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Overcoming Judgment of Others

Updated on November 22, 2015

Learning to Choose Love Over Judgment

Have you ever had one of those moments when you were gently (or not so gently) nudged into an understanding that forces you to change your thinking? As if you've been yanked into a position far away so your view is now from a much larger perspective? In that instant, values are transferred from one place to another. This type of experience has helped me recognize the truth about passing judgment on others.

A simple book, small in stature yet enormous in insight, Dropping Your Rock, by Nicole Johnson, is helping me to grasp a new truth about the freedom in choosing love over judgment.

I write about this subject not as an authority, but as a learner. Not because I have perfected or mastered it, but because I strive to overcome it. The following set of ideas highlights bits of wisdom that have helped me along my journey. This article will remain a work in progress.

The book that changed my thinking

Learning and striving to overcome judging others

I am not an avid reader. It's something I regret and hate all at the same time. My mind wanders when I try to read. I'll find myself 2 pages into a book and realize I've been thinking about something else the entire time. This has happened my whole life so reading a book is not something I jump to do. But every now and then a book will sweep me off my feet.

When I found this little book, Dropping Your Rock, I wasn't even at a bookstore. I was at an outlet clothing store that has a book section. Walking by I noticed the book sticking out from the rest. It's cover was dirty and there was a clearance sticker in the upper right corner. Not appealing to say the least. I walked on, then backed up to glance through it. That decision changed my life.

Glancing through the pages, I felt the warm oil of an epiphany pouring over me. I continued skimming the book and an encompassing understanding filled me. I was judging people. Not purposefully and not even aware that I was doing it. I knew I must have this book and I bought it. It was less than $3.

Dropping Your Rock by Nicole Johnson - Please don't miss it

Dropping Your Rock
Dropping Your Rock

I've checked Amazon from time to time to see if this book is available. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. Find this book if you are interested in breaking free from judgement.

 

Funny name for a book isn't it? Dropping Your Rock

Judgments are hurled from our minds and lips - just like rocks

Here's the origination:

Throwing rocks:

"Almost since the beginning of time, human beings have had a brutally simple way of dealing with wrong: rocks. Someone would point out the offender in the camp or the family or the clan, and everyone would come running. Picking up a cold, hard ballot of stone, they would violently cast their vote against wrong, again and again and again until it was gone. It was their way."

Dropping Your Rock, Nicole Johnson, page 1

Photo used under Creative Commons from Striatic on Flickr

Why throwing rocks doesn't work:

Rocks don't hit problems. Rocks hit people.

A Rock Hurled

"A woman confronts someone rudely about an indiscretion in her life and later phones a friend to report, "And then I told her exactly what I thought of that sin." Whap! Now that woman will be in no danger of appearing soft on wrong - while the woman she hit will wear the bruise."

Dropping Your Rock, Nicole Johnson, page 10

As we throw, we convince ourselves that if the rock lands in just the right spot, it can knock out something evil.....If our goal is to kill our eneny, this could be the answer. But if we hope to change a friends' heart, it definitely is not.

Dropping Your Rock, Nicole Johnson, page 12

"There's no point in restating the obvious"

It can be an indicator of judgment

My husand tells me this sometimes and it irks me. However, I've come to appreciate this saying. Restating the obvious can be a sign of judging others.

Consider this: A young girl is pregnant by her boyfriend. We might be tempted to say things like, "They had no business doing that sort of thing," or "They were too young," or "She's in for a rough road," or "Serves them right." Everyone involved already knows all of this. Especially the girl who will bear every consequence of her actions for a very long time - probably as a single parent. What I've personally concluded is that when I restate the obvious it is usually an attempt to feel better about myself. I'm working on this.

There IS one exception. If a person is part of the SOLUTION to a situation, then sometimes it must be discussed. But those comments will have a different motive than the examples I've given. You'll know the difference.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Dano on Flickr

A lighthearted look at judgment - Sister Bertha Better-Than-You

Do you know a Sister Bertha Better-Than-You?

Who is valuable? Everyone

Don't strip someone's value through judging them

A man speaking to a group at a convention held up a $100 bill so everyone could see it. He asked, "Who wants this $100 bill?" Everyone raised their hands. He then crumpled it and stomped on it. Everyone in the audience looked on. He picked up the $100 bill and pressed it out flat. "Who wants it now?" he asked. The entire audience again raised their hands.

