Judging Others Doesn’t Define Them, It Defines You

January 14, 2019
If you don't want others to do the same to you, you shouldn't make judgments about people without giving them a chance. Prejudice can often hold us back from meeting wonderful people.

Judging others can often, sadly, be a regular pastime in most of our lives. It’s something that we all do, albeit unconsciously.

We make judgments about everything around us. We do this because we like to maintain a certain amount of control over the things around us.

“This is good”, “That is bad”. “I can trust this person”. “I had better stay away from that one…”

It’s easy to judge by appearances before we making an effort to really get to know someone.

Obviously not everyone lives 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 help 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 around you without prejudices. Have the attitude of “live and let live”.

Without a doubt, it would be wonderful if everyone would try to put this simple piece of advice into practice every day. There would be more respect towards other people, and fewer conflicts.

Also read: Different People Make Life More Fun

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. These are then cross referenced with our own personality and previous experiences.

A drawn woman with tattoos.

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. However, 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. Categories that are 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

Maybe you avoid associating with your neighbors because they’re of another race or belong to another culture. In that case, each judgment you make about them 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. We should ask ourselves: Why am I thinking this? Why do I think that this guy will try to mug 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 and able to make a more accurate judgment. Never before.
A woman with a bird on her shoulder.

Don’t base your judgments on clichés, base them on reality

We need to clarify that we all have the right to keep and defend the judgments we make. However, these judgments need to be based on reality, not clichés.

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 the opportunity of meeting 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.

See also: Be Happier Every Day with this Japanese Wisdom

A yellow house surrounded by flowers.

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.

  • Corvalán, J. L. M. (2012). Estrategias Comunicativas. Contribuciones a las Ciencias Sociales, (2012-05).
  • Dyer, W. W. (2015). Caminos de sabiduría: jalones en la ruta de la felicidad. DEBOLS! LLO.
  • Gromi, A. (2013). Juzgar. De la opinión no fundamentada al juicio elaborado (Vol. 6). Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte.