We often use our sense of perception, otherwise known as judgment, to gauge the nature of things around us in comparison to ourselves. However, more often than not, exercising judgment or being judgmental can be seen as a negative thing. I’m sure you don’t like being judged either. So, what makes something seemingly second nature appear so malicious?
Sometimes, judging others can stem from our own vulnerability or flaw. We tend to compare our weaknesses to similar traits in others and then end up judging ourselves. Parents are guilty of this too! When a parent negatively comments on another parent’s capability in raising their children, it reflects poorly on the judgmental parent and highlights insecurities in their parenting style. By now, you should be wondering whether or not you’re judgmental. Well, if one or more of these statements apply to you, then you’ve probably been judgmental:
- You like to gossip
- You have a hard time trusting people
- You have unrealistic expectations of yourself and others
- You constantly think everyone is out to get you
- You compare your children with others
- You identify a person’s flaws in your first impression of them
- It’s difficult for you to accept yourself and you judge yourself the hardest
- You’re intolerant of people different from yourself
- You judge people based on their appearance
- You’re pessimistic or have a negative outlook on life
So, are you judgmental? I bet you are or have been. It’s okay, you’re not alone. As parents, we actually depend on judgment in raising our children and guiding their behavior to distinguish between right and wrong. It becomes dangerous when you are overly judgmental of your child or you use your judgment to manipulate them and others. Lifestyle website Bright Side writes that parents’ actions can even ruin their children’s lives or cause them to develop toxic traits. Comparing your children to other kids, criticizing their bodies and weight and disregarding their achievements are perfect examples of being overly judgmental of your children and potentially toxic.
Training yourself to stop judging people and judging yourself requires commitment and practice. The first step to stop being judgmental is to recognize and accept that you’re judgmental. You have opinions and you express them – welcome to the club and the human race. However, you also sometimes think and say negative things about people and yourself. Admitting that you do this is the first step. Next, be mindful and remain positive. How do you re-center yourself in high stress or tense situations? Do you meditate, take deep breaths or count backward from 100? Whatever it is, use it to manifest a positive thought instead of judging others. The more you practice mindfulness, the quicker you will stop judging people.
You also become less judgmental when you don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t make assumptions about people based solely on what you see. You have no idea whether someone has had a bad day or received some bad news, so don’t be quick to judge their tardiness or attitude prematurely. Sometimes, a person’s negative behavior has reason. Understanding this helps you to practice empathy, which is trying to understand people and their situations from their point-of-view without being too quick to judge them. Being empathetic can enable people to offer an explanation for their actions, and help you to understand people better and be less judgmental.
Lastly, you need to accept yourself for who you are at all stages in your life. As parents, we tend to judge ourselves the hardest and beat ourselves up over forgetting little things. What we don’t realize is that the magnitude of what we’re simultaneously processing has impacted our ability to function at our best. How do you accept yourself? You need to give yourself some wiggle room and stop judging yourself so harshly. That’s an important step in self-improvement.
Podcast Ep. 164 Signs You Are Judgmental and What To Do About It
We can all benefit from not being judgmental. It’s time to stop judging others and yourself, which will translate to greater self-acceptance and self-improvement. The process to stop being judgmental starts with recognizing and admitting that you’re judgmental and resisting the urge to unfairly judge yourself. Always remember to do some introspection into the reason you may feel the urge to judge someone negatively or without reason. It could be a sign that you have hidden insecurities that are manifesting itself in negative ways. Be careful not to hinder your self-improvement by gossiping, prematurely judging people, and rejecting yourself for who you are.