We’d love to think that we’re good people all the time and that we don’t easily make judgments about others. However, we are imperfect beings who do not have full control of what we think or say. We may try our best to be good, but at some point, we’re terribly flawed, and at times, it shows when it comes to how we think about other people.
Why do we judge others, and how do we stop ourselves from doing this? The truth about judgmentalism is that it’s one of the reasons why we can’t feel whole. It’s a big obstacle because we entertain negative thoughts and feelings that poison our system. Always judging people does nothing good for us. The best way to combat this is to learn the beauty of accepting others for who they are.
If you’re a judgmental individual, you think, speak, and act in ways that are always condemning and critical. This person is one who always looks for the faults and flaws of another. There seems to be a right or wrong way of doing things, and if someone doesn’t fall under what this person thinks as “right,” then that person is not just wrong but also stupid, harmful, or inferior. Being judgmental is not only being critical toward others. At times, we are judgmental to our own selves. It affects us negatively and how we see our being.
Judgment is a way to determine what’s good or bad, right or wrong, and safe or dangerous. It is essential for our survival, so it’s not entirely wrong to have judgments. When we’re critical about our work, for example, then it can help us improve and become more creative and innovative. When we’re making judgments on the actions of our children who are fighting with each other, we use it to know whose behavior needs correction.
What we need to understand is the difference between being a judgmental person and one who makes judgments. When we make judgments, our minds are neutral and balanced. However, when you’re a judgmental individual, your brain has preconceived notions about others without even knowing what kind of person they truly are.
Read through the following statements and evaluate if they are true for you:
You must be honest with yourself when you’re assessing these statements. What were the emotions that you felt while reading them? Where you surprised, fearful, angry, or defensive? If you’re affected by these statements, judgementalism may be an issue that you struggle with. But don’t worry. You can still learn how to stop yourself from being judgmental.
The root of judgmentalism is an issue with one’s self-worth. By focusing on the faults of others, we think to ourselves that we’re better than those people. It gives us a false sense of self-worth, and we have this artificial and fleeting boost in self-confidence and self-esteem. The critical step here is to start accepting ourselves—flaws and all. That way, we can also begin to be more accepting of others. Here are other ways that can help you put an end to being judgmental.
If you’re continually having judgmental thoughts and want to practice more control over them, you can try journaling. Devote a few minutes at the end of the day to write your thoughts down.
Did someone at work do something, and you judged them for it? Did a friend make a particular decision that you didn’t agree with?
Take time to write about that in a journal. What were your feelings about him or her? Why did you feel that way about that person? Did you feel angry, depressed, or insecure? Explore your emotions as you write them. Be as open and honest as you can so you can, and do this regularly so you can reflect on it.
It’s not easy to accept people and how flawed they are. Some are just annoying, and you may think that there’s no way that you can get over how they irritate you. But don’t think about other people just yet. When you practice acceptance, do it for yourself first.
Evaluate the things about yourself that you don’t like. You can start with what’s physical or visible so that it’s easier. As you go deeper, reflect on your attitudes and behaviors. Which of them do you not like? Little by little, start accepting your own flaws and then find ways on how you can improve or eliminate them.
Sometimes, there’s a reason we think negatively about others, and that’s because they’re genuinely mean or unfriendly. But maybe there’s something we don’t know about them that has caused them to be like that. Perhaps they use their meanness as a shield or barrier because they think that they’ll be too vulnerable without it.
We can’t know for sure what the full stories are. But we ought to have that benefit of the doubt and not judge others immediately. Whenever we encounter people who have a less than desirable attitude, we can try to be more understanding and compassionate. It’s crucial to show them that not everyone is out to get them or hurt them in any way.
So, before you return the favor and be mean to them, try being compassionate instead. Practice the steps shared here and see if they help in making you judge others less. It may not be easy since it’s become a habit, but if you want to change for the better, you have to try. Allow yourself the chance to be more accepting of yourself and others.
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