The audience knew the value of the $100 and the value was INTACT. Just like people. Nothing that happens to the money changes its value - or the value of the soul.

Photo used under Creative Commons from jm3 on Flickr

The two things we judge most harshly are those things we don't struggle with at all and those things we struggle with the most.

Dropping Your Rock, Nicole Johnson, pages 25-26

What if...

I drop my rock

I put LOVE in the place of judgment?

What if I lift someone up instead of

tearing them down with my words?

What if I point out something good about

someone in the midst of their problems?

How will it change their day?

How will it change mine?

This is where I want to be in my life.

Photo used under Creative Commons from Caitlinator on Flickr

Learning from Children

Driving down the road my child said to me, "You know Mom, each of the people in all these cars around us is a person just like us. Each one has a family. Each one has problems they are dealing with just like us."

I wept in my silence. She's NOT judging them. She's loving them. She's valuing each one as an individual person.

"Give Me Your Eyes" - Longing for God's Perspective

Brandon Heath has apparently had this subject on his mind too. He cries out to God, "Give me your eyes," and "Give me your arms for the broken hearted." Also, "Give me your love for humanity."

I've pondered this song on many occasions. My personal interpretation is that Brandon Heath is stating when we drop our judgments of others, we can begin to see them as God sees them.

What do you think?

Is "dropping your rock"

acceptance of wrong-doing?

No. This article speaks to self-righteous judgment of others. There is another kind of judgment that deals with careful discernment, but that is not what I'm speaking of here.

The Receiving End of Judgment

The other end of passing judgement - feeling judged by others - I'm taking a poll - please participate

Maybe it was a glance in your direction or maybe it was something said directly to you that delivered that gut punch, but whatever it was you felt judged by someone and it bothered you.

Can you remember a specific time when you've felt judged?

See results

A time I felt judged

Small incident - lasting memory

I was shopping for earrings (of all things). These weren't just any earrings, these were earrings to match my wedding dress. I'd be getting married in a couple of weeks and I was willing to pay extra for something special. No doubt I was in jeans and a t-shirt running errands that day. As I approached the jewelry counter in the ritzy department store I saw the clerk look me over. Slowly, from head to toe and back to head again - judging me. Her tone confirmed my feelings as she spoke to me. I felt it and it felt degrading. If it hadn't been so blatant I would have overlooked it. That was 20 years ago.

At the same time, I must ask myself how many times I have passed judgment that affected someone for years? I cringe at the thought.

Forgiving those who have judged YOU

Letting it go

Yes. I'm learning that this is part of it. Sometimes it's the hardest part. Being judged by others doesn't require anything on our part. But when we are forgiving someone, we do the initiating.

I'm not talking about picking up the phone and calling someone. I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand, saying, "I forgive so-and-so for judging me" (in privacy) and from that point on letting it go.

Do they "deserve" the forgiveness? It is a tempting question to ask, but it has nothing to do with them. This is an action that brings you freedom.

The Greatest Compliment

Someone suggested our home was non-judgmental

We had family visiting us from out of town. We always have so much fun and the time is always too short. On this day, we were going shopping and right after we got in the car to leave, the family member said, "I always feel so comfortable at your house. I never feel judged." It wasn't particularly significant to the speaker to say such a thing, but for me time stood still. To know that this person did not feel "judged" at my home was the best compliment I've ever received. I didn't mention it again and neither did they - but I will remember that moment forever.

Do you think I've hit on some ideas/subjects that relate to passing judgment on others? - I'm glad you stopped by

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    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you for your continued support of Friends of the Park. We sure appreciate you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for sharing these encouraging thoughts!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @OhMe: Yippee! We did it! Today's pay to Friends of the Park brings our grand total to over $5,000 so it is time to celebrate! Thank you so much for your continued support.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      @OhMe: Just wanted to stop by and thank you again for choosing Friends of the Park as your designated charity. This month our payment donation from Squidoo was $121.10 bringing our total Squidoo donations to $4,856.50. We will have to have a party when we reach $5,000. Thanks so much!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I am revisiting all the lenses that helped Friends of the Park win the Summer Sunshine Award in the summer of 2010. Thank you again for all your support of our organization.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you so much for your continued support of Friends of the Park. This month's payout was the highest ever with $109.97 going for our Veterans Park. The Squidoo Friends of Friends of the Park have donated over $2,000 so far. Wow, you are super and very much appreciated!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Squidoo donated another $76.64 to Friends of the Park for Veterans Park making the total to date from Squidoo $1,733.53. Thank you, Squidoo!

