I received the following message from someone on Facebook this morning and it struck me as very good advice.
"Everyday we make thousands of judgments about people, places, situations and events. These judgments happen so quickly and are such a part of our lives that we are not even aware that we are passing judgment. How we were raised and what we were taught play a significant role in how we judge what is happening around us. Judgment can protect us and keep us from making mistakes, but judgment can also prevent us from seeing clearly. So how do we know the difference?
Look to the source of the judgment. Is it coming from your intuition, telling you that something doesn’t quite feel right? This called discernment and is a valuable use of judgment. Or is it coming from your ego, telling you that you are superior to another or that you know better than they do?
When we judge another person’s actions or behavior we are saying that we know what is best for them, that we have the best rule book or the best solution. We expect others to see things exactly the way we do. But how can they? Were they raised under the same circumstances as we?
Dr. Loren Ekroth states: “No two people experience the same reality, so how can we know what is exactly right for another soul?” We can’t. But there is something we can do. We can strive to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and reach across the difference of opinion to find the common ground on which we all stand. We can bring out the best in others by looking for what’s good about them – not what’s wrong.
Whatever you focus on grows and expands, so why not put your attention on the best in people? If we seek to understand, and look below the surface of the behavior, we may find that the other person is in need of kindness from us. Then we can show our true nature by extending such kindness.
There is a principle called the Pygmalion Effect. This principle states that if we expect the best from another and communicate such to them, they will respond by adjusting their behavior to match. Test this principle over the rest of the month. See what you can do to find and bring out the best out in others!"
From Wikipedia: "The Pygmalion effect refers to the phenomenon in which the greater the expectation placed upon people, often children or students, the better they perform. It is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy, and, in this respect, people with poor expectations internalize the negative labels people put on them, while those with positive labels succeed accordingly."
So, instead of criticizing or judging someone openly in public – (and that includes discussion forums, web, Facebook and email, of course) or even criticizing them privately, to their face – instead tell them how great and beautiful they are. And if you see a behavior that doesn’t measure up, tell them that they are greater than that and you expect high calibre from them. Let your expectations be the mark and watch them match up.