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Things You'll Never Hear Anyone Say

As I was sitting at a busy lunch spot in Manhattan yesterday, I overheard many different snippets of conversations. Themes included: "I can't believe that so-and-so did this..." "It really sucks to work there because..." "If only [insert almost anything here] were different, then [insert future happy outcome here]."

I listened with curiosity, and considered the contrapositive of these statements. Here is an abbreviated list, which I am titling "Things that you'll never hear spoken aloud because people will never say them." Usually people won't even think these statements - at most, these could be a dark glimmer on the horizon of understanding.

My boss won't trust me, which is why I don't know the answer to that question. 
In my relationship, problems are due mostly to me. 
I'm not just wrong, I probably am ignorant of the history / context of the underlying issue. 
I could greatly improve my life if I got up off my ass and did something. 
I'm fat but I could probably do something about it, if I really wanted to change my diet or exercise. 
I should really stop complaining. No one wants to constantly be subjected to negative statements.

How did you feel when reading these? Likely you found when reading this list, as I did when writing it, that these statements are distressing when viewed from the "I perspective". Written in the first-person, we automatically put ourselves into the position of reading them as the "I."

And yet how often do we attribute these descriptions to others?

She's fat, but has so much potential, if only she could lose weight. Then she'd really be able to find someone. [or other variations on personal appearance] 
He's stupid, I can't believe the sh** he says. Anyone who believes this is equally idiotic. [anyone say this recently about any particular figures in public office?] 
If only they weren't so lazy - I really have to pick up their slack. They just don't know what they're doing. 

Even more extreme versions exist, of course, possibly with more swearing involved.

How did you feel when reading this list of statements attributed to others/ third parties? Did individuals come to mind who fit these descriptions? Did you find yourself nodding along?

Quite easy to think of folks to criticize, and quite painful to consider these same criticisms when applied to oneself.

Now if you are reading this, you might know me personally. And thoughts could come to mind such as "but of course everyone judges others -- you do, too." Of course I do. To claim not to be a hypocrite is the ultimate hypocrisy.

But gaining awareness of these mental habits and judgments being pinned on others is the first step to increasing empathy and kindness. Recognize the cycle, acknowledge it, and try to break free. See what positive rays start shining through your thoughts and emotions.

I hope you have had a kind start to your 2019. 

Comments

Thats an amazing one...Very true...one can never see their back...Being positive is very important...Look for many more blogs from you dear Emily...Best wishes :)

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