Giving People A Chance

Two young women sitting on swings in the park

Restarting Your Mind

We often have preconceived notions about a person or group of people, fearing that we won’t like them if we spend time with them. When we don’t interact with someone for a long time, our mind is prone to developing a belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty. And oftentimes, there’s a high chance that we act on these false beliefs.

This process occurs because we are so busy with our personal life that we forget to direct attention to people whom we don’t talk or spend enough time with. Unconsciously, the mind starts forming opinions on these people: “they’re probably not good enough for you”, “there’s a reason you haven’t spoken to them in a while”, “why waste your time seeing them and risk getting in an uncomfortable situation?”

What we need to get good at is controlling these preconceived notions that we develop about others. They’re often very powerful and able to dictate our future moves. If we fall trap, we risk losing perfectly fine relationships. Sometimes it feels like we are fighting against ourself: our mind says one thing while we say another. Who is in control?

We are. Remember that the brain is like a computer; it does all of these random processes in the background which we are not even aware of. Some of these processes dictate how we view others. For instance, when you are using a computer, do you allow it to do whatever it wants? If you sense a slowing down or annoying process in the background, you restart it!

Sometimes we need to restart our mind. This can be done through:

When you find yourself negatively thinking about people whom you have liked in the past, remind yourself that you may be experiencing a preconceived notion, which your mind automatically created without your knowing. Rather than acting on it, give people a chance by spending time with them!

After having a good time with people whom you have liked in the past, you will realize how inaccurate your preconceived notions were in the first place. And rather than burning another bridge, you now have kept another solid relationship in your life.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)