Some time ago I got stuck with a catchline promoted by one of the leading banks on the Polish market, and it went as follows: ‘Appreciate, don’t judge’. Despite the fact it’s quite an easy task, this sentence has a deep meaning and it can certainly turn our lives upside down. In what way? After a more careful and thorough reflection, it will change our attitude not only towards our lives as such, but also towards other people and ourselves.
Whoever is without sin, cast the first stone! Are you brave enough to do so? Are you always blameless? Has it never happened to you that you judged someone too fast? Without thinking of the possible consequences of your words or thoughts? We judge people as often as it’s possible, without being aware of the destructive meaning of this phenomenon, because it got into our bloodstream just like a poison, infecting our hearts and our souls for years, in a way to make us believe that our opinions about others are always accurate. What’s wrong with your relative, neighbor or your self? Exactly. You don’t know that. Why do you do this anyway? There are a few reasons for such a state of affairs:
- Strengthening one’s own position in the eyes of others – discrediting the object of our comments, let’s call it a more or less aware individual, we can easily increase our own accomplishments in the eyes of our interlocutors. The Average Joe is such a loser, his wife left him, he lost his job again, and to make things even worse a bird did its business on his car! And me? I’m single, so I can’t lose anything. I’ve got a job, who cares it’s a bad one? Why should I mention that? I don’t have a car, so birds fly a mile from me.
- Strengthening one’s own position in one’s own eyes – there’s nothing better than improving one’s own, full of complexes image thanks to smearing others. All your steps have been criticized for years, so now you’ll do the same! This kind of attitude is typical of people who are unable to experience life satisfaction and the ones’ who don’t know how to enjoy the happiness coming from little successes and accomplishments, which can improve our mood, and the unbearable depression comes if the earlier mentioned successes belong to someone else, not us. My neighbor dyed her hair? Phew! I’d do it much better! My friend planted new flowers in her garden? Well, all of them are just weeds! My sister hasn’t come back to herself after the next pregnancy? Her man will leave her for sure if she doesn’t lose her weight! And me? I don’t dye my hair, because I don’t want to waste my money. So what can I destroy? I don’t have a garden, so I don’t plant any flowers! I’ve got a perfect figure, just like a teenager, but in my 30’s I’m still not a mom… so why do I criticize? The answer is very simple! To forget about my own failures and to improve my own mood at the expense of others.
- Discrediting a criticized person in the eyes of others – consumed by the feeling that we’re all the time judged on our performance, and to make things worse not always as favorable as we would possibly want to, we do everything not to make others be perceived better than us. Oh, no! She has been promoted and got a pay raise again, for sure not because of her intellect! How did he manage to buy that house? He’s just not a very clever manual worker! Do you know that she has the 3rd husband? What a whore! All right, I’m the smart one, but I work for the minimum wage! I finished university, and I still live with my parents… to make things even worse, I must be really the last one, no one wants me… but why should others know about that?
- Discrediting a criticized person in one’s own eyes – being dissatisfied with our current or general life situation, we cannot come to terms with the fact that others do better than us. Ehh, she has put on a mini skirt again, having legs like two hot dogs! His wife has cheated on him again! How many times has she already done it? I lost count after a few times! She has really ugly kids, totally not worth looking at! To make it even worse they’re twins! Does it really matter that I’ve got my legs up to my neck if I keep wearing trousers all the time? Yeah, his wife is cheating on him, and me? I’m too scared to engage myself in a relationship and to lose someone important to me. Agreed, her kids may not belong to the prettiest ones, they have still time to transform from ugly ducklings into swans. Is their appearance the most important? And me? Maybe, I’d also like to have kids, any …
Let’s see how this continuous judging, criticizing and deriding keeps poisoning not only our minds, but it also makes it impossible for us to perceive our reality in a rational and objective way. Is it all worth it?
Besides the fact that we keep losing ourselves in our negative emotions, having their source in various failures and wounds caused by surrounding us people who have been doing it to us for years – we never know exactly how our negative words will influence other people’s lives. Don’t think that it doesn’t matter what you say, because it’s not true. Smearing our imaginary enemies in the eyes of others, we make other people judge them through the prism of our opinions. What concrete consequences can they bring? A feeling of loneliness, not understanding why people turned their back on them, of course on the condition that they don’t know that we discredited them behind their backs. And what if the object of our negative comments happens to hear them? Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to have a confrontation, which could clear the atmosphere. A person who we talked negatively about, may lose self-confidence and can withdraw from public life, and in best case he or she will feel sad. What’s more, don’t think that your audience listening to all your negative comments, coming out of your mouth like a rapid mountain stream, doesn’t have a particular opinion about you, too. And even if your interlocutors perceived you in a better way, you can easily lose their respect behaving like a rat, who cannot be trusted.
It’s quite possible that you have also fallen victim of such unfair judgments at some points of your life. Don’t you remember how you felt at that time? How would your life change if you had been appreciated instead? So why do you behave in the same way towards others?
Appreciating has an unbelievable power and can motivate us not only to take actions, but also to achieve even the most difficult goals. Let’s not judge, as everyone has a different life situation, which cannot be compared. What we perceive to be a norm, isn’t a norm for others, and the other way round. Don’t poison your hearts and thoughts with jealousness and negative emotions directed towards your imaginary enemies. In this way you lose not only your precious time and energy, which you could use in a better way, but you also keep focusing on wrong things. When you take your blinds off, you can be left with nothing more than the feeling of bitterness and loneliness. That’s why, despite your failures appreciate your work but also other people’s efforts. Nothing ventured, nothing gained… and you? Do you want to lose your chance?
See you around!