I had an incredible conversation with Chris yesterday. I was talking to him about my conversation with Amber and it lead a few different places which I want to think and write about this week. The first that hit me the hardest was don’t move to judgement, move to understanding.
Chris talked about politics, since it is so in the culture right now with the presidential election. And he talked about how he is very open about his politics on social media. And he has had so many people judge him because of what he thinks and believes. (I will admit that I have judged him because he thinks the opposite of me, so this did hit home pretty hard.) He spoke about how another Facebook user had started arguing with him and moved to private messages when Chris asked why they thought that way. And they were so moved by his genuine interest for understanding that they both came to terms with each other.
It made me think of how many times I have judged people who think differently than me. I had just shared an article with my mother over the weekend that described a lot of reasons for why people are supporting the other candidate, and I shared it because it really made me think in a different way about their world view. I have many people that I consider good friends that are on the opposite side of the political spectrum than me. I still love them, and many times I want to better understand them. Thinking about it though, I have on many occasions judged them.
Then I had an even more interesting experience. I had a sign call on a new listing and the caller was interested in the property. He was also very (by my interpretation) negative. He was negative to me, and about the house. We still ended up making an appointment. At first I was judging him and thinking about being combative to push him to give me a quick yay or nay so that I could move on. Because from my judgement, I thought he was probably not very interested in the first place. As I was driving to meet him, I decided that I was going to move towards understanding instead. In talking to him, I did not get the details, I was able to uncover that he had had a traumatic experience with a robbery at his old house, and it made him very fearful around new people, and in general. Listening to him, and watching his mannerisms, it was very obvious that he had a lot of fear still. That fear and protecting himself had come off to me as he was trying to fight me. So I went into judgement and wanted to fight back. When I decided to go for understanding I found someone who needed people to be kind to him. He needed people to rebuild his trust.
Now that is a very different outcome than if I had stayed in judgement and stayed combative with him. Think about the change in his life just be meeting me and me being kind to him, instead of me reinforcing that people are going after him.
I have a friend and mentor who one time told me: “If you treat everyone you meet like their heart is breaking, you are probably not too far off.” I have also heard: Everyone is fighting an internal battle that you don’t know about. Move to understanding, not judgement.
I am grateful for an amazing coach in my life.
I am grateful for an amazing four year old who teaches me daily how to be better to her and everyone else.
I am grateful for understanding.