There is the conventional wisdom that the only person in the world that we should judge is ourselves. But I would say that even then, we probably shouldn’t be too harsh. When it comes to others, we could get rid of most of the judging we do on a conscious and subconscious level and lead much better lives as a result.
Our judgmental side comes from our distant ancestors when life was a lot more dangerous. If you didn’t judge every plant or animal you came across, you could die. But live in a lot safer time now, and nowadays, when we instinctively judge a person or a situation, we are probably shutting a door to a positive experience. Sometimes, it is difficult not to judge, but by becoming aware of when you are doing it, you can take the appropriate action, and not the knee-jerk one.
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- Know it when you feel it
The first step towards becoming less judgmental is to work backwards. Think of your actions over the past week or month. Think of a situation or time when you were a bit too judging. Think of the emotions you felt in that situation. The next time you experience those emotions again, it may be that you are doing it again. This time, try to be open to a more generous interpretation of what is going on. Sometimes, people may act in a bad way, but only because they are going through a great challenge. If you diffuse the situation with compassion, you may be able to give that person the support that they actually need in that situation.
2. Love the quirks in others
Often, when we judge, we only do it because we have an idea in our heads of what the perfect person should be like. But that is only your opinion. Some people may appear like failures to others, but these people love their lives and feel extremely successful because they judge themselves in a different way and they have different things that are important to them. Instead of wondering why they don’t fit into your mold, try to find out more about their mold. The most interesting people in the world often don’t fit into traditional boxes and we can learn a lot from them.
3. Try something different
The next time you feel like judging someone, try thinking of one thing that you can compliment them about. Immediately, you break your negative thinking pattern into something more positive. And, in addition, giving the other person a compliment might also have a positive impact on them and they might stop behaving in the way that you were almost judging in the first place.
4. There may still be exceptions
When you stop judging people, you realize that the vast majority of the people are inherently nice. But unfortunately, there are still those who are not so nice. But when you dig deeper and you start to recognize the situations in which you judge, you can ask yourself whether your concerns are legitimate or not. Most of the time, you can probably be a bit less harsh, but that doesn’t mean that anyone gets to take advantage of you.