For almost a year, I have been a vegetarian. My family and a lot of people do not understand why I would ever stop eating meat because it is so delicious. It is as though I am weird for not liking it anymore. The reality is: This is my choice and not theirs. Their opinions about my lifestyle should have no impact on me. My lifestyle choices, especially one such as my diet, is not a reflection of me as a person and my characteristics. Sure, comments bother me, but I know that they are most likely placing judgment out of a lack of not understanding. There are times when their negativity gets in my head or makes me feel bad about myself and about my new lifestyle. I am human, and it is bound to happen at some point.
Whenever faced with criticism, I have learned to ignore people’s opinions of me by telling myself, at that moment, their judgment may affect me emotionally but what matters more is what I hold true to myself. I think a good general rule we should all follow is before we ignore the opinions of others, we should get to know them and see where they are coming from. Just because you may not agree with someone’s opinion does not mean you should dismiss them as a person in general. They still have strong values and positive things about them.
The old saying goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” I think we can elaborate on this and say, do not judge someone based on one opinion they have placed or one situation you got to know them through. You never know, this could become someone you find common ground with despite starting in a conflicted state. I believe we should attempt to get on the other person’s level if this is the case. If once you level with this person, you realize a relationship with them is not something that will serve you positively then allow yourself to move on.
I think as mature adults we can at least try to find a common, respectful ground. If we all worked harder to create mutual understandings amongst one another, we may not live in a world today that is so based on judging a book by its cover and by what they have heard from others rather than getting to know the person.