Practicing being non-judgemental is so hard.
Sitting impatiently, I checked my phone. In 10 minutes, she would have made me wait for two hours. I returned my attention to the half-listened lecture on the iPad and tried to forget my annoyance.
My notification prompted, “Sorry, omy.”, but I ignored it.
She: Hi. Oh, you ordered lunch for me! *tone casual*
Me: Yeah. It’s probably cold by now. *tersely*
She: The meeting ended much later than I had expected, and I wanted to leave, but the CEO was there. We should meet for dinner next time.
Me: Yeah, sure. I guess, so you wouldn’t be thinking about going back to work the minute you sit down. *voice still lacking the usual warmth*
She: Yeah, so how’s it going with you? Oh, I need to tell you something… remember the overachiever guy I told you at work? He…
It did not matter what she said.
My judgmentalness was seeping through everywhere.
I told myself that it was not her fault that she was late, but I could not suppress my irritation.
Consciously, I knew I was unfairly finding faults with everything my best friend said.
We both had the phone pointed away from our faces. Perhaps, this is a technique to vex each other, or we worry that we would soften if we spoke looking into each other’s eyes, even on the screen.
Me: Then, don’t tell me! If you don’t want to share with me, then that’s fine! We will see how this relationship turns out! *practically shouted*
He: Okay. That’s just who I am. I have never shared with anyone and have always dealt with my own problems internally. Plus, you are so judgemental. I don’t want to hear your opinions.
Me: What do you want me to do then? Should I not be myself so you can be yourself?
He: I don’t know. Maybe I just want you to listen and not say anything. If you want me to share, that’s the only way I’d feel safe to do so.
Me: But when I give you feedback is not to judge you! I never mean to attack or criticise you. That was simply my opinion!
He: But It felt like a judgement to me! Remember your talk on suicide intervention? You said the key is to listen non-judgmentally! Maybe that’s the care I need!