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Why You Shouldn’t Judge Something that You Do it Once Only

Why You Shouldn’t Judge Something that You Do it Once Only

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?

Featured photo credit: American football on field via Shutterstock

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Timo Kiander

Productivity Author and Founder of Productive Superdad

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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