Since competition and a reliance on judgment is part of our human DNA, it's unrealistic to try to stop judging people altogether. However, there are limits. If you catch yourself making the stink eye or mentally mocking your friend's wedding dress as she walks down the aisle, do what you can to curtail these hurtful thoughts. The next time you're a guest at a friend's wedding, for example, switch gears and force yourself to focus on the positives instead of the negatives.
You might feel the urge to judge your friend for playing heavy metal at her reception, for example, but even though loud rock wouldn't have been your decision, try to remember that it's her day. Celebrate and embrace who she is, not who she is not.
We know; it's hard not to judge. Sometimes it's downright impossible to keep nagging, smug thoughts about a friend's cheesy wedding DJ or tacky color scheme from entering your mind. But weddings would be incredibly dull if every bride wore the same gown, every couple played the same music and every wedding cake tasted the same. Different cultures, traditions and tastes keep our nuptials interesting, and regardless if a bride and groom attempt to be unique and stray from the norm or they do everything they can to adhere to established wedding standards, you're not doing them, or yourself, any favors by picking apart their choices. If you were in charge, could you have done it better? Maybe. Does it matter? Not at all.
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More Great Links
- Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin. "Reviewing Applicants: Research on Bias and Assumption." 2006. (Aug. 18, 2011) http://main.uab.edu/Sites/faculty-development/images/78882.pdf
- Goldstein, Elisha. "Seeing the Person: 4 Steps to End Judgmental Thoughts." Huffington Post. Nov. 6, 2010. (Aug. 17, 2011) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elisha-goldstein-phd/4-steps-to-better-relatio_b_779168.html
- Krakovsky, Marina. "Mixed Impressions: How We Judge Others on Multiple Levels." Scientific American. Jan. 27, 2010. (Aug. 17, 2011) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mixed-impressions
- Melina, Remy. "Positive Thoughts May Help Treat Depression." Live Science. Aug. 4, 2011. (Aug. 30, 2011) http://www.livescience.com/15409-overcoming-depression-positive-thinking.html
- Post, Emily. "Guests." Emily Post. (Aug. 16, 2011) http://www.emilypost.com/guests
- ---. "The Good Guest's Pledge." (Aug. 16, 2011) http://www.emilypost.com/weddings/a-guide-for-guests/328-the-good-guests-pledge
- Red Orbit. "Even Toads Are Picky About Their Mates." Jan. 6, 2010. (Aug. 30, 2011) http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1805494/even_toads_are_picky_about_their_mates
- Ritter, Melissa. "What's Up With All the Wedding Hoopla?" Psychology Today. Apr. 13, 2011. (Aug. 17, 2011) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/psychoanalysis-30/201104/whats-all-the-wedding-hoopla
- Rufus, Anneli. "Who Are We to Judge?" Psychology Today. May 14, 2009. (Aug. 30, 2011) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stuck/200905/who-are-we-judge