If we were to observe a child, it’s rarely the case that they become difficult, have tantrums and meltdowns out of the blue. There most definitely has to be a trigger. A cause and effect happening there. It can be as big as having some feud at school or as small as feeling a tad too cold. But there always is a reason for any behaviour.
And children are essentially smaller versions of the human species. What’s to say, it’s any different for adults? In a single day, we might feel sad, happy, nervous, angry or melancholy. I’ve come to realise that these feelings are most likely triggered by something. And it doesn’t matter whether that something is as small as a tummy ache or having just gotten the boot.
If we were to judge a person’s character based on their behaviour at a single point in time, we will never truly get to know that person’s true nature; their character and whom they truly are inside.
The sad thing is, a lot of us tend to judge people by their behaviour. I’m no better and have done the same many times.
What I’ve come to realise, is that this mis-perception of taking a person’s behaviour to be the definition of who they are is limiting. This judging of the book by its front cover, prevents us from genuinely getting to know them holistically as a person.
A person has many dimensions. Their behaviour at a certain point in time, is merely a fraction or less of them as a person. What I mean here, is that every person you meet has a history, they have life experiences and inner truths and turmoil that only they know. Judging a whole person for who they are by some few words or actions they exhibit is never justifiable.
It’s not only about getting to know that person (I mean, you might not want to know them, and that’s fine as well), but it’s about self-growth.
When you are judging anything, anyone, based on a very small set of views, perhaps a single behaviour at a single time, it’s also about you as a person. It limits your perception of the story, the bigger picture.
When you come to certain sets of conclusion about a person based on this limited lens and perception, your glass, at that point in time is full. And if it’s full, you’ve essentially stopped learning. You have basically hindered yourself from fully taking in what the world has to offer in terms of personal growth, knowledge and life experiences.
A person’s behaviour at a point in time is almost never an accurate reflection of who they really are, which is about personal values that developed over time, fears, wants, motivations, ambitions, dreams… literally, their own life stories.
A reminder I tell myself ever so often:
A person’s behaviour is an extension of who they are, not what they are.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying that every person is good. There is good. There is evil. It’s a spectrum and any person’s true self could be anywhere on that spectrum.
But what I’m saying is, if we conclude that a person is selfish, incompetent, naive, or delightfully generous, based on limited behaviours we’ve seen, it is ourselves, that we are hurting. Our limited and judgemental view, prevents us from growing as a person as well.
Now, as to whether you want to get to know an individual more or not, whether you’d like to build a relationship with that person or not… is completely your free choice.