It’s easy to dislike certain types of people. Often, the people you dislike have hurt you or someone you love. As a result, you become biased. You might say, “I don’t like doctors. They’re so arrogant! I hate church people. They’re all hypocrites.”
It’s a normal part of the human experience to like some people and not like other people. If you’ve lived long or if you’ve experienced a lot of difficulty in relationships, you may have a whole list of different types of people you don’t like. This can make it easy to judge people based on how you think they’ll act or what you suspect they’ll say.
Are You Afraid of Differences?
The problem is that these biases can prevent potential friendships before they even have a chance to start. You might look at someone and say, “She reminds me of Emma. There’s no way I could be friends with her.”
Sometimes our dislikes are formed because we fear someone who is different from us. Maybe you’ve decided you don’t like Democrats or Republicans. Maybe you’ve said that the millennial generation are a bunch of entitled whiners. Maybe you think that baby boomers are judgmental know-it-alls.
Rather than unconsciously judging others, let your reactions and judgments help you achieve greater self-understanding and greater happiness.
When you use your judgment of others as a mirror to show you the workings of your own mind, every person’s reflection can become a valuable gift, making each person you encounter a teacher and a blessing.
Journal Your Thoughts
1. What types of people do you avoid? What do you think about these people?
2. What happened the last time you let someone in? What did you learn from this experience?
3. Who in your life are you avoiding right now because of a past bias?