A Little Judgement Chat

Here is something that has been kind of frustrating me lately. This may seem like something coming out of left field with me and maybe it is a little bit, but I’m also starting to get a little tired of holding my tongue. I’m not going to be going all gung-ho into certain topics, but I do want to share a little bit more of the things that weigh on my heart. I want to say a little bit more about things that I see. I want to try and use my voice for a little bit more if I can/when I think it is appropriate. This is one of those times as I have not only experienced this, but have seen it in action firsthand.

Here’s the deal…we all judge. Say whatever you want, we all have judged someone or something at one point in our lives. Whether we pass judgement simply in our mind or to our significant others, or actually speak your commentary out loud it really doesn’t matter. As much as I try not to, I have definitely passed judgement. Look, it’s human nature (similar to comparison, but that’s a whole other conversation).

We talk and judge about looks, actions, relationships, speech, just about anything. Whether it is perceived or real, everything we do/say or don’t is judged.

The problem that comes with passing judgement is that we don’t know what someone else is going through. Even if they give us their life story, if they are a public persona, if they are private, we quite simply don’t know the full story. We may think that someone looks unkempt and make our own remarks on that, but they could be dealing with things that we could never imagine.

Another problem with judgement: it doesn’t give either person a chance to even begin to understand. Look struggling doesn’t discriminate on any level. You could appear to live a lavish, privileged life, and be dealing with an extreme amount of depression. Yes, you are in a privileged position, but you still struggle. Someone can recognize their privilege and yet still have down days. We cannot understand someone and whatever issues they may or may not be experiencing if we judge them before they can even open their mouths.

Judgement isn’t just external either, we are prone to a lot of internal judgement which can sometimes be even more damaging. There are a lot of instances where we feel certain assumed/perceived  judgements or roles that are placed on us. We feel as if we may not be living up to a role, doing things with smiles on our faces. Some of this can come from judgements we have in the past thought or expressed, or heard someone else express.

And this judgement is what prevents a lot of people from talking about problems. It prevents a lot of people from opening up about whatever they are dealing with. And when someone feels like they can’t share what is going on it festers inside them until they can’t handle anymore, and we get an explosion of some sort. Often times we then wonder, “what happened?”. “How did this happen?”. “Why didn’t they say anything?”.

It’s a vicious circle and it’s one that only we, as individuals, can break. If each person opens with a little more kindness, a little more of an open mind, and a little less judgement or unsolicited advice (again, a whole other topic), then maybe others will feel a little bit better to share. It only takes one person to start a change in this cycle. One person. Will you be that person?

Round The Kettle Ep 15 – The Serious Conversations

I had a conversation with a friend this week talking about a couple of things that I haven’t really been able to talk about with friends before. We covered a variety of topics and it was kind of refreshing to just talk with someone else about different topics that have been circling in my head. I’ll be honest- while I haven’t been burrowing into my books (my version of burying your head in the sand), I have definitely avoided certain conversations…

You know the ones…

Politics, Religion, Current Events.

It feels like nowadays if you want to make/keep/cherish a friendship you shy away from these subjects.

Maybe that’s an exaggeration. Maybe our friendships should mean more than the things we disagree on, but I’ve seen so many relationships dissolve over these types of conversations. All out break up? Maybe a smidge dramatic. A slow backing away though? Definitely.

But you know what? I want to have these conversations. I want to hear what others think. I want to learn about others viewpoint, how they learned, what they believe. I WANT TO UNDERSTAND. I want to have these conversations without risking losing a friendship over a differing opinion.

I like to think of myself as an open minded individual. I also like to think of myself who likes to talk deep, go deep in the conversations, to talk about the big issues. When I have a conversation with someone where we disagree, I almost enjoy that more than when we agree on everything. It gives me a chance to learn, to understand something in a different light, to see what has us thinking differently. And sometimes through these conversations, my mind will shift. I may even start to see things differently myself, or see them even more in what I originally thought. Either way, these conversations are GREAT to have.

That is if the other person is willing to be open minded and ready to listen.

