Judging Others – Is it Right or Wrong?
Do you feel that you make too many judgements about the way other people look, think or behave towards you? Do you find yourself making comments or gossiping to friends about the way someone looks or how they annoyed you? Judging others is something that everyone does, but is it done to feel better about ourselves or is it simply an automatic behaviour that helps to make choices?
In some situations judgements do need to be made, such as deciding who to employ, which politician to vote for, whether to date someone or whether to buy an outfit. Without this ability to evaluate and make choices how would you make any decisions or understand right from wrong? However judging others can also be destructive. This happens if it is focused on looking for the negatives in people or is in the form of gossip or adverse comments.
Imagine a scenario: you have gone out for drinks with some friends and one of them has brought along someone new to the group. What are your first thoughts? Do you judge their clothes, their weight or their friendliness or do you just remain neutral until you have got to know them better?
When you make judgements based on an unbiased evaluation of other people, you are using an important skill. When you judge people from a negative perspective, you may be doing it to make yourself feel better and as a result the judgement is likely to be harmful to both of you.
Some reasons for making negative judgements:
- Feeling insecure. When you feel insecure or unhappy with life, putting others down can temporarily make you feel better
- Feeling scared. If you’re scared or intimidated by others, you may try to feel better by joking about them or putting them down
- Feeling lonely. There is a bonding element to judging others. However this is a shallow level of bond and unlikely to be maintained
- Feeling jealous. If a friend achieves or is given something you want, putting them down can make it seem fairer to you
As you might expect, making negative judgements about others to improve your self-esteem never works in the long term. It often results in you feeling guilty afterwards and being a harsh self-critic who sets too high expectations for themselves.
How to stop making negative judgements:
- Be aware of your thoughts. Spend time considering the thoughts that pass through your mind and notice if you are making judgements
- Look for the positive in everyone
- Stop judging yourself. Try setting yourself realistic expectations and applaud yourself for achieving them
- Don’t avoid your own problems. When you are trying to avoid your own situation and feelings you may use judging others as a distraction
- Remember the feeling of being judged and how guilty you felt when you judged someone else
My challenge to you is can you stop making any negative judgements of others or yourself for one day? It’s a tough challenge, but it will give you valuable insights into how you think.
Good luck and if you’d like any support please click hereto contact me