Being Mindful in Every Situation

Remember when I talked to you guys about the difference between judgmental and opinionated? And then I asked about how to handle best friends with different opinions than yours? Well, I still don’t have a clear answer. I am not okay with the two-faced feeling that generates from the pit of my stomach. I’m also not okay with harboring secret judgmental feelings. So I literally googled ‘how to stop judging others’. I figured, out of everything in this world, Google can give me some clear advice. And it delivered.

I found this article.

There is no secret to stop judging others. I do everything on that list. Exactly. I stop myself from reacting negatively too quickly. I look at myself to make sure I am not projecting what I hate about myself on to them. I depersonalize. I am searching for a list to help me get over it, but it’s all the same advice. The only common denominator I’ve figured out is that each listing requires you to be mindful of the people around you. And that is tough to do. If someone cuts me off at the freeway, I don’t think, “Poor guy, he almost missed his exit. He is stressed.” I go into scorned mode, and curse and honk– as if the highway belongs to me and he crossed the owner. And you know what? Nobody wins. We are both in the wrong in that story. He is in the wrong for not paying attention and planning to get closer to the exit that he needed to take. I am in the wrong because I took it personally

During my Google binge, I came across a different article (that I can’t find again) that talks about how you might dislike someone because they represent what you had to give up in your life. For example, I always judge irresponsible people. Without even thinking – if I hear someone wanting to buy a new car when the old one works fine and they are drowning in debt, I am instantly on my hefty Judgment Pony. This article made me wonder of the reasons behind my negativity. The article suggests that I dislike them because I never had the luxury of being ‘irresponsible’ – a very interesting point of view. I have never even thought of it in that way but it could very well be true. Being the oldest in the window when my mother was divorced and working, I naturally took over in taking care of my brother. When I played outside, I had to think of my brother. When my mom was cooking, I had to take care of my brother.

It got worse when we moved to America to be with my step dad. Since I learned English faster, my mom had me lead when our activity involved speaking to other people. Then my two half-sisters came into my life. I never had a moment to just think about Tania and what Tania wants to do. There is not a period of my life where I got to be irresponsible. I’m not mad about that – at all. I love my Type A over-planning self. I just don’t understand the carefree ones, so I judge them. Because I grew up with responsibilities, I don’t know what it feels like to not worry about things.

I challenge you to think about the root of judgments.

I might not have the answers to being the perfect non-judgmental person, but I sure am trying to figure it out.

Sincerely, Tania