I stood among a crowd of people the other day and caught myself making a conscious choice … to look for the bad in people.
This guy looks like he’s too busy to play with his kids. That guy looks like he’s going to keel over and die if he smokes one more cigarette.
Sizing up threats evolved over many years. We needed to assess threats quickly; it often meant life or death.
Although the days of being chased by lions are gone, we continue to size up every situation. We look for an edge, or, an escape.
It all depends on the context. If it’s a job interview, your body language will dictate whether you get the job.
In this moment, I was looking for something to feel better about myself.
I’m not like that all of the time. That was my lizard brain talking. I know there is much more to a person that I could possibly infer in an instant.
I asked myself, ‘Why do I think I know anything about that guy? I don’t.‘
Even though the ‘negative framing’ had already occurred in my brain with lightning speed, I was able to erase it.
It was refreshing to look on the crowd with open eyes from that moment on. I was no longer blinded by fear.
By letting go of the unfounded fears that I was carrying, I was able to see how much good was in that crowd – even if all of the people couldn’t see it themselves.