If you or someone you know regularly and automatically judges others without fully understanding those others, and it is proving to be detrimental to do so, then this is for you. There will be times when fair judgement is necessary and required, but here today I’m focusing on the problems that arise from ill-conceived, judgement or judgement laden with bias, or just whereby judging others has become so commonplace in your life that it is causing problems for you; many don’t even realise they are doing it.
“How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day…You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.” – Steve Maraboli
The world is experiencing a great deal of change, challenge and fervour of varying types right now. Most people have a position of some kind on the current state of play in varying aspects of life. If we judge, it often effects how we feel and think, and often to our detriment. We can still make a stand, we can still express ourselves effectively, but perhaps dispense with some of the judgement.
Why do so many people feel the need to make fun of, or belittle and judge others? It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, whether it’s to our family members, peers or even celebrities we see in the media. We base our judgments of others and ourselves on these comparisons.
If you wish to explore that topic further, read this article: Stop Comparing Yourself To Others.
When it comes down to it, people are different. No two people are completely alike despite similarities. We need to accept these differences where we can and stop judging people. It is hurtful to them, it is usually hurtful to us and makes the people ridiculing them look bad. Even if one does not verbalise their judgements, it does not mean their insensitive thoughts are acceptable.
But why do we judge others? Sometimes, we’ve just got into an automated habit of doing so, it’s almost become a cognitive bias of it’s own….
Here are 3 Reasons We Judge Others:
We often judge others because we forget that all human beings make mistakes. Or we do not appraise what sits underneath the behaviour we are judging. Sometimes we can’t resist the opportunity to berate when someone does something you don’t approve of. But if you take the time to put yourself in their shoes i.e. how you would feel if you were the “bad guy” being berated, you would likely approach it in a softer way.
Another reason we judge is because we often don’t understand the reason for the behaviour of others. Try to understand people’s reasons for the different things they do that you don’t agree with. And if you still can’t get to common ground concerning the matter in question, just chalk it up to the diversity of human actions. That works too.
There is also a bonding element that goes along with judging others. When you are lonely, you might use judgements to bond with other people, but these bonds are based on negativity. Attempting to make friends based upon a common enemy might not be the best foundation for a meaningful friendship. The bonds you have based on judging others are often superficial and are not likely to contain true substance.
Here Are Things (problematic) Judgements Do:
Judgement is often the function of our intuition; that automatically evaluates possible dangers and opportunities. It happens so automatically and subtly that it is (seemingly) almost impossible to control.
A 2010 study published by Wood, Harms and Vazire in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people might judge you based on how you judge other people. Being judgemental often does more harm than good.
• It can close off our heart and mind to learning and understanding of the vast knowledge of the universe.
• Judgement can create disdain, dislike (even hatred) and a range of emotions, positive and negative.
• It lessens our ability to connect deeply with others.
7 Effective Ways To Stop Judging:
Some believe it requires a lifetime of practice to get good at dispensing with judging others. Just like other things in life, there are days you do well and there are also days you get in a slump with it. Here are some common areas of thought that are highlighted in the research….
Don’t judge others for being lazy
During a time like this, staying productive won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Stop judging others for taking a little time out for themselves and feeling better by doing what they love, which may not exactly translate to “conventionally productive”. It’s the equivalent of having comfort food. Can’t have it all the time, but can’t live without it either.
“Never judge others. You both know good and well how unexpected events can change who a person is. Always keep that in mind. You never know what someone else is experiencing within their own life.” ― Colleen Hoover.
Let others introspect and decide what they want for themselves. It’s already a difficult time for everyone. Don’t necessarily pile on with your sly remarks and half-hearted advice.
Listen carefully to the other person
Ask yourself, are you willing to make a sacrifice of learning about someone you don’t know and not judge them for who you think they are based on a bad experience?
“When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself” ― Earl Nightingale.
It is important that you see people for who they are, individually and build a relationship with that person. Relationships take time, patience, curiosity and vulnerability. They do not happen in a single meeting and can be difficult to understand from the surface. Go deeper and make the sacrifice to learn from one another. Allow the relationship to be a meaningful two-way connection.
Try to meditate daily
Take some mental time out regularly. Meditation is very helpful to not jump to conclusion. It helps you be aware of your thoughts and sensations. Meditate every day. It does not have to take 60 minutes. In fact, start with just one minute. Or even just 3 deep breaths.
There are many free apps if you want to get started yourself. Or go explore mindfulness or self-hypnosis, my personal preference, obviously.
Improve your ability to do effortful thinking
We can’t stop our intuition. We can be aware of it pulling us in certain directions, quite strongly at times! What you can do instead is to improve your effort thinking ability.
There are exercises and activities out there. Of course, meditation. Start to recognise your feelings, acknowledge them and see if you can think with purpose in an objective fashion in response to it.
Take deep breaths when you think negatively of someone
Ever notice yourself thinking negatively? Sometimes, you’d wonder why you did it. Other times, you’d get distracted and that wonderful moment of realisation was gone.
Next time when you do, that will be wonderful for you to take a few deep breaths. If possible, close your eyes. Your thought could change immediately after that. At the very least, breathing will buy you some time before you act or respond to your judgement and help you respond in a more effective manner.
Do this daily affirmation…
“I am not judgmental and I am open to learning and understanding.”
Daily affirmations are a great way to invite anything you desire to happen for you. It takes some practice but, hey, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the very first step.
Or use self-hypnosis to deliver really effective self-suggestions to yourself.
You might like some of these free resources with regards to self-hypnosis:
Both are basic and founded in very evidenced-based principles grounded in solid science rather than the majority of wooo and pseudoscience that is usually inherent with the topic of self-hypnosis.
Ask “what if”
What if he’s not as good as I think he is?
What if I am wrong about him?
What if what he said was right.
This question could change the way you judge someone or something so you’ll probably want to make it a common way to develop your mindset accordingly.
“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.” ― Albert Camus,.
Judging is easy. Fixing consequences is not. We have to stop blaming people without knowing the full circumstances. For our own sakes, we need to stop judging those whose lives are different from ours. Seek understanding first at the very least. It’ll benefit you to do so.
Has this piqued your interest in this field? Then have a read of these pages:
Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studes? Explore the pages of this website.
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.