Last week I was given a task to fill out a worksheet called “Reducing Judgments.” First you list your judgments, rephrase it as a description, and lastly tally up how many times a day the judgment pops up.
Seems simple enough. And I’m a good person right? There’s no way I am judgmental. Well, I was wrong.
There are thousands of thoughts that zoom through our brains daily. Decisions, ideas, rationalizing, emotions, and judgments. This is the first time I was hyper-aware of the judgements to myself and others. Being totally honest here, some I recognized were:
- To myself after work: “You should go to the gym today”
- On the subway: “That outfit is not cute on her”
- Starbucks line: “Why is the line moving so slow, more people should be working”
- Listening to a friend talk about a guy: “She should rethink getting into that relationship”
- At a party being introduced to a mutual friend: “Look at that Chanel bag she has. She must be wealthy and therefore happy”
- Watching a stranger’s food come to the table: “That isn’t a balanced meal”
My first thought was, DAMN, I’M RUDE. Then I realized, THAT’S A JUDGMENT TOO! I came to the conclusion that I’ll just acknowledge they were there.
Then, I wanted to find out where all of this unconscious judging was coming from. The answer I came up with was: I make quick judgments mainly out of frustration about a situation, insecurity, jealously, or comparing the person to society’s standards of beauty and success. Usually, it’s nothing that really has to do with the other person; rather myself, my values, or my preconceived thoughts.
Next time you catch yourself judging, take responsibility for it. You will improve your life, find it easier to stay focused on your own growth & hopefully find some inner peace.
Remember how I mentioned before the thousands of thoughts we have daily? Prior to an action or thought, there’s a millisecond where you can reflect on our own culture, values, and upbringing. A millisecond to take conscious control. A millisecond to become aware of the situation and perhaps even change.
Making this a habit and repeating the exercise over and over again will lead to appreciating the acceptance of differences.