and just hear many of my team mates making fun of and talking bad about my new friend. They had an issue because she dressed differently and had different interests. The worst part is, after I heard all the other girls being so mean, I was just as afraid of being judged by hanging out with her, so I pretended that I wasn’t really friends with her.
A week or two later, it hit me and I realized how foolish I was being. I felt awful for avoiding a really good friend and genuine person just because I was afraid of what other people (those girls) thought. And you know what? The worst part was that those girls weren’t just “other people” but people I try to avoid hanging out with or let alone being.
After realizing that I was being completely unfair and too worried about what other would think, I told myself “Who cares! If they can’t see my friend for the good person she really is, then thats their loss. But that won’t stop me from being friends with her.”
To this day, my first tennis friend and I are still the best of friends. She and I share wisdom with each other but also just like to have fun and be the goofy girls that we still are.
Sometimes you have to just let go of the opinions of other people. I am slowly grasping this concept, but you can’t and are never going to please everyone. So don’t waste your precious time trying to.
Not Judging Others – Judging and being afraid of…being judged almost go hand and hand. So you’ve heard my story about not caring what other people think (which isn’t always the easiest to just start doing). However, not judging others is very important as well.
This reminds me a story of back when I was in fifth grade. There was this one girl on the school bus (back in public school when we could wear whatever we wanted). She befriended my best friend and I and began to sit with us on a normal basis.
After a while, she started to say some things that brought me down. Let’s just say I was a late bloomer and was behind with the fashion of the middle school kids. So when I got on the bus, she would usually make a remark like “Your sweatpants look really…kiddish…that was the word, kiddish. Another one was “People don’t wear graphics on their shirts anymore, your shirt belongs in elementary school.”
After a while, I started to ask my mom if she could drive me to school and I tried to avoid riding the bus as much as possible. There was finally I point where I told her one day that I like what I wear and it doesn’t matter (of course in my passive fifth grader way haha).
Beside the fact, I started to feel insecure about the clothes I love to wear. She got in my mind, and especially at a young age, its easy to break under the words and opinions of your peers.
Just keep an open mind and realize that we are all different in countless amounts of ways 🙂 I have a challenge for you. The next time you find yourself in a situation where you find yourself judging someone else in a negative way, try to think about their story and realize that they are probably a totally awesome person with some totally awesome stories!
Alrighty, I’ve talked your ear off enough for today! Life is too short to worry about reputation and whatnot. So go out and be that open minded butterfly you know you want to be!