You could argue, “Mia, you aren’t choosing your friends wisely if you can’t have these types of conversations without risking friendships”. I don’t know that I necessarily agree with that. I feel like there are different types of friendships and I can have these conversations with some and not with others. That’s ok and I feel like that is pretty normal.

With all of that being said…

Do you know this feeling? Have you ever felt this way? If you have, I’m curious how you handle it? Do you have certain people that you have these conversations with? Do you get really active in the internet world having these conversations?

I’m not going to be bringing this stuff to the blog or anything like that. You will start to see some posts geared towards things that I am passionate about, but haven’t talked a lot about (I’ve mentioned all these things at some point though). BUT I won’t be straying far from what I’ve already been doing. This is just something I’ve been thinking about this past week.

React vs Respond

I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past few years is how to respond rather than react. I think this is something that comes not only with maturity, but with taking a step back from everything and reflecting on yourself as a person.

We all struggle when someone says something about us: negative or positive. When someone attacks who we are, what we do, how we live, how we communicate, a lot of times our first reaction is to fight back (or in some cases run away). This is an instinct that is so ingrained in our society, the whole idea of fight or flight. That you have to stand up for who you are, that YOU HAVE TO say something.

But do you? Do you really?

The thing is, we DON’T HAVE TO REACT. We don’t have to feed into whatever the other person is trying to do. Note in the above paragraph I said that “our first REACTION”, but what if we take a moment. When someone attacks something that we’ve said or done, instead of that instant reaction, we take a moment.

Take a moment to breathe. Take a moment to figure out what that person has even said. Take a moment to listen to what we said, and then what they said. Then we RESPOND. We respond with insight, with calm clarity. Or, we don’t respond. We walk away. We say that’s not what we are interested in.

Easier said that done, right? I get it. It is DIFFICULT. It is so hard to break out of what is so ingrained into who we are and to break that initial instinct. BUT, if we break out of that path, what can happen? We can have a conversation (or we cannot), but there isn’t a further escalation. Things aren’t said out of anger. Things aren’t misconstrued. There is a constructive time for both sides to say what they need to and then move forward.

So many times I see a fight (or am, unfortunately in one) that could easily have been prevented if either side had RESPONDED with thought and insight, rather than REACTING out of anger and frustration. I’ve been in this very situation and I’ve said things that I have not meant, out of a reacting place. Out of a space of anger, where all I want to do is just lash out ( I mean we all have these moments).

You know what I’ve learned over the past few years of going down this path? Life is so much easier. When someone is saying something about me, it bounces off. If I need to respond to it, I think about who the person is that is saying this to me. Do I really need to respond? How is whatever they are saying affecting them or myself? Is this something that I want to open up to?

I ask myself these questions ALL THE TIME. When I am reading news articles, in conversations with friends/family, scrolling through social media. If any of the answers are no, then I just walk away. I DON’T SAY ANYTHING. I don’t engage in any way. It’s not worth the time, the effort, the emotional/mental output to even begin to engage in something that really isn’t important.

Ultimately, the two things I want to impress on you with this blog post are these:

 

  • WE DON’T HAVE TO ENGAGE EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE WORLD. If it isn’t productive, positive, important, then it doesn’t need a response. If the answer to any of the above questions is no, then you don’t need to engage. And when I say don’t need to engage, I mean in any way. You don’t need to say that you aren’t going to respond, you don’t need to say a goodbye, you don’t need to say anything. You just move on past.
  • WHEN WE DO WANT TO ENGAGE, WE CAN DO IT FROM A PLACE OF RESPONSE RATHER THAN REACT. If you want to have a conversation, then you need to be calm and collected. We need to come from a place where we can be open to listening to someone else, taking their ideas in and then volleying back with our own. If it goes to a place where you or the other person doesn’t want to be, then disengage.

 

It’s beyond just being kind to others. It’s a matter of taking the reaction bit out completely. If you feel attacked, step away, take a moment and then come back in. There is nothing wrong with saying “You know what, I am not interested at this time. I think that this is not the space for me to be in right now” and then walking away. That is mountains better than getting into a place of react, react, react.