I can be a very judgmental person. Instantly when I see or meet people, my mind provides an assessment of them. At first this is purely based on physical appearances. Are they pretty, unattractive, overweight, thin, in-shape, etc? Then when I'm around them a little more I assess their personality. Are they fun, outgoing, obnoxious, friendly, nice, thoughtless, etc? If I were assessing myself, I'd say my worst quality is how judgmental I can be.
Wayne Dyer, writing on the Tao, instructs us to replace "judging" with "noticing."
It's normal to form an opinion on someone when you meet them, or even just see them. It's where our mind goes. But instead of judging that person, simply notice them. See them, but don't assign "good" or "bad" to their appearance or character.
Be open, not fixed and close-minded.
When you notice yourself judging another person, say to yourself, "I see myself in this person, and I choose to be in a space of goodness rather than judgement," (Dyer).
As I talked about in my post yesterday, we are all one. We are all love. Sure, you'll likely see people you deem unattractive, or whom you find completely arrogant and obnoxious. But it's not your place to judge. If you don't like someone, don't engage with them. I don't mean ignore people, or go out of your way to avoid people. But you can choose to let them be, and not attach yourself to your judgments of them. Don't involve yourself in their business.
Since we're all connected, we're all one, when we judge someone else, we're really judging ourselves.
Have you ever heard that the qualities that get on your nerves about another person are the very qualities you dislike the most about yourself? I think this is true, in some cases, but not all. Regardless, open your mind and your heart and stop judging. Yourself or others. Everyone's doing the best they can with what they know. Everyone has their own internal compass and set of beliefs. And everyone is perfect just the way they are. They're here for a reason, just as you are. They are the way they are for a reason, just as you are. So just let them be.
I don't know many Bible verses, and while I'm highly spiritual, I'm not religious anymore. But when I was in college I went to church regularly. One Bible verse really made an impact and it's never left me. I probably won't quote it exactly, but you'll get the point.
"Don't try to remove the speck from your neighbor's eye until you remove the plank from your own."
It's easy for us to look at other people and "out there" in the world and find fault. See things we don't agree with, think should be different, or would like to change.
But the verse reminds us that we all have less than desirable characteristics. We all have "flaws." To point the finger at someone else and try to "fix" them, is totally hypocritical and arrogant. We should focus on ourselves and be the best ME we can be.
I'm as guilty of this as the next person. Maybe even more judgmental than many of you reading this. It's not a trait I'm proud of, but I know I have it. And it's a constant battle not to let it get the best of me. It's an on-going reminder to remove the plank from my own eye and not to fixate on the speck in someone else's. I have plenty to keep me busy with my own self and my own life.
I think part of the reason people are so judgmental of everyone else is because we're so judgemental of ourselves. We find fault in ourselves all the time. Things we don't like. Characteristics we want to change.
Most people don't really love themselves, as they are, at the core. I'm not talking about wanting to make yourself a better you - working out, learning new things, etc. I'm talking about loving and accepting the you that you are in spirit. The person that you are, in love.
That's why I believe the first step in not judging others is learning to love yourself. It's hard to be happy with others when you're not happy with yourself.
As you move away from judging yourself, the feelings that had pitted "you against them" will begin to disolve.
Love yourself, and in turn that will help you love others. As they are.
Quotes of the Day:
“If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” (Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist)
“As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their 'right' place.” (Henri J.M. Nouwen)
“We've spent so much time judging what other people created that we've created very, very little of our own.” (Chuck Palahniuk, Choke)