      Thank you, Paige, for your continued support!

    • profile image

      Joan4 6 years ago

      Yeah purple! Congratulations!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Congratulations on that very pretty purple star. I recently loaned my copy of this book to a friend. I really enjoyed it.

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 6 years ago

      A valuable lesson here and one that is often difficult to learn. Congratulations on your well deserved Purple Star!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      by the way, I love Mississippi Squirrel Revival!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I am so excited and just add to pop back in and let you know that the August payout for Friends of the Park was $86.85 in royalties and $495.00 in contest winnings. Thank you for your part in making this happen! Friends of the Park is so appreciative of all our Squidoo friends. Thank you. Thank you.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 7 years ago

      I was reminded of this lens (that I love btw) today when I passed judgment by looks alone. Learning my lessons in choosing love over judgment because man oh man was I soooo wrong! I whapped myself over the head just for good measure :O Thanks again for this lens Paige!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I am really looking forward to reading this when Freedom Fest is behind me.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image
      Author

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      @indigoj: Feeling very blessed :-). Thanks WordCustard.

    • James M Becher profile image

      James M Becher 7 years ago from South Florida

      Some realy good thoughts here that we all need. I gave it a thumbs up and am nominating it for the contest. I hope you will retrun the favor and nominate my lens "Pomes of Inspirations" at https://hubpages.com/literature/inpiringpoetry (I know it should be "inspiringpoetry" but the "s" got dropped somehow.) Thanks.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Beautifully done, as is all your work. Very thought-provoking lens and I love the analogy of holding (and dropping) a rock. There are lessons here to be learned for each and every one of us. ~*~*~ Angel Blessed ~*~*~

    • puzzlerpaige profile image
      Author

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      @anonymous: It's interesting Bev, that you used the term "trap". I originally entitled this lens something like "Breaking Free from the Trap of Judging Others." It is a trap. Thank you!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      Aside from any religious connection, I think your message is an important one. I think many of us can search our memory and come up with instances where we were self-righteously judgemental. Humbling.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Paige, this is an awesome work on a most important topic. So many of the great lessons of the Bible surround our ability to be non-judgmental, loving others as ourselves, treating all others as we ourselves want to be treated and (certainly) to never cast stones. "Dropping our rocks" is a goal we should all seek. Thanks for this sincerely written and beautifully illustrated reminder of that great lesson! I will tweet and share on Facebook - everyone should have the opportunity to read this.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      This is an absolutely beautiful lens, so much more than a book review because it clearly shows what you learned from this book. I recently heard the Dalai Lama speak, and two phrases from his talk have stayed with me that have a lot to do with the topic of this page - "gentle friendship" and "develop internal nonviolence." I am so glad that Leanne featured this page on Squidoo Lens Reviews.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      What a beautiful lens, Paige! Placing judgment on others is such an easy trap to fall into, even when we don't see that we are doing it. May we all "drop our rocks" today.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image
      Author

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      @clouda9 lm: Thanks clouda9. This all may seem to be a jumble of thoughts, but in my mind they are all connected. I think the key when we examine our lives is the "Love" part. I ask myself am I loving that person? Not saying in a close relationship like a friend or relative, but a stranger - am I valuing them as an individual? Versus seeing or hearing a negative statement about them then "writing them off" in my mind carelessly. I've not made it "there" yet, but at least I am recognizing when I'm not choosing love over judgment.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I will be back to lensroll this to my latest lens when it goes green.

