A Mindful Approach to Avoid Judging Others!

A Mindful Approach to Avoid Judging Others!

Are you quick to pass judgment when you come across someone who seems different?

What is judgment?

Judgment is forming opinions about an another’s qualities based on their actions, appearance, or choices, which can lead to criticism, hurt feelings, and negative emotions.

It’s really easy to judge others when they don’t act or look like us, or make different choices than we would.

For instance, let’s think about the pandemic, where if someone didn’t wear a mask in public, a quick judgment might have been that they didn’t care about others.

During the time when health concerns were paramount, seeing someone without a mask triggered fear for many.

However, in such situations, it was crucial to recognize that we could only control our own actions by wearing our own mask while  maintaining a safe distance.

We can only guess why a person showed up without a mask.

What if instead of immediately being quick to judge, we took a pause and pondered why they didn’t wear a mask.

Maybe the mask created a rash, or anxiety, or maybe they forgot to bring it.

We don’t know and we may never know their reasons.


Observing Vs. Judging!

Try observing rather than judging!When we are quick to judge people, it can create stress and anxiety in our bodies.

We often judge when people do things differently than we do and perhaps it’s from our upbringing, or a belief that our way is right.

People show up as they please, regardless of our approval.

It’s important to be aware the next time you’re quick to judge others.

Maybe take a second, stop, and wonder why they might be doing something differently than you’re doing.

You actually can make a conscious choice to foster understanding and curiosity through observation, instead of being quick to judge.

As Jiddu Krishnamurti says “The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence”.



10 Ways to Practice Observing!

👩🏻‍⚖️ Coworker is Late for a Meeting:
Judgment: Assuming because they’re late, that they don’t take the job seriously.
Observation: Maybe there was a family emergency or a conflicting appointment they had to attend to.

🧑‍⚖️ Nightly Wine Habit:
Judgment:
They should make healthier choices and not drink alcohol.
Observation:
Maybe their job stresses them out, and this is the only way they know how to relax.

👩🏻‍⚖️ Encountering a Heavier Person:
Judgment: Assume the person is unhappy or doesn’t care about themselves.
Observation: Perhaps they have a medical condition, experienced trauma, or take medication that makes them gain weight.

🧑‍⚖️ Quiet Person in a Group:
Judgment: Believe they’re unfriendly or stuck up.
Observation: Maybe they aren’t comfortable in groups, dislike small talk, or their better listeners.

👩🏻‍⚖️ Messy Home:
Judgment: Assume the person is lazy or doesn’t care about cleanliness or clutter.
Observation: Maybe they have a hectic schedule, going through a challenging time, or prioritize different aspects of their life over tidiness.

🧑‍⚖️ Appearance:
Judgment: Deciding the person lacks style or is making inappropriate choices.
Observation: Maybe they express themselves through fashion, or they chose comfort over style.

👩🏻‍⚖️ Different Way of Speaking:
Judgment: Assume they are uneducated or unintelligent based on their speech or accent.
Observation: Maybe they have a good education with a different cultural background, or they’re expressing themselves in a way that feels natural to them.

🧑‍⚖️ Driving Too Fast:
Judgment: Label the person as reckless or inconsiderate.
Observation: Maybe they’re unfamiliar with the area, or running late due to an emergency.

👩🏻‍⚖️ Voting Choices:
Judgment: Believe the person’s vote reflects personal values or intelligence.
Observation: Maybe they prioritize certain issues or have unique perspectives shaped by their experiences or backgrounds.

🧑‍⚖️ Vegetarian Lifestyle:
Judgment: Think the person is just being difficult by making an unnecessary dietary choice.
Observation: Maybe their choice is influenced by concerns for animals, environmental impact, or personal health.

Sometimes, we judge without meaning to, because of what we’re used to.


Three Steps!

Pay attention to your thoughts when encountering others!When we are affected by how others show up, it can create stress, that’s why it’s crucial to pay attention to your thoughts, when you encounter others.

Picture what it’s like to be in their shoes, and one helpful thing you may want to do is to keep a judgment journal and maybe answer these question.

Here are 3 steps that you can take when running across something that’s different than what you’d like it to be.

👉🏼 First observe, because observing is neutral about what is happening without immediately attaching value judgments. Observing is the very first step in understanding a situation or another person.

👉🏼 Next, curiosity comes into play because of the desire to explore, understand, and learn more. If you have an opportunity, ask questions rather than making assumptions.

👉🏼 The last step is acceptance, which is closely tied to both observation and curiosity. It involves acknowledging reality without trying to change it. This allows you to move beyond judgment and explore a situation or person with an open heart and mind.

To summarize, observation opens the door, curiosity propels exploration, and acceptance ensures a non-judgmental and open-minded perspective, contributing to personal growth and improved relationships.

To nurture meaningful connections, adopt these practical strategies.

In our connections with others, our thoughts shape how we see things, and it’s important to be aware of those thoughts, and observe without quickly judging.

Tiny Buddha says “The next time you notice yourself judging someone else, stop, take a step back, and describe the situation with no inflection of tone that casts a negative light“.

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