“Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.”
Although, I consider myself to be a fairly non-judgemental person, I recently realised that, at times, I judge people even before I meet them or even speak to them, based on what I’ve heard about them. So, I automatically assumed that someone is not a ‘nice’ person because a friend of mine has had a bad experience with him/her, without even giving the other person a chance to tell her side of the story. It just makes sense to dislike someone who has not been nice to someone you care about; after all, I am a loyal friend.
I recently met someone whom I have always had a not-great opinion of because of other people’s experiences with her and I was pleasantly surprised to find myself liking her and wanting to spend more time with her. I realised that I had let other people’s experiences colour my opinion of her without even meeting her or having ever spoken to her. I also realised that this is something I do fairly often and it got me thinking that there may have been so many interesting experiences/ relationships I have deprived myself of just because of what other people thought. Not only was it unfair to the other person, it was also unfair to me. I don’t have anyone else to blame but myself because it wasn’t so much that I was told to think ill of her, I just reached that conclusion on my own. I judged her based on the impression I got of her from other people and the biggest loser in the entire scenario was me.
Did it make me less loyal to like her? I don’t think so. Atleast I don’t feel disloyal. While I still don’t know her side of the story (and probably never will), I don’t even consider that relevant anymore. I just know that I would love to spend time with her and talk to her.
I also know that it would really annoy me if someone doesn’t give me a chance and dislikes me because of an actual or perceived transgression against their loved ones. It’s only fair that I give others a chance as well.
- Be less judgemental.
- There is always another side to the story.
- I have to form my own impressions of other people rather than relying on stories I have heard of them. These stories are not necessarily the truth.