Let's Start Getting to Know People Instead Of Judging Them

Judging Is Easy, Getting To Know Someone Is Harder

If we can read a book without judging the cover, we can do it with people.

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Let me write you a scenario.

You go to your local grocery store on Saturday morning. You find it is extremely busy. You walk up and down the aisles to find food to eat for the week. You grab the standards – cereal, chips, juice, etc. As you walk down the dairy aisle, you see a woman. That woman looks to be 35 years old, and she's wearing a crop top, high waisted ripped shorts, and hot pink Crocs. Her hair is purple and her nails are neon green. She's also talking on an indestructible, 15-year-old Nokia phone.

What is your first thought?

"What person leaves the house like that?"

"Who talks on a phone like that? She must be out of date."

"What 30-year-old has the indecency of wearing such an immodest outfit?"

Yes, this person I described looks a little out of place for the grocery store. But here's what I didn't say about her:

The crop top and high waisted shorts are the only clothes not in the laundry. She had been working 60 hours a week for two weeks and hasn't had enough energy to do her laundry. She's tired. She wore her crocs because her feet hurt from running around the office all week. Her hair is purple because her niece struggles from severe depression, and she wanted to support her. Her nails are neon green because she wanted to make her kids laugh, despite never seeing them because she works. Her Nokia phone? Oh, she carries that around when she misses her mom. The last voicemail she got from her was on that phone, and she gets to hear the words, "I love you more than life," another time.

This woman I described has a backstory that very few people know about. No stranger can understand why she looks like that. She just wants to get her groceries and go home. Her appearance may not say that, but that's the truth. People easily say, "She doesn't look normal."

Why are we so quick to judge?

It's because it's much easier. It's much easier to say, "That's a weird thing to do." It's much easier than figuring out why someone dresses the way they do. It's much easier to point the finger and say, "What you do is weird," and walk away.

Judgment is part of human nature. We can't always control our immediate thoughts about someone. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't have a first impression of someone. If someone is smoking drugs outside a movie theater, then your conscience telling you to stay clear of the area is probably a good, reasonable judgment. However, that judgment can go south. That initial thought, "stay clear for your own protection," can turn into, "that guy is garbage because he smokes drugs."

What you perceive to be the truth is usually far from it.

Use your judgment wisely. Use your initial reaction to make a safety call, but don't talk nasty about someone you've just met or hardly know based on how they look or what they do. I'm no saint when it comes to judging people, but I've learned throughout the years that you should never judge a person by their cover.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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To My Best Friend Of 15 Years

You are my person.

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To my person,

I will never forget the first day that we met. It was the first day of preschool and my mom had just dropped me off. As I started to walk into the classroom I noticed that you were sitting alone on the floor crying. Not sure what to do, I went over to you and asked if you wanted to go play. Your face immediately lit up as we walked into the classroom and in that moment I knew that you would become my best friend. Ever since that day we've been attached by the hip and I wouldn't want it any other way.

April Roberson

Our friendship is the one true relationship that I can count on and for that I am forever grateful. This friendship of ours goes beyond our laughs and lake days. It's real. Through blood, sweat, and tears you've always been right by my side no matter what. You pick me up when I am drowning in pain. You cheer for me even when my ego is a little too high. You love me even when you should hate me. But, most importantly, you stand by me.

Our friendship is the perfect example of trust. You taught me that the right people can be trusted and will not betray you. No matter how dark the secret or how crazy the adventure, you never speak a word about me to anyone. You care about protecting my heart from the awful things in this world and when I am broken you are always there to pick up the pieces no matter how long it takes them to heal.

April Roberson

Our friendship has been a lifetime of happiness with a little bit of spunk. Not only do you encourage my crazy adventures, but you're always right by my side for each one. You keep life exciting and you make it easy. You are a true gift from God and I feel completely indebted to you for the role that you've played in my life. Our friendship is so special because it's full of our tremendous amounts of giving, sharing, and most importantly, love. There's not a day that goes by when I don't feel overwhelmingly thankful to have you by my side doing life with me.

So thank you, to my person. Thank you for always showing up for every little thing and making life so much better. Thank you for being my adventure inspiration and my lifelong travel buddy. Thank you for loving me unconditionally through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Lastly, thank you for being the one person that I can forever count on in this life time. I love you with my whole heart and I wouldn't want to do life with anyone else. You are my person.

Love,

Me

April Roberson

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