Everyone Makes Mistakes – Even Me and You!! Kathie Mathis, Psy.D, D.D. NCP, CHTA, CBIF, CDVA, CSAC, CAMF-IV, CSOC, CCAC, CDAC

Everyone Makes Mistakes – Even Me and You!! Kathie Mathis, Psy.D, D.D. NCP, CHTA, CBIF, CDVA, CSAC, CAMF-IV, CSOC, CCAC, CDAC

We know everyone makes mistakes – yes even you and me!!! To be human means mistakes will be made and are a part of our life lessons to becoming better human beings. And of course there are always plenty of people who want, and yes in fact, are waiting to judge you and jump all over whatever it was that you did. That also is human nature, but the important thing here is that when we want to judge someone outside of ourselves, that we look at what was done, how many times was it done, is there a pattern of doing the same thing with no remorse, and did the person being judge ask to be forgiven and learn from the mistake.

“Judge not lest ye be judged. For what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:37. In today’s language it means that we should be careful not to judge someone because we will be judge by the same measure we give out. In other words those who point a finger at someone have four more fingers pointing back at them. No one has never not made a mistake.

I want to speak about judging someone who makes a mistake that stands out in a life that otherwise has been one of purpose and passion that focuses on healing, empowerment, resilience, and positive attitude. The person that I am speaking of is Tony Robbins, the famous personal empowerment personality. We all saw the video that went viral at a recent event he was conducting when he was asked about the “Me Too” movement. Tony’s response sent a wave of criticism throughout the nation’s women victims because he responded the way that many thought was unkind, insensitive, and misogynistic. However, anyone who knows Tony Robbins knows his life has been dedicated to the opposite of how he was portrayed and from what the intent of his heart was trying to convey. One perceived mistake of words and example took a man who has dedicated his life to helping victims of all kinds, to become a victim himself. “Crowd” judgment based on victimology and not on overall patterns of compassion and healing he has shown during his lifetime.

In my work of 30 plus years helping victims of trauma, abuse, exploitation and their perpetrators, I have learned something that is a very real issue that is usually not talked about among professionals. That is the fact that victims who have not healed from their trauma go through stages of recovery and anger is one of those stages. Also they may “flip” from being a victim into being a perpetrator because they haven’t learned healthy recovery tools, anger management tools, and still have the victim mentality – so they know how to react in only two ways – either as a victim or as a perpetrator. I am not victim blaming so don’t start judging me. Because you really don’t know me. However, I am a survivor of many horrific abusive acts that threatened my life and know firsthand victimology and recovery. Since my experience I turned trauma into triumph and have received a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and am considered an expert in abuse, trauma and victimology and perpetration. I provide expert testimony in court. I have education and life experience behind my words. (So now some of you will judge me for allowing you to know I am considered an expert and have a doctorate degree and tell everyone you know that I am a bragger and have a huge ego. Thus this backs up my point that we are judged all the time). But no matter what you do or say about me, I have gone through the hard work necessary for me to write what I am writing and to help educate readers. My life is dedicated to healing from trauma and abuse; to provide empowerment, happiness and fulfillment. Your judgements won’t stop me from doing my purpose and passion as it shouldn’t anyone whose life reflects healing actions, behaviors, attitudes and services. I stand in my truth no matter who judges me. The same goes for Tony Robbins. He will continue to stand in his truth and continue to be a healer to those who want to receive his compassion, passion, healing tools and skills,

Why do we have a hard time understanding that not all movements are not always positive as they grow? Women’s movements are important and being a woman survivor means you are strong, resilient and hopefully smarter than before you were victimized. But there is always a possibility that an organization that is made up of only victims leave something out – they don’t have enough “healthy survivors” in it to lead in a healthy manner and don’t have healing programs for survivors, perpetrators, law enforcement and politicians. We can all blame. But providing education, sexual harassment training, unconscious bias training, gender equality training and so on – without taking responsibility for actions that require solutions so that we create a society and nation of compassion, equality and empathy.

