Judging People Fairly – Six Emotional Fitness Tips

Thich Nhah Hanh Quote

Prejudice, judging people in groups, starts in fear when our brains decide we are in danger from a person or group of people. Feelings are how the brain signals us that something is happening. The number one priority for our brain is always to signal danger.

Fear is the signal that you might be in danger.  Might is the pivotal word. Why does that word matter? Because prejudices are hasty generalizations based on personal experiences of hurt or threat of hurt augmented by various voices of authority supporting those personal fears. Might means the signal could be wrong. It could come on with the intensity of a 911 call, when little risk exists.

Another factor? Uncertainty, almost as big a motivator as the drive for sex or food, frequently creates fear. What creature lurks in the dark? Uncertainty. What evil lurks in the heart of man? Uncertainty. We stay out of dark alleys at night; we trust the stranger less than those we know. Moreover, often nothing lurks on the dark and good lurks in the stranger’s heart more often than evil.

What to do? Here are some tips.

Emotional Fitness Training Tips

Tip one: Recognize the basis for your negative judgments of people.  Are you driven by some negative experiences from people your brain has therefore classified as dangerous?  Are you surrounded by those who leap to judging people? Have you been taught to be afraid of “people who are differently made”?  

Tip two: Accept that every label categorizing people is judgmental. Just as labels are useful on a file folder, labels serve a purpose. Judging people does keep us safer. Problems arise when labels get applied for the wrong reason. Judgments based only skin color, religion, class, caste, IQ, looks, or possessions are hasty generalizations.

Tip three: Know that your most passionate beliefs are keys unlocking your judgments of people. Passionately, atheistic? Devoted to Christianity?  A highly religious Jew? A Conservative? A Liberal? Moreover, the harder you try to convince your religious friends God does not exist, the more you are judging them unfairly. Same when you as a religious person seek to convert people to your faith. The more you argue politics, the more you judging people by a label.

Tip four: Hang out with a different crowd. Love CNN? Try Fox News. Adore Russ Limbaugh? Try Rachel Madow. Who you hang out with generally speaks to your core beliefs and who you feel is most like you.  The comfort in being with those who think like you, however, narrows your thoughts and supports judgmental beliefs.

That is also where uncertainty plays a part in people judging.  Being with, listening too those who think differently can and frequently does create uncertainty about what you  think. As uncertainty about core beliefs in particular is uncomfortable you either avoid it or argue with it.

The desire to belong fills churches, synagogues, mosques and the streets and mob mentality. Mob mentality is real and much driven in today’s world by the media. Better to get to know lots of different types of people. Hard only because doing so requires keeping an open mind when uncertainty, doubt, and fear nibble at you.

Tip five:   Strengthen your self-soothing skills. Obviously if you are going try what your brain sees as dangerous, you need strong self-soothing skills. My easy Emotional Fitness Exercises will help you strengthen yours.  that. For a quick introduction go here Emotional Fitness Exercises  

Also considering investing my eBook, Self Soothing: Create Calm Your Life.  At $2.99 it is cheaper than a latte and calms you easier and longer. Moreover, you will be Practicing Kindness to me.

Tip six: Remember what matters.  Some judgement of others is needed. Sadly we tend to judge on too many things that don’t matter. In the long run all that matters is being kind, working hard to make your part of the world better, and standing against all violence and oppression.

Standing against violence and oppression means judging people. The best way to do that is to base judgments on how a person’s deeply help beliefs weigh against their actions. Think of today’s protesters. Their beliefs are for liberty and equality; some of their actions suppress the right of others to speak. Think of a religion that talks of peace and love for all, but wars against non-believers.

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Post Inspiration: How this post relates to this  WordPress Daily Prompt: Precipice. The outcome of this years Presidential election has made many of us feel as though we are approaching a precipice.post. Go here to learn more about the Daily Prompts.

Links of Interest

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

Even the most learned researchers and therapists quarrel about much.  Take their advice and mine carefully.  Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think, lbut listen to your heart.  Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you be others.  As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.

Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors

If  you need perfect posts, you will not find them  here;  I will understand if you don’t follow, like or share what  like me.  Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability,  Some of my posts might be peppered with bad spelling, poor punctuation, and worse words that make no sense.  If  you want to hang in with me, thank you; you are kind. If a post doesn’t make sense or bugs you too much, stop reading, I will understand.

Agree or disagree, comments are always welcomed.

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