We have so many areas of our life when being judgmental can show up. It happens inside families, at work, with your friends, or even strangers on the street. For many, the opportunity to judge is abundant.
But why do we do it and how do we know if we are judgmental?
There are some good things related to the why. It may help keep us safe, avoid bad situations.
Others say we usually judge others in the areas we feel the weakest. Think about it:
“Look at that overweight person” – translation is that 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 snob in his fancy car” – translation – I am upset I can’t afford that nice of a car”
“That guy can’t control his kids” – Translation – I’m not confident in my own parenting but it makes me feel better to see someone struggling more than me”
How do we know if we are judgmental? If you have to ask, you probably are.
Are you judgmental? See if any of these seem familiar
1) You are intolerant of people different from yourself
2) Your first impression is seeing someone’s flaws
3) You judge people on appearance
4) You think everyone is out to get you
5) You do not trust others
6) You gossip about others
7) You have low self-acceptance
8) You judge yourself
9) You have a pessimistic or negative outlook
Let’s discuss how not to be judgmental:
1) Identify and admit you are judgmental. Recognize that you often think negatively of people, maybe even verbalizing it. Also, are you being judgmental and critical of yourself. Acknowledging it is the first step.
2) Practice self-acceptance – Being judgmental starts from within. Is is very clear that we have our own issues which cause us to then be critical of other people. This is the most important step in recovering from judgmentalism. We often have such high expectations of ourselves. It is not easy, but the first thing is to begin embracing who you are. It’s ok to want to get “better” but it doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate your current state.
The next episode we will dedicate to becoming more self-accepting
3) Look deeper – We jump to conclusions about people all the time. Someone shows up late and you judge them. Someone is mean and you judge them.
What if something much deeper is going on with them. The person who showed up late, had received a phone call and was crying before they arrived. They didn’t want anyone to see their tears.
The person who was mean has someone who is mean to them all the time.
We jump to conclusions all the time without really understanding what could be going on with someone.
4) Show empathy – Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes allows us to show compassion. Being judgmental is really being selfish and thinking it’s all about you. When you are empathetic, you are sending the messages that you care and it’s not about you.
5) Practice mindfulness – Meditation, breathing exercises, are all about paying attention to the present moment. When you feel yourself about to judge, take in the surroundings. Focus on other things around you that are positive. Switch your focus and think good thoughts instead.
We are all guilty of being judgmental. It is something that can be worked on to be improved. Of course remember, that it first starts with working on yourself.