I admit it. I silently judge people. You know, THOSE people.
The ones that drive as if wherever they have to go is obviously more important than your plans. They are in their own world, totally oblivious to their surroundings; they slow down shopping lines and transactions for everyone. People who answer their cell phones at inappropriate moments without concern for others. And the ones that look like they just rolled out of bed and couldn’t even be bothered to take a shower before coming out in public.
This month I was one of THOSE people.
I was driving like a crazy person because I was trying to get to the emergency room. I was in my own little world because I was thinking about someone I loved. I answered my phone on the first ring, anywhere, because it might have been a doctor returning my call. I looked terrible because I had been sitting next to a hospital bed for days. (And who wants to shower at a hospital, gross).
I am not saying this to solicit pity.
My situation mended. And I am once again a polite, showered, conscientious person.
I am saying it because it taught me a valuable lesson in empathy.
My experiences this month made me realize that people deserve the benefit of the doubt. If they are behaving badly, they might have a good reason. Perhaps they are dealing with a stressful situation that is beyond anything I could even imagine.
Or perhaps they are just being a jerk.
But unless I know them well enough to know the difference, I do not have the right to judge them. Even silently.
Life can be hard. For everyone. At some point each one of us will be one of THOSE people.
So just be nice.
By Anya Ciecierski, Collaboration Works Marketing
Follow me on Twitter: @AnyaCWMktg