What do you really know about me?

Elderly lady
Image source: Pexels - the image is not me, by the way.

We are quick to make judgements on people. Some times really quick. Have you ever walked down the street and saw someone strange and thought, "look at that idiot"? They say "don't judge a book by its cover" but in reality, that is exactly what we do, very quickly and often.

When we judge things so quickly, we are judging someone by the immediately visible attributes they display. These are the superficial attributes of someone's personality. The way they look, the way they dress, the way they behave.

We are of course very complex beings, built upon years of very mixed experiences and these experience provide our rich characters and give us our own personal slant on reality. So the superficial attributes that we are so quick to judge people on, are just the tip of the iceberg.

Iceberg Thoery: image by @awah

To understand someone's character and more about what makes someone tick, we need to invest more time. We need to, without judgement, listen to their view and try to understand their perspectives on life. Why do they believe what they believe - remembering that their beliefs have been shaped by their own life experiences.

When we invest time to understand someone, we will discover their skills and their character. We might find despite our quick initial judgement, they have had very rich life experiences, are highly skilled and have lovely characters.

What is also hidden from us on our quick judgement, is the emotional baggage that someone is bringing along in life with them. Perhaps they have just had a death in the family or they have been through a difficult divorce. These life attributes are hidden beneath the surface but may manifest themselves in what we see superficially in behaviours. This is why it is so dangerous to judge someone without truly understanding them.

There is then a much deeper element - a more personal set of attributes. Thing like our core beliefs and the principles we run our own life with. These are deeply personal. Many people don't share these with anyone - not even their beloved spouses. We all have things so personal in our beliefs that we feel uncomfortable sharing them with anyone. However, these too alter the way we react to different life events.

The most beautiful thing about life is that we all different. We all have such rich experiences that have shaped us. Take time to really understand each other and don't be quick to judge.


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