Subjective Bias as a Source of your Distress

I remember a number of years ago, my teenage daughter came up the stairs in quite the mood. Steamrolling her way through, I immediately froze and was like whoa!

My mind captured that behaviour, that image, and perceived it as a challenge. My inner dialogue became judgemental and essentially I was saying I didn’t like it. What then took place, which I am sure you can remember a time when you’ve done something like this, is awaiting the next moment that she displays that behaviour. I became hypervigilant and was on the lookout for the next time…and the next…and the next…

And lo and behold, she met my expectations. She did it over and over and over again. Except the nuance that I want you to understand is that my mind was ignoring all of the times she WASN’T that way. All of the times she was pleasant, or sweet, or curious..went unnoticed, and my bias was just on hyper alert for the dramatic show she would put on next. 

I want you to consider, and consider this really hard, that no one, is one-sided.

Including the partner you are hating on, the coworker that you cannot stand, the mother-in-law who is so opinionated, etc. etc.

And that when we label and judge and project, we lead ourselves right into the bias AND experience that we ARE NOT looking for. We are expecting a one-sided experience, whether positive or negative. This is relationship homicide. Expecting self or other to be a one sided individual. 

Part of mental health is the ability to adapt to a changing environment. When your mind is biased, and emotions are polarized, it creates an inflexibility for us to adapt to a changing environment, and does not allow us to be us, or them to be them.  

For those people you are hating on in this moment, go and find moments where they were doing the opposite until you can see them with two sides, both opposite traits, through a balanced mind and an accepting heart.