Nothing Stings More Than Judgment

Nothing Stings More Than Judgment

Your accusations of others have the power to completely kill that person’s confidence.
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If you know me well, you will know that I tend to be a very loud, outgoing, and free-spirited person. While most people who first meet me tend to think that I am friendly, I’ve had people who have thought otherwise. I’ve had people assume that I am stuck up, overly confident, naive, silly, unrefined, an attention seeker, or devoid of problems and insecurities. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about me; in fact, I am not writing this article to change anyone’s perceptions about me. I am, however, writing this article to make one point: nothing stings more than for others to make assumptions about who you are without walking a day in your shoes.

It stings the most when the people who should know you the best make these harsh judgments.

I know this not only from personal experience but from seeing some of my friends and family members being judged/criticized by people who haven’t bothered to listen to them or give them a second chance.

I would be lying, though, if I said that I had not made the same mistake of quickly judging others without bothering to know what they’ve been through in their own personal life.

One instance has particularly struck me and I’ll never forget it:

A couple weeks ago, a video went viral on the web of a middle-aged woman making a huge, unnecessary commotion on a plane. Apparently, she had become so worked up and angered when she found out that the man in the seat next to her had opposing political views from her. She was causing such a disturbance that she was eventually escorted off the plane before it took-off. As the flight-stewardess escorted her down the aisle, most people in the plane cheered.

As I watched this scene, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Good riddance. What an easily offended woman. She probably is so arrogant she couldn’t handle hearing an opposing opinion.”

Later, however, the news reported that this woman had suffered a loss of a family member prior to this incident. She was undoubtedly stressed and in a state of deep grief. All of a sudden, I felt guilty for cheering along with the others in the video as this woman had been asked to leave the flight. While her behavior was still disruptive and inexcusable, I felt more compassionate towards her. She had a huge burden on her shoulders and perhaps it just took one person to tip her over the edge. She had flipped her lid, but it was most likely due to her exhaustion and frustration. I realized that I had jumped to a conclusion about this woman being overly arrogant without really getting to know her story.

Can you relate?

I want to encourage you to stop yourself from jumping to conclusions about the actions of others without really listening to them first or getting to know their narrative. Context is everything, and unless you are patient, you are more than likely to attribute false personality or character traits onto a person if you do not completely understand where a person is coming from. When you’re tempted to be judgmental, ask yourself, “Have I walked a day in their shoes?” I can assure you that if you were to walk a day in someone’s shoes, you wouldn’t be as judgmental.

You would let go of a lot of your biases against others who have wronged you.

You would be a lot more compassionate towards them.

You would see that you are no better than them because you have most likely made the same mistakes.

Remember that your accusations of others, especially when you're vocal about them, have the power to completely kill that person’s confidence and make them feel incredibly small. Even if you think they won't care or be offended, the negative words you say can echo in their mind forever, and it can take them years to heal from it. So please, please don’t belittle others. When you do, I can assure you that what goes around comes around. I would hate to see you suffer from the same pain of unfair judgment and false accusations. If you know anyone who has been falsely judged or accused, you can play an important role in their healing process. Give them the time and space to voice out their pain and frustration to you. Assure them that you don't judge them in the same way that others may have. Build their confidence through words of encouragement and positivity.

If God, who saw us in all of our selfishness, still extended amazing grace to us, then shouldn’t we extend amazing grace to others?

As 1 Corinthians 4:5 says, "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. “

Cover Image Credit: everydayfeminism.com

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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My Eating Disorder Was A Secret, Even From Me

No one ever talks about it, and if they had my life might be different.

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I remember ninth grade health class very well, specifically one day in particular. The day we talked about eating disorders, I was ready to hear about anorexia and bulimia. I was not ready to walk out of that classroom with confirmation that I had an eating disorder, but that is exactly what I did that day.

After speaking on anorexia and bulimia, my teacher told us about Binge Eating Disorder.

My 14-year-old ears perked up. I had never heard of this disease, but I was immediately interested. I knew anorexia and bulimia well, they were the diseases that, at the time, I wish I had the determination to try, but I was too scared to hurt my body.

Binge Eating Disorder was new to me. My teacher described it as continuing to eat after you were full and eating for hours at a time. As the signs and symptoms continued to be read, I realized... that the last three years of my life had been plagued by binges. There was a lot I couldn't control in my life, but eating was one thing that I always had control over. It was the one thing that always brought me comfort.

Most binges would start after I came home from a hard day at school, or maybe after I got in a fight with a family member. Maybe I felt insecure about the growing number on the scale, but I ate.

It always started with half a bag of chips, then maybe a cookie or other sweet treat, and then I would finish with something else I could find in the pantry. My mother would come home and begin making dinner.

Ashamed, I would hide the food anywhere so my family could not tell I had been eating and then I would go eat dinner.

This was a common occurrence for me, but I had no idea that my habits were wrong or should point to an eating disorder. The only thing that I knew was wrong with me, was that I was gaining weight.

For the longest time, I thought an eating disorder was something that helped you lose weight unhealthily, not gain weight. It wasn't until I sat in a health class that I realized that there was anything wrong with me.

Education is so important in overcoming eating disorders. We are making such great strides about informing people about the dangers of eating disorders and positive body image.

It is so important that we start making Binge Eating Disorder a topic that is as known as anorexia and bulimia. No one ever discusses Binge Eating Disorder, not even the dangers of it, maybe if they had my life might have been different.

Maybe I would have found out about it earlier and could have gotten help before it got out of hand.

I wish I could say that I left that health class that day and never had a binge again. The truth is I binged several times after that, and still to this day I have an episode, although they are very rare.

It would be unrealistic to tell you that I overcame my eating disorder that day because it is a journey I am still completing. Every day presents a new challenge, and sometimes I fail, but I will succeed, and succeeding is worth a few failures.

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