Andrew came home in a huff. How could his new admin, Rita, be such an idiot? She had messed up his busy schedule, and now he was late for dinner with his wife, Suzy. Suzy was upset because she felt like Andrew was late. After all, he didn’t value her time and efforts.
What Andrew didn’t know is that Rita had just found out that her dad was sick. Rita had a hard time focusing because she was feeling anxious. Suzy didn’t know that Andrew had rushed home as quickly as he could because he couldn’t wait to see her.
For the most part, people are doing the best they can with what they have. It is an easy mistake to think about how people are wasting your time or are taking you for granted. If we were to take a step back and observe ourselves and others without judgement, we would see reality. When we place judgement on ourselves and others, the reality is colored by perception, which might be flawed.
If Andrew had observed Rita instead of judging her, he would have felt less anger. He might have observed that her hands were shaking. Then he could have communicated in a non-violent way that would have helped him meet his and her needs. For example, “Rita, your hands are shaking. Are you ok?” Instead of “Rita, you messed up my schedule.”
If Suzy had observed Andrew without judgment, she would have seen that he was sweating and that his facial expression and body language looked tense. She could have said, “Andrew, you look tense; what happened?” Instead of, “You’re late again. You don’t care about me.”
Here are some things to consider:
1. Assuming the worst
When we judge ourselves and others, we assume the worst in others, and we defeat ourselves with negative self-talk.
Observing helps us to have compassion and empathy towards ourselves and others.
3. Compassion and Empathy
Compassion and empathy lead to patience, less stress and conflict.
Instead of judging, be curious, what do I need, and what does this person need? How can I communicate that without devaluing this person or myself?
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