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Is it ok to be judgmental?



I’ve often heard, “I feel bad about being judgmental.” Judgment, however, is a natural human tendency. We all make judgments about others, sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously.


There are many reasons why we judge others, including:


  • To make sense of the world around us. When we meet someone new, we quickly try to figure out who they are and what they're about. We do this by making judgments about their appearance, their behavior, and their words. These judgments help us to understand the world around us and to make decisions about how to interact with others.


  • To feel superior. Sometimes, we judge others to feel superior to them. This can be a way of boosting our own self-esteem or of feeling better about ourselves.


  • To protect ourselves. We may also judge others as a way of protecting ourselves from harm. If we see someone who is behaving in a way that we perceive as threatening, we may judge them as being dangerous or untrustworthy. Judgment has served an evolutionary purpose for humans to protect themselves and determine if someone is a friend or foe.


While judgment is a natural human tendency, it can also be harmful. When we judge others, we often make assumptions about them without knowing the full story. This can lead to misunderstandings, conflict, and even discrimination.


There are many ways to reduce our judgmental tendencies. Here are a few tips:


  • Be aware of your own biases. We all have biases, which are unconscious beliefs and attitudes that influence our thoughts and behaviors. Once you become aware of your own biases, you can start to challenge them.


  • Try to see things from the other person's perspective. When you judge someone, try to put yourself in their shoes and see the situation from their point of view. This can help you to understand why they are behaving the way they are.


  • Focus on the positive. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of someone's behavior, try to focus on the positive. This will help you to see the person in a more balanced light. How would you want others to see you?


  • Be mindful of your thoughts and words. When you find yourself judging someone, take a moment to pause and reflect on your thoughts and words. Are you making assumptions about the person? Are you being fair and objective?


  • Be compassionate. Remember that everyone is fighting their own battles. Try to have compassion for others, even if you don't agree with their choices. Would you want others to accept and understand you?


  • Practice acceptance. Accept that people are different and that they have the right to make their own choices. This doesn't mean that you have to approve of their choices, but it does mean that you should respect their right to make them.


  • Pay attention to how you feel when you judge or criticize someone vs. compliment or give compassion. We release different chemicals that can affect how we feel when we are negative vs. positive when assessing someone.


It is impossible to completely eliminate judgment from our lives. However, by following these tips, we can reduce our judgmental tendencies, improve our emotional intelligence, and build more positive relationships with others.


Here are some additional benefits of being less judgmental:


  • You will be more open-minded and accepting of others.

  • You will be less likely to engage in conflict.

  • You will be happier and more content.

  • You will have stronger relationships with others.

  • You'll release more happy chemicals which will affect your mood and immune system in a positive away.


If you are struggling with judgmental thoughts, there are a few things you can do:


  • Talk to a therapist or counselor. They can help you to develop strategies for how to manage judgmental thoughts and beliefs.


  • Read self-help books or articles about judgment. There are many resources available that can help you to understand the psychology of judgment and to develop more positive ways of thinking about others.


  • Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. When you practice mindfulness, you can learn to observe your judgmental thoughts without getting caught up in them.




Judgment is a complex issue, but it is one that we can all learn to manage. By following these tips, you can reduce your judgmental tendencies and build more positive relationships with others. Be the change you wish to see in the world.

 

 

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