Judgemental – A Natural Wiring?

Being non-judgemental is the foundation of many organization culture elements: inclusion, collaboration and empathy to name a few. It’s about accepting people

  • for who they are,
  • understanding their perspective,
  • respecting their views and opinions

I have been on this learning path for some time now. I was proud of the progress I made; I thought I am quite non-judgemental. Yet, a recent situation got me to reassess my progress.

I was in Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun returning to Mumbai. While checking in, I saw an actor couple – very well-known for their work in Bollywood movies, theatre and TV shows. I am not revealing their names to maintain confidentiality. While both wore masks, I (and many others in the airport) immediately recognized them.

The flight was late by an hour. I took a quiet corner in the waiting area and sat down. After a while, the actor couple walked over and sat few seats away from me. The business lounge was small and crowded, so they preferred sitting in the open (I happened to overhear their conversation  ).

They were so close…. and I admire the male actor, so I thought of requesting for a selfie. Then I decided otherwise and kept reading my Kindle.  Very soon, heads started turning in their direction. A gentleman requested for a selfie. And the lady responded, “No pictures please, thank you.”  She was rude! Or better way to put is she sounded rude to me!!

At that moment, I thought:

  • “Thank God I didn’t ask for a selfie and go through the rejection”
  • “What’s the big deal, how does it matter if she takes few selfies? Success indeed goes into people’s heads.”

Over the next 15-20 mins, two more people tried. Every time the actor repeated the phrase. After that people stopped coming, guess word had spread.

Later, I realized that I was being judgemental of the actor couple. Whether they wish to be photographed with someone or not, is entirely their choice. They would have their set of reasons, past experiences, who knows…. I am not a public figure and I would not know the challenges faced by them.

I also wondered, “are we naturally wired to judge others, especially if we do not agree with their actions, decisions or opinions?”

Two steps when added between experience and conclusion, are likely to help us become non-judgemental

  1. Being conscious of our thoughts
  2. Trying to understand the other person

How do you practice being non-judgemental? Would love to hear your experience.

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