Men are afraid of interacting with women in our current history because they are being
held accountable for being inappropriate, sexists, misogynists, sexual predators, and perpetrators. Hallelujah!! It is time this happened. Good for women to finally step up and use their voices to say “No More” or “Me Too” and “Stop Abuse.” It has been a long time coming. But in the process of change and “rights” there is an unfortunate group of individuals who get caught up and blamed in the tidal wave of accountability that should not be caught up in it. We need to create and demand change but we need to be careful to remember not everyone is guilty.

So how do we judge fairly? Let’s take a look at our judgements. For a long time the consensus seemed to be that humans make two key judgments of others: how “moral” and “competent” and “warm” they are. Psychologists have expanded on this. New evidence suggests that the “warmth” judgments we make are really two different judgments–morality and sociability.

Morality: when we judge someone’s morality, we judge them based on how well they treat other people. Specifically, though, this judgment is about whether they treat others in “correct” and “principled” ways. Honesty, trustworthiness, and sincerity, integrity, for example, are morality judgments.
Sociability: when we judge someone’s sociability, we judge them based on how much they treat other people in ways to promote affectionate relationships. Examples of this type of judgment would be how friendly, likable, and kind, the person seems.

Competence: when we judge someone’s competence, we judge them based on how capable we think the person is at accomplishing his or her goals. Whenever you judge someone’s intelligence, skillfulness, and confidence, you’re making a competence judgment.

Morality Matters Most in Judging People
Research shows that the morality judgment is the most important. It’s not just that people want to know about a person’s moral character. When we do learn about a person’s honesty and trustworthiness, it factors into our opinions of them more than other information. So a big part of how we judge other people is on their moral character, and it turns out that this affects how we view people’s sociability and competence. New research shows that whether we think sociability or competence are positive qualities depends on whether we think the person is moral or not.

In a new set of studies, though, Justin Landy and his colleagues tested this. In one of their studies, they asked people to form impressions of a whole bunch of made-up characters. Each of these characters was simply defined by two adjectives. One adjective described the person’s moral character (e.g., “honest” or “immoral”). The other adjective described either the person’s sociability (e.g., “friendly” or “introverted”) or competence (e.g., “capable” or “unskillful”). Given this information, people then rated their overall positive or negative impressions.
Overall, people liked moral characters more than immoral characters. That isn’t too surprising, especially given how much we care about a person’s moral character. People had negative impressions of sociable and competent characters when they were described as immoral. In another study, it turned out that when they were immoral, competent and sociable characters were disliked just as much as incompetent and unsociable characters.

We know how we form these distinct judgments, but how they come together to form an overall impression of someone is a little more complicated. But we know that we don’t keep our judgments to ourselves. We will blast them all over social media. Why?
We share our judgments with others and look for support and justification. We look for others who share our negativity to create a feeling of being a group with shared ideas. The group doesn’t reflect its own emotions, but points to others with strong, negative opinions. By sharing negative feelings, the load of the emotions grows. By sharing negativity, the amount of negativity increases creating “crowd” judgments. We need to be careful before we get on anyone’s bandwagon that we are honest in our judgements of someone/others.
So what to do when you catch yourself judging someone?
First of all: dare to be aware of your judgments. Even though you might not like yourself being judgmental, see this as a learning opportunity and embrace yourself for daring to be aware of your judgments.
Second: wonder why you feel the need to judge. What does this person you judge show you about yourself?

Third: Be sure you are correct before you condemn another person. Is there a pattern of abuse, negativity, exploitation? Became aware if this person does something that still holds you back. Something that keeps you down. Something you are now aware of and can change.
So I am going to conclude with Tony Robbins who was judged by one incident and not by his entire career of helping humanity. He apologized and learned from the experience. Thanks to Tony for showing everyone what integrity looks like he has modeled for others integrity. Now we need to do the same and be honorable and move on to real perpetrators with a pattern of abuse, misogyny, exploitation and harm. Let’s do the following: if we “See It, Say Something and Stop It!” Awareness plus Action equals Change. Our women’s movement needs to use our voices productively to get the change we seek. To amazing We Women Warriors everywhere, I support you, love you, empower you and advocate for you. We need to join forces in ONE movement that seeks civil rights for us all.

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