We all do it, we just don’t want to admit it. Some people prefer doing it privately. Others like doing it right in front of other people. You know what I’m talking about right? I’m talking about being judgmental. In this video we talk about why we judge others and how we stop it.
Certainly you could argue that there are some positive things about being judgmental. It can sometimes keep you safe or out of harms way, helping you avoid situations or people that might not be good for you. But for the most part, when we think of judgment, it’s used in a negative connotation. It is said that we usually judge others in the areas we feel the weakest.
“Can you believe she is wearing that?” – translation – I don’t feel great about my own appearance but it makes me feel better to make fun of someone else who looks worse than me”
“Look at that guy in his fancy car” – translation – I’m pretty upset that I can’t afford a nice car like that”
“That guy can’t control his kids” – translation – I’m not very confident in my own parenting but it makes me feel better to see someone struggling more than me”
How can we tell if we are being judgmental? See if any of these seem familiar:
- You are intolerant of people different from yourself
- Your first impression is seeing someone’s flaws
- You judge people on appearance
- You think everyone is out to get you
- You don’t trust others
- You gossip about other people
- You have low self-acceptance
- You judge yourself
- You have a pessimistic or negative outlook
So let’s talk about some ways to stop being judgmental:
#1 – Identify and admit you are judgmental. Recognize that you often think or say negative things about other people. Are you being judgmental and critical of yourself? Acknowledgement is the first step to recovering from judgmentalism
#2 – Practice self-acceptance – Being judgmental starts from within. We often have such high expectations of ourselves. When we don’t meet those expectations, we can be critical of ourselves. Embrace who and what you are NOW. It’s ok to want to “better” but it doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate and accept your current state.
#3 – Look deeper – We jump to conclusions about other people all the time. You have no idea what is going on in someone else’s life. You think they are just late to the party because they can’t manage their time. But they could have social anxiety and just suffered a panic attack minutes before they arrived. Or maybe they received bad news from a phone call and didn’t want anyone at the party to see their tears. Most of the time we really don’t have all of the information.
#4 – Show empathy – Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes allows you to show compassion. When you are empathetic, you are sending the message that it’s not just about you. As you practice empathy more, you will begin to understand others better and be less judgmental.
#5 – Practice mindfulness – Meditation, breathing exercises, and practicing mindfullness all about paying attention to the present moment. When you feel yourself about to judge someone or something, take in the surroundings. Focus on other things around you that are positive. Switch your focus and think a good thought instead.
We are all guilty of being judgmental. But it is something that can be worked on to be improved. Remember, it really starts with you working on accepting yourself.