This short animated film is a touching portrayal of getting a change in perspective. Can you think of a time when you made a judgment about a person but then got some insight into her life that made you realize your original impression was wrong? I certainly have. It is human nature to judge based on limited information; this is how we make sense of the world and notice patterns around us. However, as we grow and mature, we can hopefully learn to consider the complexities of people's lives and personalities and therefore, judge less.
In addition to being more openminded about people we encounter in our daily lives, I have found that practicing "active non-judgment" (a term I just made up-haha) can help me stay calm and avoid negativity as I go about my day. For example, when I get cut off in traffic, my snap judgment might be "What a jerk!" This reaction makes me tense and frustrated. Sometimes, I honk or shake a fist or yell NSFW words that only I can hear. While the physical manifestation of that emotion might feel justified, it usually only leaves me more agitated. And if the rude driver then reacts by flipping me off, I get even more angry, with no logical outlet for that anger. Can anyone relate?
If so, I encourage you to try this. When a stranger cuts you off in traffic or treats you rudely in line at the grocery store, try to create a story for that person that sparks empathy. For example, maybe the person who cut you off is trying to get to the hospital to witness the birth of his first child. Maybe unforeseen circumstances made him late for an interview that just might be the job opportunity of a lifetime. Perhaps the rude woman in line just learned that her sister has cancer and is going through the day in a fog of worry. When I take the time to create a story for a rude stranger, I end up extrapolating on that story and those musings are much more pleasant than thinking of all the insults I would've hurled at that crazy driver if he had just had his window rolled down to hear it.
Ultimately, negative thoughts about others don't affect anyone more than the person thinking them. Your time, your energy, and your mind space are precious. Try not to use them up on negative emotions.