Does Your Attitude Need an Adjustment?
Most of us have an opinion or attitude about everything we encounter, however we may vary in our intensity of passing judgment. Whether it is a relationship, friends, work environments, and even preferences of food or the movies you choose to watch, we sternly, “like,” or “dislike,” and are rarely “indifferent.” In forming these opinions, does it ever feel as if you are crossing the fine line of “judging?” Do you find yourself reacting too quickly and formulating an opinion making it hard to later change because you have essentially locked yourself into a certain belief? It is in our nature to sort everything into categories of like or dislike, and this exercise will help you become aware of your judgments and allow you to adopt a different perspective—acceptance.
The next time you catch yourself in a situation of “judgment,” perhaps during a jaw-dropping admiration of someone’s upscale wardrobe, or the disgust of the comments from a micro-managing boss. Catch yourself in the moment of your initial reaction, and pause while you examine your reaction.
Identify your immediate attitude and reaction to the situation—like or dislike? Allow yourself to think about this reaction. Have you always felt this way about the situation, or is this a recently acquired attitude? What may have caused this change in your attitude? And most importantly, ask yourself is this a healthy reaction or is it causing you additional undue stress and burden? Take note of any body sensations that may also arise. Are you tense and frustrated, or feeling a harmonious warm and fuzzy feeling of bliss?
Now try to see this situation from another person’s point of view. Recognize that it is quite probable that someone else would have an entirely different attitude or reaction to this same situation. Realize that because of our diversity, there is no “wrong” or “right” when it comes to judgment. Realizing this may help you adopt a more humbling attitude, and restrain you from being too quick to jump to an unfounded opinion.
As you learn how to catch yourself in these moments, and deepen your understanding of your attitude, keep in mind that your reaction is based on feelings and emotion, not truth or evidence. Recognize that your attitude, like everything else, will change over time. Resist your initial reaction to judge and allow yourself to see the situation from a variety of perspectives. Wouldn’t it be advantageous of you to take several factors into consideration before forming and expressing an instant and often uneducated opinion? When you are able to adopt an attitude of acceptance and openness it will help you better navigate life’s challenges and provide you with greater flexibility.
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