Is there anyone who hasn’t thought that about people in general or maybe just certain people? We, human beings, have an incredible capacity for judging and invalidating people. From what we’ve experienced, we think it’s likely that you have had these kinds of thoughts too.
One way to think about your judgements and opinions is that they create your expectations about people. They set up how you listen to what others say and how you observe what they do. When we listen to people from our judgements and opinions, we look for evidence that makes us right about them.
Our expectations, or said another way, “our way of listening” to another or others, has an enormous impact. Many times we don’t realize the impact that a negative point of view can have in shaping how someone shows up for us. A person’s self expression is influenced by how we listen to them.
Try an experiment with someone who you have a negative point of view about. For the next few days, or weeks if you don’t connect with them often, put aside your opinion about them – start to look for reasons to acknowledge them and when you find one, actually acknowledge them.
Dr. Victor Frankl makes the point very powerfully in this talk from 1972:
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