Typically those things we find irritating others, those things we judge, or dislike, are things we also have, or dislike about ourselves. We may not always recognize that, we may be in denial that we too exhibit the same behavior, quirk or flaw, but there’s a reason we’re zeroing in on someone else and picking out those things in them, we recognize ourselves there.
Before stepping on this path, and before doing the work to acknowledge my own issues, I often judged other people. I judged them for exhibiting the same behaviors as I was, even though I would never admit that I was behaving that way, or had the issues “they” had. I always had an opinion about what they should be doing, or how they could do it better. And when they failed, I thought, they’re not strong like I am. But what I wasn’t willing to see is that all of that judgment I placed on other people was to deflect my own behavior and actions. If I could put the focus on everyone else, shine a spotlight on their character defects or bad decisions, I could keep doing what I was doing in the dark without anyone noticing, or so I thought. I was noticing. Maybe not consciously, but subconsciously, there was no hiding from myself. And once I made the commitment to get honest, and get better, I realized what I had been doing most of my life, pointing out other people’s flaws and mistakes, I was guilty of doing all of the same things. That was a tough pill to swallow at first because I had stood with my head held high like I was better, smarter and healthier than those I judged, and in the end I was just as bad, maybe even worse, and that was a big piece of humble pie.
Today when I start to judge someone, and it happens, I pause, and I take a look at why I am feeling the need to tear someone else down, and what may be missing or needing work on my end? What do I need to look at, and am avoiding, that’s causing me to want to shine the spotlight on someone else, instead of looking at myself? It’s a good indicator that I have work to do. And, I can now use my acknowledgment of someone else’s stuff as a form of compassion, or understanding, because I likely share in that same behavior. I have been able to turn my judgment of others into something positive, for me, and as a way to connect to those around me.
What we find disturbing or irritating in others is typically what we find disturbing or irritating in ourselves. And that, is our problem. We are all responsible for ourselves and our own behavior, what someone else is doing is none of your business. It is not up to us to judge them or school them on how they should be living their lives, but we can certainly look at how we’re living ours when we find our focus shifts to someone else. Our focus on someone else’s behavior is the best indicator that we need to shift our focus back on us. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you tend to judge others for how they’re living their lives? Why do you think you do this? Do you try to give that person advice? How is that usually received? What behavior or character traits usually catch your eye as something that should be fixed? Do you see those same things in yourself? What can you do to place the focus back on yourself and away from judging someone else? What are some of the things that you pick out in others that you also have yourself? When you look at that list, how do you feel? What don’t you like about what’s written on that list? What can you do to fix that? We all have moments when we judge others. It’s what we do when we notice we’re doing that sets us apart. Use those moments to take a look at your own behavior and actions, use those urges to fix someone to fix yourself. Find away to let that stuff go.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you