Placing judgement on others is to remove effort in relationships.

Internally, we see others' decisions- not to reply to emails or texts, for example, as intentional acts to hurt us. This is particularly hard for students. Believing that not responding to a text, or dismissal in the hallway, is to say: I cared about you yesterday, but, today, you don’t matter to me.

Placing judgement on others is to remove effort in relationships. Actions that lead us to endless loops of thinking. Why don’t they like me? What am I doing wrong?

Instead, we can help students by helping them question: what can I learn about a friend that tends to behave a certain way? Then, in understanding, how can I, personally, help them be happy. And, how can I incorporate it into my own behavior?

To ask why, is to care. And, caring is how we truly take steps towards understanding one’s life outside of a particular setting (school). Most importantly, we understand how to share with others what we know best, ourself.

When I speak with students in schools, I ask them to use every experience as a learning moment, and therefore, to embrace being awkward and vulnerable in conversations. To care for another is to understand. And, understanding allows us to have a presence for growth in our relationships.

Originally published on LinkedIn. For more articles, please check out my LinkedIn profile.