Lately I feel like my brain is boiling over with things I want to say but think I shouldn't. As I age, I feel like I am slowly but surely turning into a judgmental, or opinionated, woman who needs to get a grip or will surely become one of those grumpy old women that complain about everything and never have a smile on their face or a kind word to say about anything.
Recently someone posted on Facebook about the difference between being opinionated and judgmental, and as you can imagine, there was a lot of feedback. It got me thinking of the fine line between the two. Everyone has opinions, and those are normal and acceptable. Judging people is an entirely different matter. It's easy to look at the way someone handles a situation and think how I would handle it differently. And I guess I feel that if I offer my solution then perhaps I am being judgmental. Maybe it is all in how it's delivered that makes the difference. If it's in a critical manner, it's judging. If it's in a caring manner, it's trying to help. But what if the person asks you a question? What if they ask what you think? What if they keep whining about their problems but don't seem to be trying to fix them? That is when it becomes difficult to be caring and not critical.
So this is something I am struggling with lately. The grumpy me wants to shake some people and say "Smarten up" or "What is wrong with you?", but I have to remember I haven't been in their shoes or had their life, and maybe my solution, which seems so easy to me, isn't so easy after all. So instead, I keep my opinions to myself because I know that they won't be delivered kindly, and I don't want to offend anyone.
However, in order to use my blog to try to turn down the heat and not boil over, I will say a few things, and try to be as nice as possible, and while some of these things are close to my heart and may hit home with someone, they are also things I struggle with myself and need the reminder, too. Hopefully, I can find tact and compassion so that this entry doesn't bear the title "50 Shades of Rage".
Some people need to value family a little more than they show. We all say we love our families and would do anything for them, but do we always show it?
Be a giver and not just a taker. Sometimes the best gift you can give someone is your time, and it would mean the world to that person.
In today's world of "I'm gonna do me", be careful to not hurt other people's feelings or step on them in the process of taking care of you. I'm a big believer in needing to make time for yourself and your goals and accomplishments and not losing yourself while being everything to everyone else. However, be sure that in putting yourself first and taking care of yourself, you are not hurting someone else.
Try to offer suggestions as opposed to fixing things. Let them figure it out for themselves and clean up their own mess sometimes. People tend to appreciate things more when they've had to work for them instead of having things done for them or handed to them.
Hallmark makes very nice cards when you want to say the very best, but what about when you have to say the very worst? What about when you feel someone is doing something that is potentially harmful to them, and you feel that they need to stop and think before bigger problems arise? How do you approach that situation? How do you say something out of love that you will know will hurt that person?
Opinionated or Judgmental? I don't know. We've all heard the saying "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all". But by being silent, are we doing more harm? By being silent, are we showing that we agree with behavior that we think is wrong? If we do show disapproval, are we being judgmental or nagging? How do you say something harsh or critical in a nice manner?
Until I figure it out, I continue to boil over and try not to burn anyone.