As humans, we are very sensitive to how others react to us and what they think of us. We often feel uncomfortable quite quickly or feel happy in public depending on how strangers react to us, whether it's with a waitress, in a park or waiting on line. We especially expect our family and friends to be accepting of and loving toward us. It happens quite often, however, that we do not do what we hope to get from others.
Immediately upon seeing someone, we make a judgement which more often than not, leads to a criticism. "She's ugly, he's dumb, she's annoying, he's too aggressive, she's too insecure, etc.). (We do not have to say it out loud, but our unfavorable thoughts, silent as they may be, greatly affect us). We don't realize that we enjoy being judgmental. When we think something along the lines of, "I can't believe that person would do that," we are trying to give ourselves a pat on the back and enjoy the fact that we believe we are much better than that person. We are trying to feel better about ourselves on someone else's expense.
It is an innate physiological trait of all living things to size-up another person and immediately make a judgement if the other person is safe. That being said, humans also have an awareness that once we understand something on a deeper level, it enables us to have much more control over our thoughts and thus actions and reactions. The saying, ,"Don't believe everything you think," is very fitting here. Just because our first thought about someone is negative, critical or one of disdain, does not mean that we have to stay and linger with that thought.
There is a very strong part of us, which has the ability to disagree or ignore our first impulsive reaction to someone. We can choose to think differently. We can choose to react differently. It takes some practice, but it is very possible and it drastically increases our quality of life. When we are able to do this, we also are more forgiving of ourselves and vice versa. It is directly linked. It is interchangeable. The nicer our thoughts are (and again, even if we do not voice them aloud), the better and happier we will feel on a daily basis. Observe your thoughts and see where they take you. It's an adventure. To find out how to have more autonomy over your thoughts and actions, get in touch today.