How could you…?
How could anyone…?
One of my earliest recollections of this was early in my first year of college hearing someone say, “How could anyone grow up sane if they have to move a bunch of times as a child?”
This friend had grown up (all her life) in the same small town. 12 of the 16 in her high school graduating class, if I remember correctly, she had also started kindergarten with.
My response, a military brat who had moved at least ever 4 years, had wondered the opposite.
I have wondered the same thing: “how could anyone _____?”
I bet you have, too.
But this is another of those times that, if we are honest, we must recognize we don’t know the full story of the other person.
Just like no one else knows your full story.
At our best, we remember that we don’t know the other person’s story. Then, still at our best, we acknowledge there may be good reason for whatever it is about them or their behavior we cannot imagine.
And if not a good reason, at least a reason we had not thought of.
Please don’t feel the need to hone your skills to learn every possible reason someone might do something differently or be something different from you.
Just let them be who they are. Learn more (than you already know) about who they are. Listen to their story.
You might still not understand them or what they do, but by the time you’ve listened to their story, you’ll likely be too tired to judge them.