Do you judge others? Let me answer that for you… YES – yes you do! Don’t worry, I’m not judging you for judging, I am empathetic of the fact you are a human. It’s what we do best.
Have you ever judged – then told yourself to stop being so judgemental? Have you judged subconsciously not realising until the thoughts entered your mind?
Perhaps you’re not judging with nastiness, it might be out of genuine intrigue or a simple inability to hush your mind.
Perhaps it’s self-harming judgement, so you are not directing the judgement upon others, you are reflecting it back at yourself?
“Gosh I wish I looked like that”!
“I wish my stomach was flat like that”!
“I wish I had a job like that”!
“I wish I had the confidence to be like her/him”!
Judgement of the above is still harmful, you are admiring someone else but in the same instance are comparing and deeming yourself ‘not good enough’.
Then there’s harsh judgement or judgement that is unkind:
Where you find yourself thinking that someone looks unhealthy or they have weird hair, or no hair (I’ve been judged before when I was a baldy)… Why would they wear that? Wow, that’s a bit short! She’s really loud and obnoxious! He’s so full of himself! That person reeks; I wonder when they last took a shower! Look at that weird man: he must be an alcoholic! Those kids have no shoes on, where is their mother? Look at those kids mouthing off; they have no respect… kids these days! She has four kids, when will she stop, she’s crazy! I can’t believe she doesn’t want any children! She doesn’t work? She works too much! Why would he do that? What an idiot… The list could go on, but you get the drift.
I believe the above unkindness is a lack of understanding and is directly deflecting from looking at yourself, and what it is that you ‘are’ or ‘are not’ doing with your own life. Whether you are happy within? Whether you are comfortable with yourself or not? This kind of judgement is usually carried with some form of obvious facial expression (even though the person judging may have no idea they are pulling a distasteful face). [My daughter is so good at rolling her eyes. When I pull her up on it, she swears she wasn’t doing it – she doesn’t even realise when she’s judging what I’ve said or what I’ve asked of her… teenagers, huh… oops there I go, judging her and pigeon holing teens…. Allow me to re-phrase; I absolutely love my spirited and passionate eye-rolling teenage daughter, hehe]. We’ve all been judged at some point in our life and it is such an uncomfortable feeling. My intuition is so sharp and I can almost immediately feel when someone is looking or talking about me with aversion.
So, how can the human race collectively be more accepting? I believe that I have a simple solution.
I am currently a student at the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) in Sydney, studying counselling and at my last workshop I was fortunate to have a really lovely course facilitator who inspired us with her knowledge. Like any workshops, you take everything in, but you generally only really absorb key points that truly resonate with you (the rest stay sitting in your notes).
When we were discussing how to cast your judgement aside as a counsellor, something that sounds obvious, however, counsellors are human too, they still judge. She offered some simple advice…
“Replace Judgement with Curiosity”
I absolutely fell in love with this term, I use it all the time and I’m constantly explaining this reasoning to help others see things differently. It’s a means of helping people who don’t intentionally judge (there will always be nasty people who judge because they are too afraid to turn their focus upon themselves to ask the real question of the problem… unfortunately there will always be people who refrain from looking in the mirror).
Instead of judging…. Wonder… And ponder… What their story is? Be curious and instead you will find yourself smiling as opposed to frowning. We all have a story, we’ve all endured heartache and adversity, we all have our reasons for bad days and days where we cannot be ourselves, and no one deserves judgement of the cruel type. Another point of equal importance is that no one deserves unkind judgement for success or something empowering and positive.
Judgement that tears others down is the ultimate… Trust me, building people up is far more inspiring than being so miserable within yourself that you need to dim the lights on someone shining brightly.
So, next time you go to make a judgement, even if it is an internal judgement not inflicting any harm upon another, replace it with curiosity. Curiosity is healthy for our mind and imagination. Best of all, it’s harmless. By doing this you will also avoid becoming annoyed at yourself for those subconscious moments where you let your mind wander and before you know it you’ve got your ‘judgey’ pants on… this application to life will make you smile and help you in becoming a better person.
Now, if you are ever on the receiving end of judgement… it’s simple… ignore. Ignore and keep smiling [don’t allow your lights to be dimmed, don’t allow someone’s words or actions to cast a shadow over your fabulous self]. This post is more about being the judger as opposed to the’ judgee’. However, don’t let people tear you down. I used to worry, worry, worry about what others thought of me. I put more effort into wondering what others thought instead of actually worrying about what I thought. How silly is that….
It is easier said than done to just ‘not worry’, I understand there is a process of self-growth to gain that kind of strength… and it is worth taking yourself through that process to gain that comfortable stance. I’m in a position where I have found a comfortable place to live my life. If I am judged, it is ok, and I don’t inflict judgement and dislike back… how do I deal with it?
I deal with it by accepting it – it’s as simple as that (I accept but I do not absorb). I hold empathy and understanding for the judger and I hope that one day they too, will replace judgement with curiosity.
Once you are congruent with your life, with your beliefs and your morals, then it becomes more and more difficult to be torn down by others.
I will run another blog about my process of finding my way to a place of peace and congruency. It’s not a perfect or flawless place and that’s the beauty of it. Imperfection to me is a beautiful thing.
So… next time you go to judge “Replace judgement with curiosity.” Give it a go.
P.S. I still judge, like I said, “I’m human”. The difference is that I try not to judge maliciously unto others. It’s so nice to look at human diversity with interest as opposed to expecting a boring conformity. What do you think?
P.P.S. Life should still be about the ‘choice of’… And ‘freedom of’ opinion! Sometimes, we will see things that are mortifying or terrible and it’s ok to see these things for what they are… judgement or assessment of situations will absolutely always exist. Life ‘happenings’ will always provide us with things to consider, things we are happy with and things that we out-righteously dislike. After all, we need to pass judgement in order to make correct decisions in life, we need to assess risk or pros and cons… the judgement I am talking about is the type that provides no greater good.