Learn to be kinder to yourself and others

Photo by Simon Ray on Unsplash

A few years ago, when I started my career, I prided myself on being able to judge my colleagues quickly and easily.

Now, I pride myself on the fact that I don’t, and CAN’T judge anyone.

People are complex and wonderfully contradictory. “Judging” someone as flaky, rude, negative, confident, heroic, conceited, and cunning, puts people in boxes that are too limiting and mistakenly gives us the impression that one person can only be a few things.

What we forget is that this process of judging takes circumstances, situations and environments out of the equation and that causes errors in judgement. We may, for example, perceive our spouses as lazy, but judging them so precludes us from noticing or acknowledging their hard work and tenacity under other circumstances and that is our loss.

More importantly, we tend to judge ourselves as harshly as we judge others too.

This is toxic.

We also are flawed, complex, and wonderfully contradictory.

We are emotional, overly rational, rude, kind, lazy, hardworking, funny, dumb, smart, and really, we are everything at different times, under different circumstances.

All we can do is try to be honest with ourselves about what we are feeling at a given point in time.

If we don’t like who we are, first of all, let’s forgive ourselves.

Let’s tell ourselves that it is okay.

Then, let’s try to learn to be more of something we want ourselves to be.

Remember, the process starts with being kind to ourselves and telling ourselves that it is okay to be lazy. It is okay to feel sad. It is okay to be sick. It is okay to feel incompetent. It is okay to say dumb things. It is okay to make mistakes.

We will overcome this too. Whatever it is that we are feeling. Have faith. Be kind to yourself and to others.

I'm a product manager living in San Francisco with a heart that refuses to leave Chennai! I enjoy writing about product management, technology, and food.

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