Have you ever seen someone and immediately made a judgement about him or her? If you’re silently saying “no,” then you’re lying. Don’t worry, we all have, but we can’t help it. This is actually called a snap-judgement, and it’s just something that our brains automatically do.
You shouldn’t feel bad if you do this (again, we all do), but you should feel bad if you let that snap-judgement determine who that person is without even getting to know him or her. You see, you never really know what someone’s life is like, unless you spend a day in his or her shoes.
To others she was snobby
When people saw her walk by, they assumed the worst—another privileged woman who knew nothing about the real world. She had everything she needed, was financially stable, was surrounded by people who loved her, and cared way too much about appearances.
She was skinny—way too skinny—so she probably had an eating disorder. I mean, how can someone look that way naturally? It just wasn’t right, right? Either that, or she spent entirely too much time at the gym. Either way, it doesn’t look good.
And why is she always wearing makeup? She probably doesn’t even look the same under that mask. Why does she care so much about the way she looks? Doesn’t she know that no one cares?
A day in her shoes
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP
As she looked at her phone with one eye open, she watched the clock face move from 5:20 to 5:30. 5:30 already? I feel like I slept for two minutes. Nevertheless, she got up and began her usual morning routine, which included sitting in front of her mirror and doing her makeup.
She knows that sleeping for 45 more minutes would be nice, but she also knows that she likes looking put together. She was one of those girls that always dressed nice and did her hair and makeup, simply because she wanted to. It was her way to begin her day, and feel like she could take on the world.
She threw together her outfit, fixed her hair accordingly, slipped on her black leather booties, and was off.
As she went through her day, she could feel peoples’ eyes like daggers everywhere she went. Sadly, she was used to this by now, and brushed it off like it was nothing. If she locked eyes with those dreadful daggers, she would smile, which would often result in a quick avert of the other’s eyes. Bu in those rare instances when she noticed a fleeting smile come across the other’s face, she felt complete.
You see, she truly cares about people, and you wouldn’t know this if you did not spend a day in her black leather booties.
At least once a week, she spends time volunteering. Although animals have her heart, she knows that people need her help, too. So, she limits the animal shelter visits to once (maybe twice) a month, and spends the remaining weeks at soup kitchens, churches, and homeless shelters.
She is also an extremely hard worker, and refuses to get anything handed to her. She’s been working non-stop since the day she turned 16, which has given her an excellent work ethic. She may not work multiple jobs, but the amount of work she puts in to her career equates to multiple jobs.
Yes, she’s skinny, but she’s also healthy. She works out because it makes her feel good. She loves the high she gets from a two mile run, and she thrives off of the soreness she feels after lifting weights. She wants to feel strong, so she enables her body to do so.
Not to mention she doesn’t feel bad about eating a bowl of ice cream if she just spent the past 60 minutes at the gym. After all, we all deserve treats.
Put those black booties on for a stroll
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” The same concept applies here, but I’m asking you to take it a step further.
You will have those snap-judgements—there’s no getting around it—but you have to take a step back and ask yourself, “What is life like in their shoes?”
You have absolutely no idea what a stranger does with his or her day-to-day life. Therefore, you have no circumstances to judge the type of person he or she may be. Instead, give them the benefit of the doubt.
If it’s someone that you have to interact with on a regular basis, then get to know them. Grab a coffee. Ask them questions. Understand why they are the way that they are. Worst case scenario—your personalities won’t mesh, and you end up drinking a coffee.
It’s amazing how little effort it takes to see what life is like in someone else’s shoes. Give it a try!