Why do we judge others?
Imposing judgments on others may be considered as a strategy to avoid uncomfortable feelings about yourself.
- You judge a behavior in someone else that you would not allow in yourself. For example, you might feel that children should ask questions and explore, but you would judge someone harshly that thought children should be seen and not heard.
- You might judge someone because they are doing something that you do, which you actually dislike about yourself.
- You might complain to some of your coworkers that other women in your department gossip all the time.
Perhaps you are judging someone you are envious of and you resent the feeling inside yourself, which is why you judge them to make yourself feel better.
Our tendency to judge could also stem from our need to lift ourselves above other people and to make ourselves feel better. Imagine that someone you dislike or are jealous of just did something wrong, then you have the opportunity to judge them in order to make yourself feel better.
This is because you personally didn't do anything wrong, which makes you somehow better off than that person.
Learning how to stop judging others and be accepting
Judgment keeps us looking at life from a "right and wrong" perspective, but without feeling the need or desire to understand what other people may be going through. Judging people really ends up being nothing more than a way to put more distance between us and others.
We are under the illusion that there are several valid reasons for avoiding closer contact and relationships. Judgment helps us to maintain our illusion that separation is good for us.
We can use our judgmental thoughts as a gift for greater self awareness. We can use each judgement to learn what we do and don't accept about ourselves.
While we might never understand what motivates others, we can use judgement to learn empathy, to try and put ourselves into another persons perspective. We can learn to be more accepting of ourselves and others.
How to Not Be Judgmental
When you are being judgmental, try to determine where this is coming from. Take a moment of self-reflection.
Think to yourself:
- Am I jealous?
- Am I doing the same thing to others and dislike that?
- Do I not like this about myself?
- Would I like to be like the other person?
- Am I trying to change or control them?
- Am I embarrassed about myself?
When you explore your internal dialogue about judgments, you open a door to compassion and empathy. Just by acknowledging your feelings, you begin to shift your feelings and look within.
So instead of thinking, 'Why is she always trying to get me out of the house?' You think, 'Aww, she really wants me to have fun with my friends.'
So ask yourself: Why is this situation causing this reaction inside me?
"Rather than unconsciously delighting in the ego gratification of judging others, you let your reactions and judgments help you achieve greater self-understanding—and accordingly, greater happiness and success." - Jarl Forsman
How to stop judging others: Seven Steps
- Respectfully, speak your true mind especially when it is in a disagreement. Remember it must be in first person such as, ‘I don’t like when...’ or ‘I see that you...’
- Seek clarity from the other person
- Calm down, grow up and get closer to representing exactly what you believe and how you feel
- Conflict and confrontation is necessary. Try to be assertive, but respectful. Conflict actually helps resolve differences. It is the only way different people can ever really get to know one another, start to really trust one another and learn from each other. It may be uncomfortable at first and it may test your ability to stay calm and connected, but it is important to remain respectful.
- Try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Try to see things from their side.
- Don't place blame.
- Let the other person talk and practice attentive listening.
Bliss & Peace,