Who Are You REALLY Judging?

September 12th, 2013 by Laura Longley

I have noticed over the past several months how judgmental I am of others. Not verbally, but in my mind. I know that whenever I’m judging someone else, it really is about me, but this hasn’t reduced my judging. In fact, recently it seems to have escalated, so it’s really been “in my face,” but I haven’t been able to shift it.

Then last week I had a fabulous experience, that started the shift for me. It wasn’t so fabulous in the moment, but it really got my attention.

Here’s what happened.

One evening I was out with some other women that I didn’t know well for dinner. When it came time to pay, one of the women’s credit card was declined. She had no cash and no other credit card with her, so others had to chip in to help her pay.

Ooh boy, did I ever go into judgment of her! Why didn’t she bring other forms of payment if her credit card was that close to the limit? Wow, what a loser! And on and on in my head.

She was clearly embarrassed and grateful to the other woman who had some cash to lend her, but my litany of how awful she was carried on in my head.

The next morning I went to a bakery near my home for some breakfast and coffee, and then on to Target to buy some household items. I didn’t have anything planned for the day, so I puttered around the store for a couple of hours getting things I needed for home, a few items for my new computer, and some small clothing items. Nothing by itself was expensive, but it all added up.

I checked out and handed over my credit card – and it was denied! I had left the house with just the credit card and my keys in the pocket of my jeans. I knew this card had enough credit left on it to cover my purchases, and then some – and yet it was denied three times!

Talk about an “in your face” experience! I didn’t even have an acquaintance there to bail me out!

The clerk was very nice and was able to set aside my purchases while I went home and got another card. It turned out that I had put something on the first card that was fairly pricey that I had forgotten all about.

I found it very enlightening to have almost the exact same experience as the woman in the restaurant, less than a day later. I couldn’t fail to make the connection. Knowing that there was a legitimate reason my card was denied (i.e. I wasn’t just a loser) helped me have more compassion for the other woman. I couldn’t know what her situation or circumstances are.

Having this experience where I was unable to avoid making the connection has helped me begin to shift my judgment of others. As I was walking down the street yesterday I noticed how nearly every person I saw I had a negative judgment in some way.

Yuck, a smoker! Really, you’re wearing that? Why don’t you pay attention to where you’re walking! And on and on.

I immediately decided that I am going to find something positive in every person I encounter. I don’t want all the negativity in me, and as I discovered a few days ago it will come back to bite me in the end.

We do create our experiences by the energy we put out, and also by what we expect to receive back.

Where do you want to shift in what you’re giving to the world? Please comment!

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