Meet Harry. He has just bought a smart phone and he is enthusiastic about it. He has read so many great reviews on the Internet about it that he wanted to get one too.
He goes home, unwraps the product box and starts to charge his phone’s battery. After a couple of hours, Harry is ready to start using the phone and get rid of his old one.
Except…there is a problem.
Harry turns the phone on, but after testing it for 30 minutes, he has already made an opinion of his new phone: it’s the worst phone he has ever had and it’s very difficult to use.
In fact, he decides to take his old phone back to use, and to go to the phone store and return his new phone where he bought it from.
Yes, he has made his opinion about the new phone and he is not going to touch the piece of junk anymore.
Also, he decides to call his friends and warn about that particular phone model – that it’s faulty and they shouldn’t buy it either.
Harry feels upset and annoyed because of this phone episode.
Superficial and too quick
The situation that Harry faced wasn’t anything unique – it happens every day. And no, I’m not just talking about returning a smartphone back to where it was purchased from – I’m talking about the bigger picture.
The big picture is that people tend to judge something too fast – by testing or experiencing something only once.
Unfortunately, even this brief experience gives people enough confidence to claim that they know what they are talking about, even though they have only scratched the surface of the matter.
Testing and doing something only once is only going to give you a superficial experience at best, so shouting and complaining (or in the opposite, endorsing something) is not a reasonable strategy to follow.
Why we don’t have the patience of experiencing the thing thoroughly – and only then telling others our opinions about it?
Should Harry take an attitude check?
I’d start finding answers to Harry’s behaviour from his attitude.
He expects that everything should work smoothly from the get-go. When thing aren’t going like he wants, he decides to blame the situation – instead of looking at himself in the mirror.
Also, he should understand that in order to form a thorough experience of something, doing something only once is not enough. It takes more time to get the proper experiences and only after that is it reasonable to form an opinion about it.
Finally, the internal resistance is preventing him from testing the device any further. Once the opinion of that phone is formed, there isn’t any way to change his opinion.
Surely the phone isn’t getting going to get any better, no matter how much it’s tested. At least this is how Harry thinks.
Give enough time to see how things turn out
When you are facing a situation like Harry did (with a phone or with anything else), take a different route than what he did.
Make sure to test the new thing/thought/concept long enough, so that you can have a comprehensive experience about it – before judging or endorsing it. Don’t just do it once and say that a thing did or didn’t work.
When you have a proper experience of something, only then do you really know what you are talking about.
It’s also worth remembering that even if the thing doesn’t work for you, it can work well for someone else. The way you experience something can be totally different from someone else’s situation.
Finally, when testing and experiencing the new thing/concept, measure the benefits and disadvantages in your daily life. This way you can give an honest view to yourself (and other people) about the matter – instead of forming an opinion too fast.
My “Don’t Judge Too Fast” blueprint for Harry and the rest of us”
Remember these key points until making your final opinion about the matter:
- Take time. Don’t just try something only once in 30 minutes like Harry did. Instead, spend more time with a thing – on a continuous basis – and then form your opinion. The time spent in testing the thing/concept depends naturally on what you are testing, but it could be anything from a couple of days to weeks, sometimes to even months.
- Be patient and persistent. Understand that forming a comprehensive enough experience about something takes time. That’s why you need patience and must be persistent, until you can finally form your opinion.
- Measure the results. Do you know how this new idea/thing/concept has improved your life? Or did it decrease the quality of your life? After some testing, you start to see the benefits and disadvantages. Only after that can you weigh both sides and decide what you feel about the thing.
- It’s only your experience. When telling others about the matter, make sure to let them know this was just your experience of it. We are all individuals and our requirements differ. What might not work for your, can work for someone else.
- It gets easier every time. The more you spend time with the thing/concept, the more familiar and comfortable you’ll become with it. This means that the negative opinions you had in the beginning might be already forgotten, since you see things differently now.
- Share your feedback. If you form a negative view on the matter – even after extensive testing – let the source know about it, so that further improvements can be made.
For instance, if there is an issue with your laptop, let the manufacturer know about it so that it can be fixed. Or, if you think that a certain piece of software would be easier to use after a small tweak, send the developer some e-mail and explain the situation.
Too many times we tend to judge something too fast. Sometimes we might test the thing only once and we are ready to form an opinion about it.
Unfortunately, this is not a proper strategy to follow and instead, you should be willing to spend more time with the thing or idea, until you can objectively say if it’s good or bad.
Take some time to experience the thing thoroughly. Only after that, let others know what you think about it. And even then, emphasize the fact that this is only your experience about the topic.
Over to you: How do you make sure you aren’t judging something too fast?
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