Why am I Judgmental and How do I Fix It

Why am I Judgmental and How do I Fix It
Photo by John Schnobrich / Unsplash

Whenever you find yourself in a situation where your son observes someone working on something or behaving in a certain way, and perhaps they praise or show admiration for that individual, it's common for your mind to jump to certain assumptions. You might think, "This person isn't my type" or even harsher judgments like, "They're horrible." These initial thoughts, which can arise so naturally, may not always be validated or questioned. Consequently, they can shape your interactions with that person when you meet them in the future.

We all experience numerous such situations in a single day, and often, we make snap judgments without even realizing it. If we can improve this aspect of our thinking, we can alleviate the burden of carrying around these heavy, unexamined thoughts in our minds. It's important to recognize that the act of judgment, while seemingly harmless in a single instance, can have far-reaching consequences depending on the nature of the judgment and the specific situation we find ourselves in.

For instance, in the scenario described, let's say you've made a negative judgment about someone your friend or partner admires. This might lead to a less-than-friendly demeanor when you meet that person in the future. Your assumptions, based on the available limited information, could create an uncomfortable atmosphere and potentially hinder the development of a meaningful connection. These judgments are like seeds that, if left unchecked, can grow into barriers that hinder your ability to connect with people around you.

In the bigger picture, this frequent habit of judgment can affect your overall mindset and well-being. It can lead to feelings of resentment, frustration, and negativity, not just in your interactions with others but within yourself as well. When you hold onto preconceived notions and biases, you limit your capacity for empathy and open-mindedness, hindering your personal growth and emotional well-being. But the question is how can this affect us or people around us?

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Photo by Ethan Smith / Unsplash

Judgment is a natural human cognitive process. It helps us make sense of the world around us, guiding our decisions and interactions to ensure our safety and well-being. But what happens when this natural process turns excessive or unconstructive? When we excessively judge others, it often increases our fears of being judged and decreases feelings of connection and empathic understanding. Being less judgmental of others is crucial for improving both our relationships and our emotional well-being. In this article, we'll delve deeper into the reasons behind judgment, why it's not always a positive force, and practical methods to reduce judgment in your daily life.

Judgment is deeply ingrained in our psyche, stemming from our evolutionary past. Quick assessments of situations and individuals were essential for survival when we roamed the wild, and judgment played a vital role in determining friend from foe. As a result, this instinctual process remains a part of our modern lives.

While judgment is a part of our human nature, it's not always a positive force. The negative side of this necessary evil may include:

  1. Prejudice and Discrimination: Harboring preconceived notions and stereotypes about others can lead to prejudice and discrimination. This, in turn, can perpetuate inequality and social division.
  2. Damaged Relationships: Excessive judgment can damage personal and professional relationships. It can create an atmosphere of mistrust and fear, making it challenging to form meaningful connections with others.
  3. Hindered Personal Growth: When we judge others harshly, we may also judge ourselves similarly. This self-criticism can hinder personal growth, creating self-doubt and insecurity.
  4. Stress and Anxiety: Constantly judging others and ourselves can lead to stress and anxiety. The negative judgments we hold can lead to rumination and feelings of insecurity.
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Photo by Henry Xu / Unsplash

Reducing judgment is an ongoing process, but it's an essential journey toward personal growth and harmonious relationships. Here are some practical methods to help you pass judgment less frequently and with a more balanced perspective:

  1. Be Curious: Embrace a mindset of curiosity rather than judgment. When you encounter someone or something unfamiliar, ask questions and seek to understand their perspective. Instead of making snap judgments, take the time to delve deeper into their experiences, values, and motivations. Curiosity can open the door to empathy and connection, allowing you to appreciate the diversity of human experiences.
  2. Reflect: Take a moment to reflect on your own judgments. Ask yourself why you're making a particular judgment and whether it's based on valid information or personal biases. Self-awareness is the first step towards reducing negative judgment. By pausing to consider the basis of your judgments, you can begin to unravel your own biases and work on reducing them.
  3. Finding Balance: While reducing judgment is beneficial, it's essential to maintain a balance. Some level of judgment is necessary for personal safety and decision-making. Strive to discern when judgment is constructive and when it is unnecessary or harmful. Differentiate between judging actions and behaviors versus passing judgment on an individual's character. This distinction allows you to make informed decisions while fostering empathy and understanding.
  4. Practicing Self-Compassion: Being less judgmental of others often begins with being less judgmental of yourself. Treat yourself with kindness and self-compassion, acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes and has flaws. This practice can help reduce your tendency to project your insecurities onto others. By understanding and accepting your imperfections, you become more understanding and accepting of the imperfections of others.

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Basha Yes

Basha Yes

India