“Don’t judge others by how they look!” is easier to say than do. How many of us actually admit that we have some kind of bias based on someone’s appearance?
When a teacher asked us that question, my immediate response was NO like most others. But later on, we learned that our unconscious biases result in judging others.
Here’s the question – Do you like being judged? Probably NOT. So how can we stop judging others so quickly?
In this article, you’ll find a simple strategy called reverse 3 wise monkeys.
Do you judge others?
Here’s the thing. We don’t judge others when we’re little. Then the environment and people around us start influencing our values and beliefs. Before we know it, we become critical of others and unfortunately ourselves.
Chances are, many of us don’t even know how judgemental we are until we become aware of it. Unless we’re open to learning, we may keep judging others and ourselves.
For instance, my learning opportunity occurred when I met my son’s hockey coach who was covered in tattoos. Nobody in my social circle had tattoos covering one’s body. So my immediate reaction was “The 3 wise monkeys” and I subconsciously distanced myself.
After a few practices, my son told me how much he liked his coach. So I wanted to get to know him. Long story short, as soon as I started talking to him, I changed my perspective. He was such a friendly and fun individual who knew how to coach the little NHL players.
As I mentioned, I subconsciously judged him. With that experience, I came up with the strategy called reverse 3 wise monkeys to stay open-minded.
What’s the reverse 3 wise monkeys’ strategy?
When we encounter unfamiliar individuals, we often become the 3 wise monkeys to avoid any engagement. That’s when we start judging and creating our story about that particular individual. But what if we allow ourselves to observe, talk or listen (This is the Japanese order) to her/him?
Of course, it depends on the circumstances of the situation. If it’s in a safe environment, you may try the reverse 3 wise monkeys’ strategy. More often than not, you won’t regret getting to know others.
Next, you’ll find out how that works.
Observe – Don’t judge
Instead of jumping to an immediate conclusion, just watch and see what she/he does. She/he may have a reason for her/his appearance or actions. Remember to stay open-minded and learn a bit more about the person.
Talk and discover
This one takes the most courage out of the three. But introduce yourself and have a conversation with the individual. You’ll probably find something fascinating, so you’ll likely change your perspective on her/him. You never know if she/he may become your lifetime friend!
Listen and learn
The last one is to listen and learn about the person. Even when you don’t have much to say, asking questions and listening to her/him leads to a better understanding. Think about it. Don’t you like it when someone shows interest?
In conclusion, nobody likes being judged. So when you feel like you’re judging others, tell your subconscious mind to stop and apply the strategy of the reverse 3 wise monkeys. When you observe, talk and listen, you won’t judge them by their appearance. ❤️
Don’t get me wrong, I still judge others whenever I don’t pay attention to myself. It’s really a daily practice. Since I started applying the strategy, I’ve become more peaceful and kind to myself too.
Just be clear, you don’t have to use it with total strangers. Whether it’s your extended family, work, school, your children’s team etc, you probably have someone you subconsciously keep your distance from. Those are the people you can apply the strategy of reverse 3 wise monkeys to!