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Before you judge, be sure to…

According to a friend who works in the security department of a major retail store, employees are not allowed to accuse customers of stealing unless the suspect attempts to exit the store without paying.

The logic behind this precaution is simple: No matter how suspicious a shopper may appear to be, there is always the possibility that their seeming acts of discrepancy can be accounted for by non-incriminating explanations.

For instance, a woman who places a bottle of perfume in her purse may seem to be stealing, but she also might be using her purse to hold the perfume in a convenient place while leaving her hands free to pick up other products.

If the company accuses her of stealing too soon, they may end up paying a big price in the form of a lawsuit or an unwanted reputation for harassing its customers, both of which are bad for business.

Consequently, even if an employee feels certain that his perception is accurate, he must learn to delay his instincts and wait until the proper time to voice his negative conclusion.

Here’s today’s two cents:

While some people really do seem to have malevolent intentions, it’s not a bad practice to think twice before we label someone in a way that may permanently alter our relationship with them.

Sometimes we have to make snap decisions, but in many cases we have plenty of time to sleep on it, talk to a friend, and get a second opinion.

Negative conclusions, when publicly expressed or endorsed, have strong and potentially undesirable consequences.

Once you voice an accusatory judgement about another person, you can’t take it back. You can take a compliment back, but you can’t retrieve an insult or personal attack.

When discrepancies arise, don’t jump the gun by making rash pronouncements regarding other people’s intentions.

Utilize the same principles of charitable interpretation with others that you would like them to apply towards you.

It’s a great way to keep friends, reduce stress, and live long.


T.K. Coleman

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Another great post! Thank you. It is so much better to pull the fists back … once you hit — either physically or verbally.. it is done and can’t be un-done. I recently experienced this.. and as frustrated as I was at the time.. and of course I had a “valid” point of view.. .. I really regret that I simply didn’t just walk away and refrain from making any remarks. oh well.. we live, we learn, we forgive ourselves. It’s all part of being human. 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve been in that very position many of times. I think it’s great that you’re able to learn from your “mistake” without condemning yourself in the process. As you say, “it’s all part of being human” 🙂

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