"The greatest moral failing is to condemn something as a moral failing: no vice is worse than being judgmental." ~Julian Baggini
To judge others is to form a critical opinion about them, often for reasons that aren't helping anyone. For example, you may decide that your neighbor down the street is an ineffective parent because she’s known to indulge her children or chooses to avoid disciplining them, at least not in the same way you choose to discipline yours.
If you notice that you’re spending more time having strong opinions about others than you are thinking about your own life, you may be “copping out” and not confronting your own resolvable issues. Ain't nobody got time for that!
But if you're willing to do it, you can learn
Consider these points:
- Avoid focusing on the negative. Focusing on the negative impacts your emotional self in undesirable ways. Negative thoughts make you feel more pessimistic about life. In short, judging others negatively affects you!
- Think about how satisfied you are with your own life. When you’re floundering, you might project those feelings onto others by judging them.
- Maybe you lack faith in yourself. If you struggle to believe in yourself, maybe you’re reflecting those doubts onto others to avoid confronting your own issues.
- Judging others may mean that you want to control the situation. Do you believe that others ought to behave just like you, react to situations like you would, and feel like you do? If so, why do you think that?
- Assess how much time and effort you spend focusing on your own character defects. We all have something about ourselves that could stand some alteration. Looking carefully within yourself promotes self-understanding. It also helps you identify what things you’d like to change.
- Determine how you can best use your energy. Does judging others or looking within yourself deserve your attention?
- If you target something you dislike in others, what are the chances you can do anything about it?
- If you discover something about yourself you dislike, you can more likely use your energies to change it.
- Decide if you’re happy with who you are. Evaluating yourself in an honest way is important. Locating the source of unhappiness within you can lead to a brighter pathway, and decrease your yearning to judge others.
- Realize that nobody’s perfect. Being critical of others seems to be a common element of the human condition. Whether we can ever completely obliterate our compelling urges to judge remains to be seen.
Oprah once said, “When you know better, you do better.” If you recognize that some of your comments spring from a part of you that wants to judge, it can serve as a deterrent to your future judging behavior.
Ask yourself, “How can I live the life I deserve if I’m too focused on others?” Creating your dream existence takes considerable consistency, focus, and time.
Recognize when it’s okay to acknowledge bothersome traits in others. It’s important to be reminded that there are situations when it’s wise to identify things in others that trouble you. Maybe you’re thinking about becoming friends with someone. But then, you observe them engaging in behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable. Your judgment may be telling you to avoid pursuing the friendship.
Listen to that internal judge at times like these. Just avoid getting carried away with being too judgmental or critical of others. You can become a vital, positive individual who focuses your efforts on constructing the life you desire. Letting go of the urge to judge others will provide you with the time and energy necessary to enhance your own life’s journey. Tune back in to your own psyche and enjoy a rich life.