What makes us so judgmental? Don’t you wish you could turn off that judgement switch in your head and give it a rest?
When I was younger I was oblivious to my judgmental nature and was very concerned about how things looked — especially the men I dated. I was not very kind in those days and there were more than a few times that I really hurt someone’s feelings.
Someone I regret hurting was the son of one of my father’s good friends. I grew up knowing him but we lived in different states so we rarely saw each other. But when I went to college he was there, a year ahead of me.He tried to befriends and help me adjust to college life. He was short and not very attractive and because of that I didn’t want to encourage his friendship. I could tell he liked me and was really extending himself to make me feel comfortable.
He tried to introduce me to his friends and bring me to some of the hot spots on campus. But I didn’t want people to think I was with him, either as a friend or romantically. I kept turning him down.
One day I saw him walking towards me and I just panicked and turned around and walked the other way. I know he saw my reaction and I’m sure it hurt.
After that, he avoided me and I lost all contact with him. I didn’t take him seriously and didn’t think it mattered.
But 20 years later I was single and alone and he had gotten married to a wonderful woman and had four children. He also became one of the most influential and well respected men in Washington, D.C where he had the ear of the President.
When his father died, I sent him a letter trying to show him that I had changed, but by that time he was such a well-known figure he probably never received it. I wrote it more for myself than for him, hoping that when he saw it, he would know that I was sorry for how I treated him.
I still see him interviewed on TV for his expertise and each time I feel a little pang of regret for how I treated him. I know we would never have been a romantic couple, but like our fathers, we could have been life-long friends.
What really saddens me is that I bet I wasn’t the only woman who treated him so badly.
Are you a woman who judges men too harshly and as result you’ve become unkind?
I can still be that woman, and I have to watch myself. But every time I overcome my judgement it feels like a victory and my heart opens a little more.