I recently read a quote that resonated deep in my heart and mind. it was, “People are hard to hate up close”.
I have always believed that “hate” is a strong word. I try to avoid it at all costs. However, it has taken up space in my vocabulary more than a few times in my three decades of life. Just the other day I was dealing with a particularly difficult person and dropped the “H” word when discussing the ordeal with my husband. Later that night, after reading the quote, I thought, “hmmmm……that’s so true”…..but didn’t think much more of it. The next day, while standing in line at Starbucks, I encountered a sour looking person who happened to be rude to everyone around her. My immediate reaction was to think, “WTF?!”. But instead, I remembered the quote and thought about all of the things that person could possibly have going on to make her so disagreeable.
I’m not saying everyone has to allow others to walk all over them, or that you can’t get pissed off. If you’re faced with a pain in the ass client, or a rude sales clerk, or get cut off while driving down the highway…by all means….feel free to get mad. But if you see that one mom in your kid’s class who always has a scowl on her face or walks by without saying hello- try not to judge. We may not know that she recently lost her job, or is struggling with weight loss, or got divorced. Or even if its’ none of those things, perhaps she has social anxiety and doesn’t know what to say to others.
I might sound like I’m preaching here, and if so, I apologize. I’m 100% guilty of being “judgy”. I honestly can’t even count on two hands how many times I’ve said that “so & so’s mom is such a bitch” or “I can’t stand the cashier at ‘x’ restaurant because she’s not perky enough and always has an attitude.” I’ve even said it to my kids when they’re in an argument with a friend…..yes I was that mom who told my 8-year-old, “don’t worry about so and so – she’s just being mean because she’s jealous that you’re smarter and prettier than her”. Sooooo yeah, I’m not perfect. At all.
But, I have made a conscious decision to try my best. Going forward I will no longer hold that air of “judgy-ness”. No one truly knows the challenges I face daily, and I don’t know what others are facing either. Therefore, let’s really really try to be mindful. Be mindful of others’ feelings and respect that sometimes they may not be pleasant. After all, we’d have a lot more room for positive energy when we remove the negative from our lives.