For quite some time, I’ve been pondering about why do we judge other people so much and how to stop doing this.
We’re essentially little tyrants that want others to be like us and think like us. We get angry if they don’t. Some do it more than others, but we all have this tendency.
I’ve written about this a little bit before and came to the conclusion that this happens when we’re not living our lives the way we want. We’re unsatisfied with our life situation, and this makes us especially prone to criticize others.
People who are living their life to the fullest don’t have time to worry about others. The actions of others don’t even enter their reticulate activation system. It’s as if they’re operating on a totally different wavelength.
I recently started to read Robert Greene’s The Laws of Human Nature, where he gives some very interesting advice regarding this judging. I wanted to share these with you.
He goes so much deeper into this and explains it way better than I ever can, so the following is really just a poor man’s version.
One idea that struck me was that we should view people as facts – a phenomenon to explore.
Most people are simply being run by their deeply hardwired emotions. When they act a certain way towards you, its nothing to be taken personally – you just happened to cross their path at the wrong time. It’s not about you – it’s just their brain.
We don’t get mad at trees, plants, or animals, so why should we do that towards people? We should view people as puzzles – trying to solve them or to figure out why do they think and say as they do.
When people go to war, it’s because both sides believe they’re right. Same with religion or politics or just about anything. Everyone believes they’re the rational ones, and the others are the irrational ones. The truth is, none of us are rational.
Everyone’s just doing the best they know. Sometimes they know very little, and therefore their actions reflect that. We can’t blame them.
Greene advises us to stop reacting to the emotions of others. When we react, we’re like a plastic bag in the wind – thrown around as the wind pleases. It’s very difficult to live like this.
The only way is to step out of this reaction mode and whatever people throw at you – you observe and try to understand why they do what they do – but you stay in your own lane.