I think the ways in which we see each other (or “judge”), negatively or positively, really can teach us so much about ourselves.
We likely all have people in our lives who possess qualities we admire, love, respect, etc. and others who perhaps we don’t feel so positively about. Perhaps these people possessing the “qualities” we don’t feel so positively about seem to ignite frustration, discomfort, anger, or some other negative feeling. Perhaps being around these people for more than 5 minutes is all we feel we can stand- if that (hey, I think we have all probably felt this way before).
These judgments, views, feelings, etc. can be great teachers. A really cool and helpful practice to learn from this is to grab a piece of paper, create two columns by drawing a line right down the center of the page. Choose one person you really admire for column one and one person who really bothers you or you “can’t stand” for column two.
Under the column for the person you admire, list all of the admirable and great qualities you see. Aim for at least 6 (right off the top of your head, try not to over-think it). Then for the person you don’t feel positively about, do the same and list the traits or “qualities” that seem to bother you about this person.
We may just find, when we can be open and honest about it with ourselves, that we are also all of these things. Positive and negative.
The way we see others can be a direct reflection of qualities or features we own. The more we reject our negative or “undesirable” qualities, the more likely it can be that these qualities in others can affect us in some negative way. And we all have positive and negative sides, admirable qualities and otherwise.
When we become aware and comfortable with our own “contradictions” (our “good” and “bad” sides) we can free ourselves to become more accepting, understanding, and compassionate. Both toward ourselves and others.