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Judgment. It is something we all struggle with in our lives. It is a part of being human. It keeps us safe, it keeps us protected and it keeps us small. Judgment allows us to not take risks, to not stretch our boundaries and to not build connections. When we are in the mode of judging we are tight, small, constrained. Think of yourself when you are in a conversation that involves judging–maybe it is how someone parents, how he or she has gained weight or wearing miss matching shoes. In that conversation we are whispering, tense, and closed in. When we are having a loving conversation about someone’s personality, natural gifts or amazing talents, we are open, energized, and boisterous.
When we judge other people it eventually comes back to bite us. Think about the last time you were on a plane. How many judgments did you have?
- The guy next to you who took up too much of the seat,
- The dad behind you who’s child screamed for half the flight,
- The couple who were running late and dashed in at the last second,
- The woman who overpacked and tried to stuff her luggage into the overhead bin (holding up the line of people boarding the plane).
You sitting there felt pretty smug and triumphant. With each judgment made you got a little notch in your belt. You were on time, childless, under packed and super thin; at least that day.
The truth is, whatever we are most judgmental about in other people is what we are most judgmental about in ourselves. So the next time you are on the plane:
- You might be running late (because your connection was late)
- You over packed because you bought one to many souvenirs and didn’t have time to check your bag
- You have a child who is just not willing to take a nap.
- You gained a few pounds and you creep over on the seat next to yours.
Most likely if any of these things happen to you, you will be judging yourself. You will be SUPER hard on yourself not just because you did something you aren’t proud of—but because you were judgmental of people in the past for doing the same thing and therefore you ASSUME they are all judging you in the same way.
My message here isn’t don’t be judgmental because Karma is a bitch and you will be punished.
My message here is basically to quote the bible ,”Judge not, lest you be judged
” Matthew 7:1″ Meaning don’t be a hypocrite.
When we judge other people we should immediately be thinking, “whoa, what is that saying about me?”. We tend to be the most judgmental to other people about things we are judgmental about ourselves. We tend to be judgmental about people running late–when WE have a problem running late. We tend to be judgmental about other people’s relationships when OUR relationship is suffering.
When we look at someone and say ‘they can’t do that’, ‘they can’t go back to school, find a better job, be happy in their relationship, use that parenting technique’. What we are really saying is “I can’t do that”.
When we say. “that dress looks stupid”, what we are really saying is. “I wish I had the guts to wear a dress I really wanted to”. We don’t go out of our comfort zone because we are afraid we will be judged. Not by other people (although we may tell ourselves that) but by ourselves.
We are our own worst critics. For many of us that judgment gets turned externally on to others.
As you move through your day, start paying attention to what you are most judgmental about or critical about in others and ask yourself “What is that saying about me?” Have some curiosity around what is behind your judgments. Knowing what you judge in others will provide a lot of insight around your own limiting beliefs and how they are keeping you from living happier.