Judging the Judging
It’s pretty simple to judgmentally describe things as good or bad, beautiful or ugly, smart or stupid, etc. Actually, any kind of a comparing and contrasting falls into this judgmental area. For me, my biggest pitfall is should and shouldn’t. I don’t know how many times I get called out by my therapist because I have said, “well, I should have known better” or “I shouldn’t have been so stupid.” Trust me, if she had a big rubber stamp that said “JUDGEMENT” I would have it embedded on my forehead! (Nah, she is one of the kindest people you will ever meet).
They are useful! Let’s be honest, what a quick way to describe something and get a point across. Yes, useful AND problematic. (See how I used dialectics there?)
- Judgements often replace fact. They are not based on observation.
- Judgements often fuel negative emotions.
- Judgements are attached to opposites, so even a positive judgement like something is “good” means that there is a “bad”
I wish it was as easy as saying, “quit judging” and the world would be a happier place. Since we are retraining our brains and replacing long-established habits, all these skills take time, patience, and repetition. As with all the other skills, this one can be worked on daily:
- Notice when you judge and don’t beat yourself up for it (judging the judging). Notice it and let it go.
- If you are struggling, ask yourself if the judging is helping or hurting your progress.
- Replace judgemental statements with:
- I like…, I prefer…, or I wish…
- This is helpful/harmful for…, This is effective/ineffective for …
- This thing happened in this way, at this time…
- Remember that you are human, it takes practice and you will always be working on it. Accept what and how things are and let the judgements go.