So some time ago, I had a little chat with a friend(?) about how judgmental people can be. People can judge you even without once having met you in person. All they need is just to hear about you or look at your Facebook photo, and already many things can and will be said about you. They will discuss how you look; your features, your hair, your clothes, maybe even your non-existent buck tooth.
Well I’ve always believed that everyone, to a certain degree, is judgmental. When you hear about someone for the first time, no matter what, to help you form a mental image of the person, your brain naturally starts deciding how this person looks like. When you meet someone for the first time, you look at what they’re wearing, what their hair looks like, and if you’re into details maybe you will notice their make-up, jewelry, socks, everything. And more or less, that IS judging.
Anyways I just wanted to talk about something really close to my heart; a very important life lesson I learnt the hard way.
Basically, when I was doing my internship at a hotel, I was sent to the front office department. And since the first day I got there, there was this Duty Manager(#1) who never made an effort to interact. I heard lots of hearsay about how she’s very cold and unfriendly and doesn’t like talking to people, is arrogant etc. So of course me being young and new and hearing so many things about her, I stayed away from her.
Then one day, another DM(#2) we were both respectively very close to left the company and moved to Hong Kong. A few months later I visited her in HK, and it just so happened that #1 was also there to visit her at the same time. And by that funny little thing I call fate, all three of us ended up having dinner together. And that was actually the very first time I had a proper conversation with #1. From that one conversation, many of the misunderstandings we had about each other were cleared up, and when we both got back to Singapore and back to work, we continued to talk.
After some time, I got to know her better and more, and I realised that she is nothing like what other people made her out to be. She turned out to be a super funny, smart, friendly and such a softie at heart. She was just “cold”, “unfriendly” and “arrogant” because she was also struggling inside; she was extremely unhappy working in that company. And because I was also terribly unhappy there, we helped each other through it and of course became a LOT closer. Then one day, she decided she’s had enough, and she tendered her resignation. She was always scheduled to be on the midnight graveyard shift, and I would stay on after my shift overnight with her even if I had a shift again the next day to talk to her, because I knew we didn’t have much time left. And ever since then, I have felt a sense of guilt.
Even until now, today, when I think about it, even though we are still close and chat frequently, I still feel awfully guilty for having let other people get into my head, for listening to and believing in other people’s judgments. I blame myself for not making an effort to know her for myself. Because if I hadn’t and had gotten to know her for myself since day one, we would have had much more time to spend together, there would have been a lot more I could have learnt from her.
Basically, I’ve shared this because I hope everyone can realise that being judgmental isn’t a bad thing, it’s not wrong, but it is erroneous if you let your judgments get the better of you and deter you from actually talking to, interacting with, and really finding out for yourself what the other party is like.
Don’t let the people who have the power to make a huge difference in your life slip by just like that.
I know, because I’ve been through it. I was just lucky enough that it didn’t completely escape me. Trust me, this regret is not fun to live with so don’t make the same mistake I did!
Be the Change!