What do you see when you look at me? Do you see a lot of hair and makeup? Someone who must be superficial and high maintenance? Someone who looks naive and like they haven’t experienced much in the world? What if I told you that there are plenty of times I walk out of the house with no makeup and my hair a mess? What about the fact that I’m in graduate school right now with a 4.0 GPA? Or how about that I have experienced and know what it is like to lose a child. Not what you initially thought?
We all do it. We look at someone and judge them before really knowing them. The word judge can sound pretty harsh, but it’s true. Think about it. If you are forming an opinion or conclusion based off of how someone looks (no matter how nice it may be or not), you are judging them whether intentional or not. One of the most frustrating things I have experienced is someone judging me before ever meeting me. They assumed things about me from what they saw on social media. Social media, now that’s a whole other topic that an entire blog post could be written about. But while I’m on the subject, here is your daily reminder that what you see on Social Media is not real life. I remember at the time that I was being unfairly judged, thinking to myself, “Dang, at least get to know me first, and then if you want to talk negatively about me, go ahead.”
Everyone has a past, a story, and a journey. There is a popular expression that says, “You never know what a person is going through.” And while I am guilty of hearing it so much that it sometimes loses its depth, it’s important that we remind ourselves of the gravity of that statement. People’s actions, beliefs, and views are a mixture of their own life experiences. A 10 second interaction with someone could have nothing to do with you but everything to do with personal things going on in their own life. Or maybe you have experienced looking at someone who appears to have life together and all figured out. Spoiler alert, that’s not true. We all have our struggles and things going on that the world may never know about. Whether it’s struggling with depression, an eating disorder, or a miscarriage. In a world today where people can so freely and easily spread hate, it’s important that we stop and are sensitive to each other. Especially as women, it’s important that we support and uplift each other instead of tearing down. Before you come to a conclusion about someone or speak about them, stop and remember that all isn’t always what it seems. There’s another popular expression that says, “What you see is what you get.” And while that may be true for some things in life, that doesn’t always apply to people.