Why Are We Quick To Judge?

So, I was listening to a podcast the other day, I believe it was with Gabby Bernstein and Melyssa Griffen and one of the things that really stood out to me was when they discussed why we judge others. 

You see, we all do it, even if we don't mean too. We have these almost instinctual thoughts that will pop up with a judgment based on what we are seeing. We might judge their actions, their body, their clothes, their job, their family, their weight....all of these things are quick snap ideas with usually little context. 

And what they pointed out, was that every judgment we have of others comes from the unique scope we have on life. When we make a judgment about someone it is based on our own circumstances, mindsets, and experiences and really has nothing to do with them. This is not including people who are just being mean...but again there's usually a reason why they are acting out that way. Hurt people, hurt people.

Isn't that interesting. The way I might judge someone would be totally different than how you would just because of our own unique experiences. But the judgment in itself, of any kind, for any reason, is unhelpful and sometimes hurtful. 

Everything we judge in others is something we don't want to face within ourselves.

In our culture we are taught to have certain ideas about things. We are told that if someone is acting this way it usually means X and if they look a certain way it usually means Y. We download and soak in these concepts until those judgements almost feel like they were our own to begin with. 

So how can we change how we judge others?

  1. What are the consistent judgements you are thinking about others? Is it about their weight, their job, how they spend money, their relationship? Really think about what triggers those judgements within you. Now think about your own personal thoughts or experiences around those subjects. Are you judging others weight because you yourself have been made fun of because of your weight or feel insecure because of your own size? Are you judging someone else's job and lifestyle...only to realize deep down you wish you had those things too? Let your judgements open your eyes to things you yourself might need to address and work through. 
  2. Give them the benefit of the doubt and lead with compassion. It is easy to jump to the worst conclusion or think you know where they are coming from. But really, you might be completely wrong. There is always more to the story. There is always more than meets the eye. Instead of jumping to conclusions, lead with compassion. Realize that you would want the same benefit given to you and do the same to others. 
  3. Realize that your first judgement thought is what you've been taught and the second one that follows is how you really feel. Think about it, if you think something judgmental and then immediately realize how hurtful, unkind and probably untrue that thought is you are actually disagreeing with your instinctual judgement. This is because you are having to relearn and retrain your brain to think differently about those situations or individuals. Just because you realize you don't believe that way doesn't mean the thoughts immediately go away. So give yourself time and pay attention to the second thought that follows the judgement. 

Was this helpful? Do you see ways you have been judging others that is actually connected to something in your life you struggle with or desire? Share your thoughts on judgements in the comments below!