I learned a lesson on creating lasting bonds quickly that I have to share with you.
A high school teacher with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working said “You bond quickly with the kids.”
I shared this observation with my mastermind group. Simultaneously they said “That’s because you don’t judge them.” Their comment brought to mind other instances where people have commented on the fact that I don’t judge others. Yet it wasn’t until I heard the overwhelming consensus of my mastermind group that I gave it more thought. Here’s what I’ve discovered.
When you accept people as they are…without judgment…you quickly gain their trust, respect and friendship.
You know from personal experience that you’re more likely to trust someone when you’re sure they aren’t going to judge you, your values or your beliefs. Conversely, anytime you sense that you’re going to be judged you become less comfortable, and certainly less open, in sharing your thoughts.
You also know that you respect people who have solid values and beliefs that aren’t congruent with yours, yet they respect your right to your values and beliefs. The flip side of the coin is that when others don’t respect you and your beliefs, they forfeit the right to your respect…at least in your eyes.
It’s amazing, but true, you can enjoy the friendship of people who don’t share your values. That friendship may not be as deep as one in which your values and beliefs are aligned with theirs, but it can exist and continue for decades despite your disparate beliefs.
As you meet people, whether it be someone new to you or someone whom you previously judged, remind yourself that you’re going to accept them as they are…without judging them.
If it’s someone you previously judged and the conversation didn’t go well, apologize for your earlier remarks. Let them know that you realize that you weren’t respecting their rights to their beliefs. More often than not, they’ll admit that they could have handled it better as well.
There’s an old adage that says it’s not the number of years a person lives that matters, it’s the number of people who are glad they lived them. Give yourself the gift of being remembered fondly by people who became your friends simply because you didn’t judge them.
For our kids
As you see the kids in your life judging, ask them how they feel when others judge them. Ask them whether they trust a person who judges them. Ask them whether they respect a person who has judged them. Ask them whether they’d prefer to have a friend or an enemy.
As they experience their reactions to people who judge them, they’ll see the folly of judging others.
By the way, don’t forget to live this message. Kids do emulate the behavior of the adults in their lives…especially when they see that what the adults are doing is working.