Decades ago, I had a smart, well-read friend who judged me a lot.
In all fairness, he judged almost everyone and everything a lot.
I often reinterpreted his behavior: He just “acts” like that. He doesn’t mean it. His verbal roughness is protection for his really sensitive heart.
To this day I believe these statements to be true about him. But we are no longer friends. I no longer reinterpret people’s behavior. I respond to how their behavior feels to me in real time.
I trust myself – my openness and willingness to understand, and my ability to change, or to talk honestly about everything. And I am too precious to subject myself to the bad, unkind or thoughtless behavior of anyone.
That’s how I came to know that I had a well-read smart friend whose way of being didn’t match mine.