Judicious, Not Judgmental

trafficThe other morning on the freeway, I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw the driver directly behind me, a young woman, holding a cell phone in both hands with her wrists resting on top of the steering wheel.

She was focused on the phone, presumably texting (but maybe enjoying a mobile video conference?), trusting her peripheral vision to deal with the slow-and-go traffic.

I was instantly angry. She was putting herself and everyone around her in jeopardy.

‘What a fool!’ I thought, clenching my teeth.

But then I realized a couple of things:

1) I wasn’t angry; I was scared she would run into me, and I resented her for that.

2) I didn’t know the whole story. Maybe she’d been summoned to the hospital due to the illness or injury of a loved one. Maybe she was running late to a job where they fire you if you don’t call to say you’ll be late, and she needs to keep a roof over her child’s head.

But whatever the reason for her dangerous behavior …

I changed lanes.

Forgiving someone’s poor behavior doesn’t mean letting them run you over.

Sometimes it’s necessary to protect yourself in relationships, but judging the person you’re protecting yourself from is optional.

Taking good care of yourself is judicious, but not necessarily judgmental.

 *   *   *

This article was featured in our monthly newsletter. If you’re a Reconnection Club member, feel free to leave a comment in our General Discussion forum.

Not a member? You can still receive our monthly newsletter. Click here to join the mailing list.

Members have access to helpful courses, workshops, downloads and expert interviews along with our friendly, private discussion forums. Learn more about the Reconnection Club.