How much of your time do you spend judging others? I’m ashamed to say, that as much as I think of myself as a kind and thoughtful person, I do judge and sometimes quite harshly.
When I really thought about this behaviour, I realised it was ingrained in me and had become a habit.
If I saw someone wearing something inappropriate or outdated, I’d think “Wow she need’s some fashion advice!” or if the customer service in a restaurant is slow or offhand “What’s his problem? No tip for the grumpy man”
Even with friends if they cancel at the last minute or aren’t supportive, I automatically assume they don’t care enough and aren’t good friends.
Does this behaviour make me feel better? Absolutely not, now I have guilt for my thoughts as well as anger at the person or situation.
Then I think, if I’m judging others they’re judging me too, how scary! Because, I’ve let friends down, worn odd outfits and been so up in my head to come across as grumpy. It would be awful to think of others talking about me for that.
Worst of all, when we judge others it reinforces our judgement of ourselves and when we judge internally it’s usually far harsher.
This behaviour is often how we bond with others, especially other women. Moaning about someone else can create a shared warmth and a temporary connection. But there are better ways of creating a more permanent connection.
The main reasons we judge others are because:
We maybe insecure and unhappy and think putting others down will make us feel better
We may feel lonely or isolated and want to bond with others,
We can feel scared of or intimidated by others and judge them to feel better ourselves
As you can imagine none of this is beneficial to us, instead it can damage relationships, affect our self-esteem and hurt other people.
Which, means it’s time for us to break the habit of judging and then we can be kinder not only to others but also to ourselves.
I’ll be using these tips to change my judging habit:
Be aware of your thoughts. When a behaviour is a habit we can be unaware that we’re doing it. So start by noticing when you judge and who you judge (including yourself!)
Look for the positives. If your mindset naturally looks for the negative in people, challenge yourself to start with looking for the positive
Be curious about stereotypes. Stereotyping can be a negative thing, so when you recognise yourself doing it, be curious about what is really true about the person. What is unique about them?
Can you put yourself in their shoes? What might this person be going through?
Focus on the present and your life. If you get distracted by your own problems and drift into judging someone, pull the focus back to your own life, what you want and the good things in your life. But don’t turn the judgement on you either!
Do let me know how you get on and if you’d like to read more there are some great blogs and quotes on the internet about judging others, such as: