I think of myself as pretty non-judgmental. I listen to my friends with an open mind and an open heart. I know I don’t do it all perfect (or anywhere close to perfect) and have no expectations of anyone else doing it perfect. I actually make a conscience effort not to judge. BUT my subconscious on the other hand, that’s a different story!
I find myself waiting in line at the supermarket judging how people dress, peek into their carts to see what they’re buying. I judge people when I’m driving and they are speeding, honking, cutting me off (like I’ve never done that…) I judge people in a split second, literally. But I’m trying to make those unconscious judgments conscious and stop them. I know nothing about those people, nothing, and yet I have the gall to judge anything about them.
And knowing someone does not make it any better. It could be your best friend in the whole world, your kids, your spouse. You really can’t judge their behavior or their feelings or their actions. We really don’t know what’s going on in anyone else’s life. Even the people closest to us sometimes have things that we just don’t know about. Or feel something that they aren’t sharing with us.
My first child completely spoiled me, he literally only cried when he was hungry or tired. And the first month he cried a bit more because I was starving him (blog about mom guilt in a future post).
Once we added formula he was angelic. My daughter on the hand was a screamer…naturally. And of course after having Thing 1, Thing 2 had a hard act to follow. So there were times that I wanted to launch her out of the window. I could picture the whole thing happening in my head. I just wanted it to stop. I was exhausted and not running on all cylinders….
But I would never act on it and I knew I would never actually do it. At one point I even said I could understand child abuse, NOT CONDONE IT, but understand it. (I’m an advocate for the little people, child abuse is NEVER acceptable!)
If reading that last paragraph made you queasy or made you want to report ME for child abuse, I’m telling you now, we can’t be friends. When I was feeling those feelings I needed my mom friends to say, I hear you, I’m here for you, and what you’re feeling is ok…hopefully while we are drinking a glass of wine. There are so many things that we all do and don’t do, that we should do and shouldn’t do, that we want to do but can’t do, that we don’t want to do, but can’t stop. I don’t need a lecture, and I usually don’t even need advice….I just need someone to listen and say; I hear ya sister…we’ve all been there!
So don’t judge me, I know I’m not perfect, not even close. I know I have things that I can improve on and I’m working really hard on trying to fix them (I really am) but I don’t need more mom guilt (I have enough). The concept of judging favorably comes from the original self help book, the Bible. (And if you’re not religious, that’s ok, because it’s really not about religion, it’s about living our best life!) I have attended a number of lectures on this topic (Lori Palatnik, Adrienne Gold, Sharon Shenker) and one of my favorite quotes is; “You are meeting this person in chapter 3, you don’t know what happened in chapters 1 and 2.” We can’t judge anyone if we are not walking in their shoes. And although you may know everything that’s happened with your kids or spouse, you don’t know their feelings, their interpretation of each situation and therefor you can’t judge their response.
If you need to vent about your kids driving you crazy, dreaming about running away to tropical Island, need to let off some steam about a fight you had with your spouse, even if you want to launch your baby out of a window…. come over, have a glass of wine and tell me about it…I won’t judge!
- Do you feel like you get judged by others? In what circumstances? Do you (consciously or unconsciously) judge? (No need to answer that, just something we all need to think about!)
Everyone has untold stories of pain and sadness that make them love and live a little differently than you do. Stop judging, instead try to understand. -Anonymous