How To Develop A Non-Judgemental Attitude
by Rebecca Daniel. |
Hey there, Judge Judy! How’s it going? I’m just kidding. Sorry, that was lame.
Whether or not we’d like to admit it, I think it’s safe to say that all of us have been judgemental in some way or another throughout our lives. Perhaps some of the judgement we pass off on others stem from certain ideas or thought processes we were taught as we were growing up. Sometimes, we can so easily pass judgement on others based on past circumstances that we’ve endured that have absolutely nothing to do with them.
“Mr X was a player and he hurt me. Mr Y is sweet but he looks a little like Mr X! Therefore I’m sure he will hurt me too.”
Whatever the reason may be that we decide to spew out some harsh discernment upon others, I think we can come to a consensus that it is part of human nature to do so. However, just because everyone else does it, it does not make it the right thing to do. But, look at you, reading an article on how to be less judgemental! Faith in humanity is already en route to being restored! So without further ado, let’s get into ways we can stop ourselves from judging others.
Think about what you’re thinking about
Wait, what? At first glance, this sounds a little bit confusing. However, have you ever thought about your thoughts? What kind of thoughts do you have? What do you think about the majority of the time? What comes to mind first when you meet someone new? Why do you assume certain things?
Sometimes it can be helpful to take a step back and contemplate the origin of these thoughts, where they come from, what they stem from and most importantly, why they came about in the first place. Being present and aware of your thoughts not only helps you arrest the thought process before delving deeper into it, but it also helps you understand yourself better. Sometimes, by analyzing a specific thought, you can even rationally talk yourself out of it before your ‘thought gavel’ is hit and judgement has been passed.
(Properly) Think about the person you’re about to judge
Do you know the person you are about to pass judgement on? Do you know their life story? Do you know what they’ve been through? Do you know what goes on in their lives daily?
Often, the answer to these questions is no. If you were fully aware of every detail about this person’s life, you would be less inclined to judge them. Furthermore, you would also be more understanding and might even find that given the same circumstances, you might do the same thing or react similarly to the person you are about to judge. Comprehending the fact that we do not know everything about someone else could prevent us from passing judgement on others.
So, you judged someone. You tried really hard not to, but you just couldn’t control it.
Well, that’s alright! It happens sometimes. Instead of dwelling on the negative perception, you have of that person or your guilt from passing off judgement when you didn’t mean to, try replacing it with something positive about them instead.
Try coming up with five positive things about the individual you just judged. It can be about their physical appearance or their personality traits, anything at all! Just make it positive and kind. By the time you reach the 5th positive thought, the negative one you thought about earlier would have been long gone. Additionally, thinking good thoughts about others can reflect positively on yourself and your kindness and can leave you feeling good!
Meet more people
Are you used to having the same type of friends and knowing the kind of people that are similar to yourself in upbringing and beliefs? As important as it is to have those people around you, there’s also no harm in getting to know people that are your complete opposite in terms of personality.
That boy that isn’t studying the same thing you’re studying in university? He could be interested in the video games you love to play. That girl that doesn’t converse in the same mother tongue as you do? She could be in love with all your favourite TV shows and might gladly talk about them with you! But you wouldn’t know this unless you gave them a fair chance. Expand your social circle, come out of your comfort zone and meet different kinds of people. The world has so much to offer and it would be a shame to miss out on some amazing people. The more you interact with people who might initially seem more different than you, the better you will be at understanding others and less likely to pass judgement.
Hannah Montana sang it first to us when we were little kids and she was right! When we judge others, more often than not, we do so on things that we do not struggle with. For example, you could be a straight-A student who judges that “lazy student” in your class for not doing as well as you do or you could judge someone for not dressing up as nicely as you do. But try putting yourself in their position and think about what you would. You would be less likely to judge someone if you would have done the same thing they did if you were in their position.
Often, it’s easy to overlook our flaws as you zoom in and pinpoint the flaws in others. It’s important to remember that just because someone chooses to do things differently than you do, it does not mean that you are allowed to judge them. Perhaps you fall short in other areas that the person you are judging excels in. You have your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has their struggles. Therefore, remember to be kind and compassionate in the same manner that you would prefer being shown grace instead of judgement. That concludes this list of 5 ways you can stop yourself from passing judgement. Remember to practice them and spread positivity instead of judgement wherever you go!
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