Judging Others Doesn’t Define Them, It Defines You
Judging others is almost like a sport. But, in a way, it’s something that we all do, even if unconsciously.
We make judgments about everything around us because we maintain a certain amount of control over things when we have evaluated them.
“This is good, that is bad. I can trust this person, but had better stay away from that one…”
It’s easy to fall into stereotypes and other clichés before we make an effort to get to know someone.
Obviously not everyone is this way. Some people avoid judging others because they don’t want to be judged themselves. We should all adopt this policy in order to create a more tolerant and harmonious society.
We invite you to reflect on this today with us.
Judging others: Avoid this double-edged sword
Just for today, don’t judge. Just for today, look at the world without prejudices and limit yourself to “be and let be”.
Without a doubt, it would be great if everyone would try to practice this simple piece of advice every day. Relationships would be more respectful and there would be less conflicts.
Also read: Different People Make Life More Fun
Now, the problem is that our social brain is governed by the need to make rapid judgments about things and people.
It classifies all the information and stimuli into categories which are then cross referenced with our personality and previous experiences.
- Here’s an example. Say you went to college, and there was a professor there who treated you badly and made your college years a living hell. Today, you can still remember his expression, face, and voice, so that each time you meet someone with any of those characteristics, you’ll project your rejection onto them.
- Many of our prior experiences and even aspects of our personality make us put people into categories based on ideas that don’t always conform to reality.
Therefore, the act of “not judging” when others make hasty judgments about us requires, above all, some gentle effort.
It forces us to control the “automatic” process that our brain uses to categorize everything we see based on our previous experiences.
Be smart: if you judge others, you’re also judging yourself
If you avoid associating with your neighbors because they’re of another race or belong to another culture, each judgment you make about them, in reality, defines you. You’ll be defined as a close-minded racist.
The man who judges a woman by her bra size is also judging himself and his masculinity.
- Each time we make a judgment about somebody, we should try to explore it further with a reflection exercise: Why do I think this? Why do I think that this guy will try to rob me just because he has a tattoo and his pants are torn?
- Be smart, calm down, get yourself together and try to look at things objectively until you are familiar with every detail and aspect to make a more accurate judgment. Never before.
Don’t base your judgments on clichés, base them on reality
We need to clarify that we all have the right to maintain and defend the judgments we make. However, judgments need to be based on reality, not clichés.
Also read: How to Start Over at Any Age
When you know someone really well, you’ll have the wisdom that only experience can offer to decide if you like them or not, or if they meet your expectations.
Keep in mind that those who base their judgment on trivialities will be missing out on some amazing things in life.
If you judge your coworker as unfriendly because they are always by themselves, you may be missing out on an opportunity to meet somebody truly exceptional.
Judging a particular country or city as dirty, dangerous, or overly progressive might hold you back from the best experiences of your life, just by refusing to visit the place. It could be an amazing place if we could just allow ourselves to travel with an open mind, free of prejudices.
The best things, people and events are often overlooked because our preconceived judgments have misled us.
Only those with open minds and hearts can truly experience all the exciting things life has to offer.