      Squidoo Steps Up To The Plate for Pendleton

    • puzzlerpaige profile image
      Author

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: Hi Cynthia,

      I really appreciate your thoughtful note. There are so many "parts" to this conversation of judgment. I agree with you about those thoughts that enter our head when we see someone who is different. In a mear moment we have made an opinion about that person. I don't think this is ALWAYS a horrible thing (and we shouldn't beat ourselves up over innocent observations), but personally speaking, when my motive is an ever-so-slight thought of "I'm better than them because ______" (fill in the blank) I know I need to re-think my thinkin'. *sigh* These are things I'm trying to figure out.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 7 years ago

      Paige all I can utter at this moment is wow! From top to bottom you've certainly had me examining how I live my life. Thank you for making me think beyond my little bubble!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

      This is beautiful Paige! I read every word, listened to the video and considered what you were saying. It is so hard not to judge. I don't mean to the point of casting real stones, clearly that requires an action, but I mean the thoughts that instantly enter our heads when we see someone that is different. I regularly reprimand myself. I confess, even as I started reading this I was thinking about people I know who judge without thought or consideration. You can imagine how humbled I felt when I realized I was judging them and thinking myself better than that. Thank you for the reminder that none of us "are without sin."

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Back again. I just can't seem to stay away from all these wonderful lenses benefiting Friends of the Park. We have a meeting on Monday so I wanted to have all of them fresh on my mind to give my report. Thanks again.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image
      Author

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      @OhMe: Oh thanks Ohme! I've read mine several times. Re-reading is a refresher for me.

    • Momtothezoo profile image

      Eugenia S. Hunt 7 years ago

      There is only one who has the right to judge and in front of Him we will all stand some day to be judged. "Judge not, lest ye be judged..." This is an excellent lens and I hope many will order and read Dropping Your Rock.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I've ordered my copy from this great lens and am anxious to read it. Thanks.

    • bigjoe2121 profile image

      bigjoe2121 7 years ago

      lensrolled to my "How to Shut Your Mind Off" Lens

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      @puzzlerpaige: Jesus said those words, when people were ready to stone a woman accused of committing adultery...and everyone dropped their stones realizing none of them were without sin...none of us are. Wonderful lens, and I wish you well as you continue your journey in learning! ~claudia

    • bigjoe2121 profile image

      bigjoe2121 7 years ago

      Love it. This is my journey now too.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 7 years ago

      This is a great lens. What a great book and I love the title. I droped my rock a long time ago. I hope others are able to do the same. Blessed! http://www.squidoo.com/horseandpony-squidangel

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      What an excellent topic, and so well presented. Obviously this book has touched your life in a special way. I trust this lens will touch many as well. Beautifully done!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      nominated!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 7 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Wonderful ideas here and the book sounds awesome! in fact, I'm going to find it and read it!

    • puzzlerpaige profile image
      Author

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      @Spook LM: Thanks Spook!

    • puzzlerpaige profile image
      Author

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      @OhMe: Thanks Ohme. The book is really very short and can be read is less than 30 minutes. I would recommend it to any and everyone. It's certainly worth the read. Thanks for your nomination Ohme. I hope it wins!

    • puzzlerpaige profile image
      Author

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      @Spook LM: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Spook I read that too while studying up for this article. The hardest part for me (in years of pondering all of this) is where to draw the line. Lots of reading and dozens of conversations with family and friends has brought me to the conclusion that there are two kinds of judgment. The one I talk about here, and the other one is along the lines of discernment, protecting your family and making decisions for the future based on what you know. I agree it's a hard call - this is what I struggle with most of all.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image
      Author

      puzzlerpaige 7 years ago

      @Joan4: Yes Joan! I originally titled this lens "Breaking Free from the Bondage of Passing Judgment" because it is like a bondage that damages US (exactly like you said). Letting go it FREEDOM for US.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      Lensrolled to a couple of mine and I trust you don't mind.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Something like that anyway. In the end I guess it's a hard call for all of us. I have a tendency to take everyone at face value, until they let me down and regrettable then I'm not so forgiving.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 7 years ago

      Quite a powerful lens. I think that some folks get into the habit of judging others and never stop to think what it does to the judged. Your daughter's attitude is wonderful. I got goosies reading that.

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      Oh yes, I want to read this one! and it is those silent, veiled judgements that we carry inside that are so damaging to us most of all!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Oh wow, I am definitely going to get this book. You have done a magnificent job with this review and it is so very thought provoking. Thank you for letting me know about Dropping Your Rock by Nicole Johnson and thank you so much for entering the Summer Sunshine Award Contest for Charity for Friends of the Park. I am nominating this super lens and also featuring it with Friends of the Park on Sunshine Award Nominees