I love my friends and family. I know what their favorite colors are, which ones don’t eat seafood and which ones have secret aspirations of being children’s book authors. I recognize their handwriting and their laugh. Those things have taken time to get to know. My recent intent has been about allowing new relationships the same opportunity. New friends, new coworkers, new relationships enter into my life and, considering the already tight time frame I live it, I seek to put together an entire picture about a person at lightning speed.
Would I want a teammate who chews like that?
Could I date a person who says “uhh” that much?
Do they realize how much they blink?
Until I stopped myself and realize all the little tidbits of information I was bringing in and where that information is going, I hadn’t considered how faulty this measurement system was. For that matter, I wasn’t even doing my friends and family justice all the time if we took a real inventory of how many of their habits I tolerated because they were close to me versus being things I actually appreciated about them.
You don’t have to be in love with everyone and not everyone is going to keep your interest or float your boat, but what is there to lose by just sitting across from someone and taking in all that they are versus judging any of it. What will any of that judgement equal? Instead, what if you could sit with someone, work with someone, be with someone and just notice. See what makes them nervous or how loud they laugh or how they fold their hands. Then, just let that be part of the picture that is them. Not the whole image, just a part. Appreciate who they are as the whole, how they hold themselves together, what they have to contribute. It has this way of putting you at ease in return. When you know how much judgement you’re passing, it’s safe to assume that everyone else is as well. What if we instead gave permission for others to be wholly themselves because we were at ease with ourselves? What if we demanded nothing more of people than to just be?
It’s a tall order. This is coming from a reformed judger of just one week.
It’s easy to slip into old habits. And it doesn’t mean that anyone should be okay with abusive or negative behaviors. Not one bit. I think what I’m trying to do instead, what I’m asking you to join me in is really seeing people, giving them the chance to really be seen. To slow down just a moment and let them show us their best selves.