I was in Jazzercise and thinking about things (that's when I usually mess up) and it hit me what the reason is that I find myself being judgmental and critical. It is because I grew up with criticism - whether it was spoken or unspoken, it was there. Adding to that was the fact that there were no open displays of affection and few, if any, positive words. Growing up I never felt "good enough"; I was never a part of the popular groups; I never excelled in sports or music. I did make good grades. That was how I made up for my shortcomings which I thought were many.
It bothers me how quickly I judge others based on the most unimportant things - hairstyle, the person's wealth, appearance, little behaviors, political views, religious views, any view different from my own, annoying mannerisms, not getting my way - on and on and on. If I even see a group gathering before Jazzercise starts, my brain starts into being judgmental about a clique which I am imagining. I tend to view any achievement of someone else as a measurement of my lack of achievement. Why must I always compare myself to others? How can I stop doing that? It's an automatic response. I try to immediately replace the negative with a positive.
When did the love stop? By love I mean wanting the best for other people, putting others first (not being a doormat), caring and being interested in what's going on in their lives? When has the disconnect happened? Neighbors don't even know each other on a personal level past a wave on the way somewhere else. When did we get so wrapped up in our own world and what we are doing that we are insulted if someone does it differently - of course if it's different we are threatened and don't like it.
We feel obligated to show these people that they are wrong and if they would only follow our lead, we would show them how to do things right. Maybe we are unsure of ourselves and need to prove we are in control. I can be "Mrs. Fix It Fox" - I try to manage the lives of others sometimes.
Growing up feeling inferior and left out certainly has lasting repercussions. I am working on it because it bothers me that as a Christian I can have thoughts like this about others. I should look at each person with a loving heart and a positive regard without preconditions about what they have to be like for me to regard them as I should.
Do you do this? How do you overcome it?