Mind Cafe
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Mind Cafe

3 Truths Your Judging Tells About You

Notice the parts within you that want to be seen.

Photo by nine koepfer on Unsplash

I’ve never heard anyone accepting that they’re judging someone. Neither did I before. Ask people who gossip about others, they would respond the same way. “It’s not a gossip, I’m only making a comment about someone else’s life. I cannot talk about it?”

But are we really making innocent comments or judging them based on the way we see them live?

There’s a way to understand that.

When we judge people, we label them as X and Y. And we think that this is the permanent reality behind what’s happening.

But when we only talk about someone’s life by making comments in the way of situational attributions, there’s empathy at work. We assume that one thing is happening because of a situational reason. We give the possibility to another reality that we might not be seeing at that moment.

Judgment: My co-worker is so rude, she didn’t say good morning to me today.

Situational attribution: She might be feeling off for some reason I’m not aware of. This might be the reason why she ignored me.

Whatever our choice of action is, know that both of them tell more about ourselves than the other person we talk about. They tell us who we’re, what kind of life we live, how we perceive ourselves and the world around us, and the most important is what our unmet needs are.

So what are those truths and how do we move beyond them?

1- You might have parts within you that want to be seen and embraced

We’re taught to live in one way in society from the day we’re born. Everybody needs to follow a certain rule about fashion. Everybody needs to have stable jobs. Everybody has to think the way we do. Everybody has to have the same body shape.

And when we see someone different than us, we judge them as too laid back, too out there, too loud, or too much.

But there’s a silver lining in our judging attitude. It means our soul craves what we see in others and we need to listen to that voice that wants to be heard so badly. Our authentic identity was buried by society’s norms but now wants to be revealed. We have the potential to embrace ourselves because we notice someone else doing it.

How does it look in practice?

Next time you judge someone because of their look, ask yourself if you accept your body with compassion. Next time you think someone is too much of something, ask yourself if you want to be that much but aren’t confident yet.

Use your judgments as mirrors to show you who you’re and how your authentic self wants you to live.

2- You might be secretly envying them for the things they achieve and it can be a good thing

Have you ever judged someone by their success and felt triggered by them?

I did. I used to do that when I wasn’t as mindful as I’m today and when I wasn’t doing anything to live the life I dream about. To me, everything other people achieved was either luck or they were born into environments that presented opportunities.

Only after I started to work on my dreams, I could put myself into their shoes and make empathy. I understood that we create luck for ourselves by aligning our internal and external reality to the life we dream to live. We need to work hard to attract opportunities rather than waiting for opportunities to appear all the time.

And it turned out I judged them before because I wanted to live like them badly but wasn’t brave enough to follow my passion.

It’s a common response we give when we admire someone’s success or life secretly and put it into words in a hostile way. That’s called benign envy.

What to do with this kind of envy? We can either keep judging them or allow this positive envy to drive us for our aspirations in life. We can be inspired by their actions and know whatever they do is also possible for us.

3- You might be avoiding self-reflection

One of the 4 agreements in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom is to not take things personally. He suggests:

“Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds.”

Perhaps it’s not as radical and both parties have things to do with the situation. Perhaps when we judge someone that they’re X or Y, it’s not only about them. It’s also about us who are bothered by the situation.

It reminds me of the time I was judged by someone, let’s call him, Jim, that I was quiet around him most of the time. He wasn’t my person and I was okay with not pushing a conversation with him every time we encountered him. It must be awkward for him but the awkwardness wasn’t only on me. What if he wasn’t happy about being in silence with people because he wasn’t comfortable in silence in general? What if he had the need to fill the void with words all the time? What if it was okay that we didn’t have more than small talks?

You see, it’s never about one person. So if you find yourself judging someone, turn the spotlight to yourself as well. Find out what’s the thing that bothers you while another person could be perfectly fine with it.

Do self-reflection to help you go beyond your way of thinking. Understand how you respond to certain situations or behavior patterns so you create better relationships with others.

Ask yourself “Why does this person or event bother me?”

It doesn’t mean you or the other person has to fix something within them. It’s about creating a space for everyone to live to their authentic self. It’s about living in harmony in the presence of differences. It’s about encouraging situational comments rather than putting people in boxes of adjectives forever.

Wrapping up

We’re receiving a lot of information and experiencing interactions on social media and in real life every day. As a result, our minds want to get some of the information out. We want to interpret the situations with others and exchange more information with each other.

But while doing that, we tend to cross lines from exchanging innocent stories to judging others. We label people the way we see they’re living their lives. We create a false reality based on our understanding of what’s happening. We project our beliefs onto their identity.

In the end, everything we put out there as a comment doesn’t represent their reality but ours. So, why not learn more about ourselves than other people all the time? Why not reflect upon how we interpret other people’s lives and what lies behind our judgments on auto-pilot mode?

Because the more we’re aware of ourselves, the fewer barriers we have with others. The more we’re connected to our beliefs, thoughts, and emotions, the more oneness we experience with others. And to me, that’s what a peaceful life is all about.

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Begüm Erol

Begüm Erol

Freelance writer | I write about #self, #life, and #wellbeing. If you are looking for research-based tips, follow me and let’s connect! IG: @begumerol_