How to Stop Judging Ourselves and Others
Is judging in and of itself a bad thing? Is there a difference between judging and being judgmental? Does one automatically lead to the other? When you Google the word judgmental , you get: “having or displaying an excessively critical point of view.” But what about the judgmental tape that rolls in our heads? We are here to shine the light on our own judgmental thinking.
Judgmental words, actions and attitudes are easy to spot in the world around us. They are in our house, neighborhood and online. However, the “Judgy McJudger” within ourselves can be sneakier and harder to pinpoint. In fact, much of if the judging we do may be unconscious.
This inner judge can lash out at people in traffic, the grocery store and at home. Maybe your Judgy McJudger loves to give negative labels to coworkers, neighbors, friends from church, teachers at your kids’ school or people you see while scrolling on social media.
It’s our inner judge that can eventually lead us to outward judging, finger-pointing, gossiping and potentially broken relationships. It’s also the inner judge that makes us feel unworthy with every self-berating thought. Therefore, it is important to recognize these judgements for what they are. Once we do, a little dose of empathy can go a long way.
There’s a famous story author Steven Covey tells in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. You may have heard it. To paraphrase it, a man was annoyed with loud children on a subway. They were running around and even going up to passengers and disrupting them. The entire time, their father seemed oblivious to the trouble they were causing. After much irritation (and no doubt judging the man’s parenting abilities), he spoke to him and found out they had just come to the hospital. The father's wife had just passed away. Instantly the author went from being irritated and judgmental to empathic and compassionate. Although the people we judge may not have had something this extreme happen to them, the fact is we don’t know their burdens or their back-story.
We get it. There's a time and a place for judging. There’s a time and place for helpful advice, constructive criticism, and bettering oneself. We also are not saying that there is no right and wrong. But there’s a fine line between that and stepping into the role of “I, Judgy McJudger, am here to judge you!”
This is a heavy topic, and we don’t have the game mastered, but we promise complete transparency. You’ll hear Lanee’s story of how her judgmental attitude ruined some of her relationships in college and about Sandy’s attempt to escape mom-judgement that led to a prayer that produced scary but ultimately life-changing results. Plus we have strategies and tips on how to do a better job of enjoying life, others, and ourselves while ditching most of the negative, judgy thoughts and behaviors. It’s not like we’re judging you, but you really ought to listen to our podcast!