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Being judgmental

Updated on April 27, 2013

"Do not judge and you will not be judged.”

Luke 6:37

A small child is so loveable, so charming and so innocent that everyone wants to touch it lovingly. It attracts everyone to it because of its innocence and purity. But when it starts growing up, it starts losing some of its loveliness and innocence. It begins to show traits which are opposite to its original ones. It learns those traits from his parents, siblings, peers, friends, relatives and many others. He learns social values and cultural norms. He learns how to behave with others, how to treat others, how to solve his problems and so on and so forth. In other words, he develops his own belief systems. They become his operative system when he is fully grown up. They form his perspective of viewing things and events of life. He views the world wearing the colored glasses of his perception. Gradually, when his belief system is very firm, he develops other conceptual constructs based on them.

So we all are programmed depending on our belief systems and conceptual constructs. They get well established in our sub-conscious mind. We feel threatened whenever some one doesn’t fit into our programming. Our biases and learned attitudes influence the interaction with them and we react and respond according to them.

We use the yardstick of our judgments based on our belief systems, while interacting with others, solving the problems, handling events and situations and taking decisions.

Being judgmental has many disadvantages mentioned as below –

  • It influences our relationships, including marital relations in many ways. We see the other person from our perspective, even if he or she may be just and right. Judgments limit our capacity to see the situation from the perspective of others. We become less empathetic and more demanding. We start contributing less to the relationships, thus damaging them.
  • It affects the decisions big or small which we take in life. Unless we view a situation dispassionately from all possible angles, we may not be able to take good decisions. If we are fortunate, they may turn out to be good. If we are less judgmental in making decisions, they will be more fruitful.
  • We are always judgmental in our day today interactions with others. We don’t empathize when others don’t agree with us or don’t measure up to our expectations. This creates discord and attritions with them. It generates stress and anxiety in us as well as in them. Therefore, we further complicate the situations and relations.
  • Being judgmental hurts others pride. Criticism stems from judging others. Frequent criticism of a person will lower his or her self-esteem and confidence in life.
  • It generates resentment against a person who devalues, deflates or depresses others.
  • Our judgments put others on defensive which will affect our relations in the office and will in turn adversely affect the official work.
  • Our critical judgments will invite revenge and retaliation from others. This will, therefore, create stress for us as well as for them.
  • Our critical judgments will lower our self-respect in other’s eyes. They will shun and avoid our company.
  • It will invite sharp reactions from those against whom we pass unfair judgments. It will reduce our credibility in other’s eyes and we will set up a poor example for others to follow.

How to be non-judgmental—

I agree that it is quite difficult to remove or change our old belief systems. It requires total re-programming of our past impressions which get so well established in our sub-conscious psyche. But being non-judgmental will lessen our stress, give us peace and happiness and we will receive appreciation and approbation of others as well.

  • Make time for reflection- First of all make a list of your biases and judgments that need to be changed. Then contemplate on them by asking the questions like – Why do I feel that way? Am I projecting my own viewpoint? Why am I forcing others to act as I wish? Doing this exercise a few times daily will generate positivity in us and make us empathetic. Gradually, our negative behavior patterns and perceptions will begin to change.
  • Practice compassion- There goes a common saying – “Treat others like you want to be treated.” Every time an old judgment starts to creep up, remember the saying. This will generate an emotion of compassion in us.
  • Open up to alternative view points- Listen more to others. By talking less and listening more with awareness to what the person is saying, we will learn about his or her view points. This will develop tolerance in us to accept viewpoints of others.
  • Volunteer to do things together- This will generate team spirit in us; we will readily accept and understand other’s perspectives.
  • Repeat positive affirmations- After finalizing the belief systems that need to be changed, we should repeat positive affirmations to change those many times a day. With practice we will develop a new dimension of awareness which will make us pause and think before passing the judgments.
  • Practice mindfulness meditation- Regular practice of meditation will expand the boundaries of one’s consciousness. One can even reflect on the negative judgments, while meditating. This will enhance one’s mindfulness and one will think before passing critical judgments.

The past impressions are so deep rooted in our psyche that it hardly takes any time to pass a judgment if the situation or person doesn’t measure up to our yardsticks. But if a person just remembers that how he will feel if someone else passes such snap critical judgments on us. He will feel offended and will detest the other person, who will become abominable in his eyes. We need to ask ourselves before judging someone – Do we have to become abominable too by passing critical judgments?


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