Society and the media have taught a large portion of the population to always look for the worst in everything. We tend to go through life seeing everything through judgmental eyes. All this does is create anger, division and cause hurt to ourselves and others.
This is an exercise that’s easy for anyone to try. It will take some practice, but once you get the hang of it, I believe you’ll be a much happier person. I’ve really enjoyed doing it, and it didn’t take long at all for it to totally shift the way I see things and make me more aware of my own thoughts.
The next time you go out to buy groceries, look around at the people you see. What is your first thought for each one? Do you think things like “God he’s fat!” or “What was she thinking with that outfit?” or “Old people are so slow!”? Bring your awareness to any negative thoughts or judgements you have about these total strangers. That’s step one.
Step two is deliberately finding something good to think about them instead. Maybe you though at first that a woman was fat, but you can see that she’s wearing a really pretty skirt. Maybe you thought the old people were slow, but they’re holding hands and must still be in love. Maybe someone’s outfit seems horrible to you, but you can see that they wear it with confidence. Start looking for something good in everyone you see.
Sometimes, you can’t see something good, so see something neutral. Man, woman, blue, tall, things like that are simple facts with no judgement. Get used to seeing positive or at least neutral in the people who pass you. If you hear a negative comment in your head, gently brush it aside (don’t get angry at it!) and replace it with something better.
In the hour or so it took me to go shopping on the first day I did this, I was seeing nothing but positive and neutral by the end. When we were checking out a huge smile lit up my face. Why? because I looked at two young women at the next register and my first thought was “They look so happy!” What a feeling to have that be my first thought about those strangers! I can imagine all the negatives that I or others could have tacked onto them, but I learned, that quickly, to see something better. It was such a joyous moment!
Try this exercise yourself. It really changes everything. You’ll even start to look at things other than people in this new light. It changes how you feel (for the better) and how you interact. I was even told the look on my face changed, I seemed to be happier and more approachable. Awesome!