It’s complicated. And we all do it. In different ways, with different styles, to different people. Girls do it more to girls, and women more to women. Confused? I’m talking about Judging, and judging others. We know we all do it, but have you ever wondered why we judge, and what it really means? How can we justify it, and can it be your best teacher of all things good, positive, personally prosperous and emotionally wealthy? Yes. Read on….
It’s what we do. We’re wired to do it. We can not justify it though, ever, because no matter how much you dress it up, sugar coat it, and sweeten it up, it’s hurtful. We do it to our spouses, our kids, our families, in-laws, friends, neighbours, co-workers, boss, and the list goes on. It does happen for a reason, as does every behaviour we choose to engage in, and so yes, it is explainable. As a behaviourist, I can explain why we do it, and offer a reason or justification for the action of, but at the end of the day, while it feels good and justified in the moment, there’s nothing good in doing it, and here’s why.
Judging is, plain and simple, a defence mechanism. For ourselves, and against those we judge. We judge when we feel threatened by a potential behaviour or action that may happen upon us, or when we perceive something that we don’t understand or find offensive. Think about that for a second…and then think about this; After you judge, evaluate why you’ve judged.
Ask yourself if the reason why you judged was because you either didn’t understand the behaviour of the other person, or if their behaviour was hurtful to you. That’s your Ego keeping emotional hurt away, because even dealing with the emotional is painful. We judge because we’re hurting, angry or jealous. But we can’t forget, or fail to realize, that the other person is behaving the way they’re behaving because of what’s going on, or not going on, for them.
I believe, that at any given moment, we’re all trying to do the very best we can with what we have, and that in those specific and particular moments in time, our expectations of others may be too high for what they’re capable of, now, and it’s those perceptions and expectations that lead us to judge. Instead, just don’t. Take a step back, hold your breathe, bite your tongue, and offer an olive branch, a smile, a kind gesture, a means of connectedness that says, I’m aware you’re struggling somehow, and I choose not to wear it and take it personally. Be there. Be a friend. Be kind.
Now, think about this; Is is not possible that the other person is acting or behaving in such a manner because of their inability to deal with something? Every behaviour is an action that is precipitated by, and predicated on, beliefs, feelings, and emotions. Sometimes people act in hurtful ways. Judging does just this. Simply put, it makes us feel better, but ends up hurting the other person, and usually, despite what we think we know, we don’t really know what goes on for others.
If we’re not confided in by the person directly, it’s all here-say, assumption, and broken telephone. We’re only making assumptions. Judgements. Before you go to judge next time, remember, while we’re wired to judge, (remember the Ego), and even though it takes practice to think and respond, you can choose to choose to not react, allow the Ego to defend itself and ward of emotional hurt and pain, and judge.
Delving a bit deeper, and upon deeper reflection and consideration, judgments, and the act of judging, may have very little to do with others, and more to do with yourself. Wouldn’t it be better to work out the issues that are bothering us or causing us strife, rather than taking our anger and resentment out on others? Judgements are a reflection of the mirrored images of the parts of ourselves we see in others, in what’s missing, invalidated, unacknowledged, angry, sad, lonely, jealous, or misunderstood, and which needs to be identified, addressed, rectified, resolved, loved, and acknowledged, appreciated.
It’s not easy acknowledging what hurts and what’s painful, but in doing so, you get to work it out, talk it out, get it out. My clients are always surprised how much better they feel once they begin identifying their triggers and the emotional, the stuff that hurst, that’s jealous, acrimonious, and not so nice to others, since it’s not benefiting them to hold onto in the first place. Despite the work they do to overcome, and I give lots of homework, they always leave relieved, knowing they’re one step closer to more peace and more happiness.
Judgment is a wise teacher. She is the ultimate encourager that, when she comes-a-knocking, she helps you see every situation of reaction, judgement, fear, lack of understanding, emptiness, anger, jealousy, and resentment, as an opportunity for growth. Your growth. Knowledge is your Power, Acknowledgement is your Strength. Not judging, is your gift, to everyone. Including yourself. Now that, feels good.
If you need help understanding someone’s behaviour, support working through how you’re feeling, I can help you. All you have to do is want happier and better, and all you have to do, is just ask. ????
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