My fiancé is a strong, intelligent, beautiful and capable woman. I love a million things about her but there is one thing that I absolutely respect about her. She is the least judgmental person I have ever met. Even when slighted she does not insult or belittle people. She is 5’3” and about 100lbs. She doesn’t diet or suffer from body dysmorphia, she’s just petite. In the ten and a half years we’ve been together I have heard her called skinny bitch, usually as a joke but never the less at least 100 times. She stays in her lane, orders a steak with shrimp and a fully loaded potato and moves on but it bothers the hell out of me. It was brought up in conversation one night that someone had commented on her weight and I said, “She’s just jealous because she’s fat.” My well-meaning but highly juvenile comment was replied to with sympathy for the perpetrator and a calm response, “Babe, that’s not nice. Nobody should be judged by their physical appearance.”
Was I wrong in saying that? Yeah I was. This was years ago and I’ve made a conscious effort to control my judgey mouth since. As a stutterer I should know better but at that time I was in an adolescent stage of my self-development. The thing that confused me was the people who said skinny bitch were perpetual dieters living on 800 calories a day. Was their diet failing them or their subconscious inner kamikaze? Did my fiancé make me look like an asshole or did my judgey mouth?
Growing up I was surrounded by adults who worked hard and long. I have a vicious work ethic and I attribute that to those adults. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be brought up in a family and neighborhood that believed in the American dream and understood the entrepreneurial spirit. The only issue I have with the model of success I was raised in, is the overt distain for successful people. I still get much more upset when cut off by a Tesla than a Civic. Why? Because I heard all about how rich people were given everything and take from the middle class. They are thieves and lack morality. We have less because they have more. Why are people who are breaking their physical bodies and sacrificing every joy in life to be financially successful insulting the people that they are actually trying to become? Why do overweight people insult physically fit people while trying to lose weight? Why do I get mad at the douche in the Tesla that thinks he’s too good to use a turn signal even though I really want a Tesla.
I’m not going to get into the psychology of ambivalence or the cognitive dissonance created by this way of thinking but we all need to understand how it hurts us in the long run. As a business owner in my 30’s I remember when I started to do well. My phone was ringing off the hook and the money started to flow. My bank account was growing but I didn’t. I still thought of successful people as sociopathic crooks who were the cause of all the evil in the world. As I stood at the cusp of expansion and my tax bracket climbed I met hardships and only realized later the self-sabotage involved. If I hurdled my present financial state I would be one of those. Those evil, selfish, unworthy people who cause the suffering of the hard working honest people of integrity that I learned everything I know from. It’s all subconscious and at the time I was completely blind to it.
If you sit on your tailgate at work and talk about the how lucky your boss is to be given his position and what an asshole he is for making more than you… How will you respond when offered a promotion? You’ve bashed your superiors for years along with your coworkers and now your to become the bashed. You’ll probably sabotage yourself, lose the opportunity and redirect your tailgate rants at the guy who took the position and pay raise.
I believe the biggest challenge of success is loneliness. If you spend six months sweating your ass off, pushing your limits, disciplining yourself and losing 50 pounds it would be a little awkward to be in a room with the overweight people you used to talk shit about skinny people with. If you say rich people are greedy and selfish to your family, it would be difficult to pull up in a Mercedes to Thanksgiving dinner after your hard work paid off and you achieved a higher financial status. Imagine sitting around the table while the family talked about their money problems and you have to sit there being told that rich people don’t deserve their money. What about that time you said that they should give everything they have to the poor? Or, how pathetic it is that they spend so much on a nice car when there are people starving?
This mode of thinking causes a few problems. Because of this you can’t;
-drive a nice truck because it means you have a little dick.
-get muscles because buff guys are douchebags.
-live in a nice neighborhood because that’s where yuppies go.
-win the lottery because the only respectable thing to do would be giving it to charity.
-take charity because that’s what lazy people do.
-buy something nice because there are people starving somewhere.
-expand your social circle because you’re this type of person.
-accept a promotion because your part of the righteous class.
-be a better parent because you were raised this way.
And the absolutely biggest one…
-change anything about yourself for the better because the people you are closest to choose not to.
That’s a tight corner that you’ve backed yourself into… How do you get out of it? Anything you do will open the gates of judgement and you’ll fall into the abyss of hypocrisy. It’s actually quite simple, stop judging and start cheering. I realized this about two years ago and the effects it has had on me and my outlook on life are almost indescribable. It sounds lame but I took baby steps. When I saw someone who was doing well for themselves I simply said in my head, good job. When I parked beside a car I liked I would ask the owner how they like it and tell them it’s beautiful. These evil people are actually quite polite and instead of seething over it as I walked into the store I had an awesome conversation about it.
I have always had a hard time putting on muscle and that douchebags with 15in guns… You know he uses steroids and can’t read, right! What if he actually enjoys working out. The truth is he does and so do I now since I can go to the gym and not be full of disgust the entire time. He also doesn’t do steroids and graduated from Cal-Poly with an engineering degree. Now that I don’t see buff dudes as Neanderthals I’m free to become one.
I can be smart, successful, good looking and charismatic if I choose too because I don’t drown those accomplishments in judgements. My subconscious mind is being rewired every day to allow me to be the person I want to be. I meet really interesting people and have conversations that inspire me. I follow my own path and graciously accept advice from those who have done what I’m trying to do. There are days I slip up and the hater inside me stands on his soapbox with a superman pose expressing his disdain for everything he’s jealous of. I’d rather be Lex Luther so he can kiss my ass. Along with success comes judgement. When you decide to stop judging others whom better themselves and follow suit you will be judged by those who choose not to. There is no way around this and you might lose your place in the righteous class but that’s a choice you will have to make. I like to remind myself that the players in the game make much more than the referees.
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