Judging others is something that everyone is guilty of. We can’t totally rid ourselves of judgment. It’s part of our thinking system. But just like training a child and developing him/her into a world-renowned athlete, we can also train our minds to be less judgmental. It’s not gonna be easy and we may not get everything right all the time but as long as we continue to practice it, we’ll get better and better at it. So here’s how to develop a less judgmental mindset.
HOW CAN WE STOP JUDGING OTHERS?
Cultivate A Curious Mind
Most judgments we make about other people are based on a lack of information. When we are being curious we ask questions before we form conclusions. This builds connections and relationships as we talk to the person to learn the story behind who they are and their choices. Imagine the circumstances that might have led them to act, look and speak the way they do. When we understand where the person is coming from, we formulate positive and more compassionate interpretations of their actions.
Be Aware Of Your Own Self
We have to pay attention to how we’re feeling and what we are thinking before judging someone because these contribute to our automatic thoughts. Are we feeling upset, jealous, or resentful? Our judgments are mostly about us and may be based on our own weaknesses, soft spots, and insecurities and are being projected towards another person. It may be hard to admit, but sometimes we do it to make ourselves feel better or just to fit in. And yes it may make us feel good or superior somehow but it also reinforces negativity and will just make us feel a lot worse.
When we notice our thoughts are negative, let’s try stopping them. This can be very difficult but reflecting deeply on our lifestyle, our traits, our character, and asking ourselves hard questions will help us understand the reason why we judge. And when we figure it out, we can focus on resolving the real issue.
Practice Empathy And Compassion
Empathy and compassion are not signs of weakness, rather these are wonderful traits that resonates goodness and breeds positivity. Both traits help us resist the need to judge and criticize. It allows us to imagine what challenges and hardships others have in their lives. It helps us focus on the ways we are similar to others instead of fixating on our differences.
Reframe Your Thoughts
We may not have control over what happens around us but we have control over how we view it. When we start reframing our thoughts into positive ones, our negative judgments decrease.
For example, if we pass by a motor accident, we can think that the driver is being reckless or that he is too busy showing off that he did not notice the other vehicle. Or maybe he’s just too stupid to care about his and other people’s safety. These assumptions may cause us to think about more negative things. It may piss us off or make us worry too much about our safety. It may even cause us to think that the driver deserved it so he will learn his lesson. Or we can choose to reframe the situation by viewing it with more empathy and compassion. We can just assume that he’s on his way to an emergency and the thought process ends there.
We may be right or we may be wrong. But it’s not really about that. It’s what we choose to believe that matters, coz it is what will impact our mindset. And most importantly, to be kind is more important that to be right.
Accept That Each One Of Us Is Different
Every person has a different path. We have different life situations, different people surrounding us, different experiences, and life learnings. So it’s a given that no two people are the same. Maybe others don’t see what we see. Or they don’t want the same things as we do. Maybe they have different values and philosophies in life. And that is okay. Accept that other people are the way they are and that they will act the way they do. There may be a whole backstory behind it but sometimes, there just isn’t.
When someone is sitting on a bench looking afar, it doesn’t necessarily mean, they are sad, or alone. Sometimes, it’s just a man sitting. We don’t really need to always interpret other peoples’ actions. There is no need for a conclusion all the time. We can just let it be. We need to embrace our differences or we’re going to live in a world full of frustrations.
When you feel good about yourself, you don’t tend to spend time finding faults in others. When you are loving and caring towards yourself, this becomes your expectation and view of others. When you’re compassionate with yourself, it’s easier to be the same with others.
If we want others to stop judging us, we should stop judging others first. When we stop judging others, we also stop thinking about what other people will say about us. The fear of being judged will go away and we can start building authentic connections with other people.