Would you rather be loved than be judged?
Doesn't that even sound like a dumb question?
Well if you flip it, it might require a little reflection.
Have I been judging rather than loving?
This story is going to date me but here goes...
I worked for a temp agency when my kids were young and one of my first assignments was to fill in for a woman who ran the switchboard for the corporate office of a busy retail establishment. I had never operated a switchboard but aside from being a little nervous, I was up for the task.
The other switchboard operator (it took two) sent just enough calls my way to support my learning so I was feeling pretty confident ... until she went to lunch.
When alone it was only a matter of time before most of my 30 lines were lit up. I was losing track of who was on hold, who they wanted to talk to, and who was a new caller. There was one poor gentleman who I put on hold and proceeded to greet again, and again, as if he were a new caller. By the third or fourth time he was angry.
I admitted, with sympathy and bewilderment, that I was covering for someone and that this was the first time I had ever run a switchboard. On hearing the nature of my circumstances his tone immediately switched to one of compassion and encouragement. I expressed my gratitude for his kindness and was deeply touched by his change-of-heart.
Have you ever been touched by someone's change-of-heart response to your honesty?
Initially my performance had been judged without enough information to make an accurate assessment. I could have judged him back but I shared my position shamelessly and without defense instead, which contributed to what made that moment so memorable. Hmm... and don't think that I'm sharing this just for you. :) Memories such as these show up for review when we could benefit from a love-skill tutorial.
Judgment is something we sometimes do when we can't make sense of another person's behavior. But rather than go into judgment, maybe it would be more productive and less harmful to stop for a minute and reflect on how we, ourselves, would like to be treated when misunderstood.
When confused about someone's behavior, it is an opportunity to get to know them better or for them to get to know us better. To love before we judge. And the judgment that ensues will merely be a judgment to decide if we have enough in common to enjoy each other / to work together / to be ourselves with each other.
- So next time you find yourself judging, try asking questions instead.
- And next time you find yourself being judged show the other person by your shameless non-defensive sharing that you'd rather be loved than be judged.
You will like who you are at the end of the day much better because of it. And if you notice that your sharing is defensive or shameful there is value in exploring that too. How else would you know?
Friends in this Love,