Don’t judge a book by its cover

by Anne Day

don_t_judge_a_book_by_its_coverAt a recent event, Amy and I tested out a mini- survey.  We wanted to gauge how women were feeling about themselves and what made them question and doubt themselves.

The main cause they identified was when they felt they were being judged or evaluated.  Interesting. It made me question how they knew they were being judged – was it an expression on the person’s face; the way she was treated or was it more a sense of her own inadequacy in a given situation and she felt lacking.

When you look up the word “judge” in the dictionary – it says to criticize or form an opinion – and in this instance – about you.

One thing I have learned quickly in this project, is that you never really know what is going on inside a person, or behind closed doors and so from the outside looking in, maybe we shouldn’t form such quick opinions of people, and we need to keep an open mind.

Author Brennan Manning describes it well – “The tragedy is that our attention centres on what people are not, rather than on what they are and who they might become.”  That pretty well captures how we can be about life in general, focusing on what we want, rather than what we already have.

We make assumptions and snap judgments. We don’t know what happened the night before, or whether the person isn’t feeling well, or perhaps is just plain shy or reserved.   So is it fair to instantly label someone?  Could you be wrong?

As Steve Maraboli observes in Life, the Truth and Being Free – “How would your life be different if you stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day, you look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.”

Amen.  Let’s stop judging folks, especially on first impressions. Get to know them better, and ease up on judging yourself. We need a gentler, kinder world, where everyone is valued for their unique gifts and talents.

And for those of you saying you don’t have any – I challenge you to dig deeper, maybe you just haven’t found them yet.

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Don’t judge a book by its cover

  1. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover or walk a mile in my shoes, are both referring to the assumption people make about others. Each one of us has a unique story that is the sum of who are at any given moment and it is that story that makes us special. Do you really know the story of the street lady pushing a cart full of dirty bags down a lane? Does she have a family? Does she have children? How did she get here? Do you ever wonder? When ever I notice myself forming a mental opinion of someone, I start asking myself questions about them. This is a great way to get beyond the first impression and to connect via compassion. Another way to get beyond the judgement of the first impression, is to turn it back on myself. If I am thinking these thoughts about another person, then what are others thinking about me. Do I like it? No. Then stop for you really never know what another is going through, not even those we think we are close to.

    I am really drawn to this site and this project. Thank you!