The 1 life lesson I wish I learned earlier is not about the importance of compound interest, or what investments would make the most money, or the benefit of time management, it’s about acceptance, understanding and ultimately to become less judgemental.
Yeah I know, not real sexy right.
‘Ebbo, you mean to tell me that That is the No. 1 life lesson you wish you understood earlier’?!
You better believe it!
And I’d strongly suggest you take heed.
You Got Issues
You’ve got issues. You know that you do. You are broken and sometimes you just don’t know how to live life. That’s a fact. I know it, you know it, and pretty much everyone else knows it.
Why? Because we’ve All got issues.
I’m sure, just like me, you can relate to one or more of the following;
- Being quick to judge
- Being uncaring
- Being anxious, emotional, withdrawn
- Being critical
- Being reactive
- Lacking in the romance stakes
- Having violent or self-destructive tendencies
and so on and so on.
Everybody’s got issues, some more than others.
No-one’s given an instruction booklet on how to live life. We learn through mistakes, though tragedies, through just living life. Sometimes though, there are things we don’t learn that we need to.
For me, there’s just 1 lesson I wish I learned earlier.
Become Less judgemental.
The reason that this is the 1 lesson I wish I learned earlier is that it would have saved myself (and others) lots and lots of pain.
For such a long time I failed to understand that people are broken and this failure to comprehend this has had a significant impact on my life.
I recently lost my Dad and that has haunted me for the last four years. It’s provided me with more pain than I can convey. Why? Because i didn’t understand that he was broken. Moreover, that I was broken.
I’ve lost friendships, had failed relationships, and generally had a shit time all due to the fact that I failed to understand that everybody’s broken.
Why are we broken?
Well, you name it. Maybe because we are selfish and feel entitled, maybe because we’ve been abused, maybe because we have lost a loved one, maybe because we didn’t have the right role model, maybe because we’ve been rejected, maybe because we’ve been taken for granted, maybe because we’ve been taken advantage of, maybe, maybe, maybe.
There is a myriad of reasons we have issues and these issues leave us broken. In other words, we’re not whole. There are aspects of our lives that are less than complete.
The broken parts cause us to behave a certain way.
We’re all hurt.
We need to understand that Everyone is hurt, some more than others. The last person you remember interacting with that totally frustrated you, or that you couldn’t wait to get away from, might just be a carry a bit more baggage that you’re aware of, and conducted themselves accordingly.
This might mean that they didn’t listen, they were harsh, critical, or lacked emotion, or it could have been that they were withdrawn and overly emotional.
People like this are generally hard to get to know or if you already know them, things might be always on their terms. Sometimes it might even mean that the friendship is only one way or that they don’t seem to care.
Unless we’re God, we don’t know what’s really going on with someone. What we do know is that for the most part, people don’t like discussing how they’re feeling or what’s going on in their lives.
Understand, like I have had to do, that we’re all broken. Don’t be like me, Be less judgemental. Don’t be too harsh on people because like it or not, it will affect your relationships.
Become Less Judgemental
One of the biggest issues I’ve had to come to grips within my own life is learning how to deal with being less judgemental towards others. This has been one of my biggest flaws. I can safely say that this has no doubt cost me friendships and affected some of my closest relationships.
I’m quite logical and opinionated which can be a good thing in many cases, but when it comes to dealing with people, it’s not one of my best traits.
I can be quick to judge when it comes to people’s reactions to me. If my wife is overly emotional with me, or a friend is withdrawn, or my brother is lacking understanding, I judge. No questions. I’m logical and expect them to be rational and logical too.
At least that was the old me.
I know people react out of hurt and pain but my seeming lack of understanding around this fact wasn’t good. This lack of understanding no doubt harmed some of my relationships and certainly caused people to think more harshly of me.
Now, whenever I interact with someone, my first consideration is that this person has, undoubtedly, an ‘interesting’ past.
A past filled with wonder and love. A past speckled with hurt and pain. A past full of disappointment and loss. A past that has points of sadness, regret, and frustration.
Try and consider this, next time you’re interacting with ‘that person’.
Take a breath before reacting. Count down from 5. Then when you do respond, do it out of love and understanding.
In an article in PsychologyToday, Caroline J. Simon Ph.D states ‘Being judgmental distorts our perception of other people, of ourselves and of what matters most in living a well-lived human life. It feeds on and engenders a lack of sympathetic understanding of others. It is often linked with other related character flaws: hypocrisy, self-righteousness, malice, insensitivity, and the enjoyment of destructive gossip’.
Try and become less judgemental in order that you might have a less distorted view of yourself, others and life in general.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” — Carl Jung
The Importance Of Honesty
To become less judgemental, the best thing you can do for yourself is to start to be honest. Overall, be honest when you’re identifying your faults, but when it comes to reflecting on your judgemental behaviour, get real and don’t F about.
This means being honest with;
- How you’re feeling
- How you’re acting
- How you’re treating yourself, and
- How you’re treating other
To be completely honest with yourself is extremely hard, I know. But trust me, once you start, it gets so much easier.
Treat Others The Same Way You Want Them To Treat You
Nowadays I try and interact with people how I would like to be interacted with. In the Gospel of Luke Chapter 6 verse 31, Jesus says ‘Treat others the same way you want them to treat you’. This seems to be working for me, which is a welcome change.
I hope you can start to look at everyone with a fresh set of eyes. Eyes full of understanding and patience because everybody’s broken and needs love.
Remember, we’re all broken, so go easy.
ACTION: Become less judgemental. Understand that some people are either unable or unclear on how to not let their past dictate how they respond or act.
Comment below, or jump over to the facebook page and share how you have or are going to, start to be more understanding and compassionate.