I know, I know….easier said than done to “just be nice to each other.” But really, you could help start a revolution by being kinder, nicer, having a bit more empathy and a lot less judgement. This week I’m sharing links to brilliants posts written recently by wonderful women.* I hope you’ll click through and read each of them.
My sweet friend Debi wrote passionately about choosing empathy. “When you use words or a look to pass judgment you are telling others you are better than them. We are human beings with thoughts, feelings, and experiences. We need to treat those we meet with the same empathy and compassion we would want in the same situation. We are equals. I don’t care about your skin color, religious upbringing, sexual orientation, education level, or socio-economic status. How about some empathy? Like a smile, empathy goes a long way and costs nothing.” Read the post here! A side effect of choosing empathy: it just feels better! When I catch myself being judgmental and remind myself to choose empathy instead, I feel less stress. Plus it is my hope that if I am more empathetic to others, it will circle back around to me. Couldn’t we all benefit from a bit more empathy and a lot less judgment?
Speaking of judgment, have you ever overheard moms trash talking another mom? I heard it just last week while chatting in a coffee house with a friend who is a mom. We talked about the constant judgment moms are up against. As though keeping another human alive isn’t tough enough, someone who you might think is a friend is berating you behind your back because you let your kid eat poptarts on the way to a swim meet. Wow. I’ve wondered if that might be one of the hardest parts of mothering, feeling like your choices are being judged or that you aren’t measuring up. Not only are there many people who want to give you unsolicited advice on how to be a better mom, but there are plenty who want to cut you down. Please don’t join their ranks. From the incredibly insightful Bree Hester: “When I became a mom, I really thought that I was entering a sisterhood – a group of women that supported and encouraged each other, but the reality is often disappointing. I find that more times than not, we use motherhood as a place to compare and compete. The thing is that it isn’t a game. And no one wins or loses. We are all trying to accomplish the same thing. Raise kids that feel loved, and that we are proud to call our own. It’s as simple as that.” Read the full post here.
Ever feel like your food choices are questioned? Ever questioned or judged someone else’s food choices? This article written by Emily Ptacek on Bustle.com is a must read. If a bartender rolls his eyes at you for ordering a gluten-free beer, if your aunt questions your food choices at Thanksgiving, if you find yourself defending gluten-sensitivity as a “real” thing, you’ll appreciate this article.”Consider this the next time you feel the urge to probe into someone’s reasons for avoiding gluten, or any food group for that matter: Most of us who are affected would rather look stupid than give you gross details. Whether someone is “sensitive,” “intolerant,” “celiac,” or has another illness that leads them to limit gluten (Crohn’s disease, colitis), the only thing you need to know is that it is probably not your business to ask. Who are you to judge what constitutes a “legitimate” allergy? I don’t ask you why you take anti-depressants, so why this obsession with asking me if my symptoms are “real”?” It’s simply best for all of us if we choose to be nice to each other, especially when it comes to something as essential as eating, instead of judging.
*I mentioned I was sharing posts written by amazing women. There are probably posts out there written by amazing men, too, on this subject. I just haven’t happened upon them. I have, however, happened upon men judging other men or not being particularly nice or helpful. This isn’t limited to women. So in less-than-soft speak, I’ll say this to you fellas: if you can’t say something nice or kind, if you want to judge or degrade another man, ZIP IT. Take a step back and consider for just one damn minute that the guy you are trash talking or insulting is doing the best that he can in this very moment. You may have no idea how much your kindness will mean to him.
Well, there you have it, some of the best reading I’ve seen in months on being nice to each other. I hope you can find a quiet moment today to sit down and read all of the posts I’ve linked to. I’m certain these ladies are causing positive change in our world, as are you just by reading their insights. Let’s make a Softer shift happen!