No use denying that there is not a lot that is disagreeable about how judgmental we always tend to be. Most of the time we jump into conclusion without actually understanding what is fully happening; we judge by what we see or hear, but is that enough? Even those who are endowed in that respect like Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot employ powerful observation and deduction techniques as well as astuteness before gathering clues for their dénouements. It is absolutely overwhelming not only how cynical we tend to be, but also how unaware of it we remain. Sometimes it is just human nature to be so sardonic, to hold so much negative stereotypes and have so many blind presumptions. It is so easy for people to believe the negative things they hear about someone but it is so hard for them to believe the positive ones.
How we perceive people around us matters a lot, somethings are beyond what we see or hear. It is embarassing that most of the time we don’t listen but merely hear, we do not observe but myopically see; even when we listen, we do so to reply rather than to understand and we keenly observe to pinpoint errors and criticize rather than to descry so as to learn. We always feel the need to be curious about everything that is going on in someone’s life. We keep seeking to know other people’s fault not to correct them but to capitalize on such shortcomings and demean the value of such people. Some are so judgmental that they'll draw certain conclusions about other people without being close to them or knowing a single thing about them; not knowing the effect of such conclusions might have on someone. Some never even had a 30 minutes conversation with a person but they'll presume certain things about that person which is not fair and just. They want everybody to be like them or behave the way they want them to do. They judge people just because they sin differently from them.
It is completely absurd that such iniquitous stereotypes nibble away at love relationships within our prevailing culture of cynicism. In a book entitled “The Road Less Traveled”, Scott Peck defined love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth; on that notice and the fact that it is most unlikely to meet someone that is perfect in life or someone exactly your type or taste, one have to adjust when someone wants to be with them or compromise when you want to be with them. However, it is not the case in our contemporary love relationships, we expect our partner to be of impeccable character; unknowingly to us, love is not about being perfect or being exactly what we want our partner to be. We like someone because we like all their character but we love someone despite some of their characters.
We should not lose sight of the fact that human interactions and social convention are governed by certain features which guide our perceptions with which we see the world, and all these factors need to be bundled together before we can truly understand an individual and decide which type of person one is. These features are Attitude, Behaviour, Character, Habit, Personality and Temperament.
Attitude simply means the way one express how they feel or think about somebody or something as a result of experience or acquired traits. These include emotions, behaviours, belief system etc. Attitude influences one’s behaviour and it depends on the person or thing in question, attitude changes with the individual one interacts with and the circumstance of that interaction. Although attitude is circumstantial, yet it is fixed, unlike personality which changes in the long run.
Behaviour is the way one do things in a particular way which are in most cases adapted or influenced by the environment. Examples include eating, social or sexual behaviour.
Habit however, is one’s usual behaviour, what one does on regular basis usually unconciously, without thinking and habits are learned or acquired, they are not intrinsic. Examples include lying or drinking habit, waking up late or staying up late.
Character includes all the qualities that distinguish one person from another, they are subject to one’s attitude, behaviour and habit bundled altogether. For example generosity, immorality, wickedness, laziness etc.
Personality is sometimes used synonymously with character, however personality include certain aspect of one’s character not all, that make them unique or different from a group with similar identity; personality is who an individual is. Personality’s best synonym is individuality.
Temperament are person's normal manner of thinking, behaving or reacting which influences one’s behavior and dictate their habits. Contrary to behaviour, habit, character or personality; temperament are inherited. More also, while one can have good or bad behaviour, habit, character or personality; temperament as well as attitude are functions of circumstance.
We cannot pretend for a moment the fact that being misjudged by others results to unpleasant feelings, it confirms our sense of being misconceived, undervalued, undermined or unappreciated by an insensitive world. We must be realistic and afford everyone the presumption of innocence, understand that opinion is an entitlement; therefore, we shouldn’t deny anyone of his’. However, most people don't see it that way or tend to turn a blind eye to such facts and let their emotions and prejudices dictate their judgments. People are different, we should appreciate that, respect our differences and embrace it with indulgence; but people most at times show great resentment towards someone that is eccentric or something different. They never ask for explanation why people act the way they do, they just conclude. They project their weaknesses on people by judging and underestimating them, it doesn’t matter what you think about someone, simply ask or seek explanation, else you will forever dwell in bewilderment.
In conclusion, it is important for the society at every level to make radical alterations in our judgmental attitude and our approach to people. Be reflection of what you would like to receive, appreciate the similarities and respect the differences. Look for the good in people, learn to see the blessings that are actually associated with people, don’t keep looking for what’s wrong or what’s missing in them, don’t strive to know their mistakes; you never know what they are destined to. Instead of focusing on what they don’t have or their faults and weaknesses, put more emphasis on their strength and the positive things in their lives.
I would also challenge the victims of judgmentalism not to give up on the negativities of others or because people are looking at them bad, passing negative comments. You don’t need the approval of anyone. Don’t be afraid of what people will think or say about you, they are as flawed as you are; no one is perfect. Be yourself because your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. Pay no heed to those trying to bring you down, they are doing so only because you are above them. Stand tall, stand proud, know that you are unique and magnificient.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)