How often have you heard someone say, ‘If I was him/her I would have said or done things differently!’ as a way of negative judgment against words or an action that someone else has used or taken?
Most people believe that if they were in another person’s ‘shoes’ (in the exact same situation that they were in) that they would do things differently. However, it is pointless and erroneous to judge someone else’s choices and actions based on our own set of experiences. They have been shaped by their own personal life experiences, which are different from ours. They are unique, and if we were walking in their shoes we would in effect be them and therefore we would do exactly as they have done.
Why are we judgmental?
Most of us were taught from a young age to judge others as a way of comparing how we are doing so that we can gain a measure of where we are and determine if we are doing ok. We picked this habit up from those that were responsible for filling our impressionable minds with information when we were young. Therefore, if those who had influence over us while we were growing up were judgmental against others, as well as against themselves, then we are likely to have developed similar traits.
The people that surround us and grew up in similar circumstances to us are likely to also have similar habits/patterns of thinking as they learned from the same people that we did. So we can also expect them to be comparing themselves to us as well as to everyone else that they come into contact with. The need to judge or compare ourselves to others seems to be a characteristic shared by much of the world’s population.
Is this necessarily a bad thing?
It is important to remember that when other people comment on our lives that they are viewing us through their filter of understanding which is made up of their programming and their experience. This means that different people will have different opinions and reactions to what we do and say based on how they themselves view the world.
We will then receive various different judgments, (thoughts and ideas,) about what we have said or done, and often they will vary from what we believe.
So, who is right?
They can all be right based on their personal beliefs about life, and they can all be wrong based on our beliefs about life!
How does this help me?
Once we realize that we are unique and that we have a unique view on life, we can come to understand that all other people are also unique. They see you do something and think that they would do it differently. Ok, no problem. Let them do it differently when it is their turn. But you, as an individual should never live your life based on someone else’s expectations of how they would live their life! It will not work for you, as you are different people with different beliefs, ideas, and experiences.
Our personal growth and development advance when we endeavor to live our lives in the best way we can to become in tune with our beliefs.
There is nothing wrong with offering advice when our intention is for the best outcome for the other person, however, we should never offer words to put another person down in any way whatsoever. It doesn’t help them and Karma will come back to bite us in the bum!
We are all individuals and are all here learning what it is to be a human being in this physical dimension on Earth. We learn best with positive encouragement and support from our family, friends, and peers.
Maybe my ideas are not always the best available ideas?
Our beliefs are not ‘set in stone,’ and this means that if someone comes along and offers you a better way of dealing with a situation that we could benefit by scrutinizing what we consider to be true and adapting it to ‘upgrade’ our mode of thinking. If their way will improve our life or outcome in some way, why not learn and adapt it into our habits so that we benefit now or in the future? After all, there are many ways to think, behave, and react to any given situation and it is unlikely that we always have the best solution in every circumstance!
Learning new things is good, and adopting them, after consideration if they are better than our current way of handling a given situation, is even better if it will enhance our lives in some way.
We are judged by others based on their beliefs systems, which is not necessarily based on reality!
The real point I want to get across is that we should not be too concerned with what other people think about us! They may have been brought up in a learning environment that is more restrictive or more negative than how we were brought up.
Should we value their opinions? This depends on a number of factors like:
- How important to you is their opinion?
- Why is their opinion important to you?
- Have they offered good advice in the past and how often?
- Do they genuinely have your best interests at heart, or are they trying to pull you down to their level?
People who continually offer judgment against others usually do not have their own ‘house in order!’ What I mean by this is that they are rarely in a good position to offer advice or information that will be of benefit to us. And more often than not, they do not have our best interests at heart.
However, people who offer constructive criticism based on real-life experience and are knowledgeable about us and our situation can be worth listening to. It does not mean that we should do everything that they suggest we do, as we are still an individual with our own thoughts, ideas, and beliefs, but we can more often than not learn something by listening to them, even if we do not adopt what they are sharing with us.
Are the judgments you pass against others for their benefit?
Not being concerned about what others think about us also means that we should stop judging others based on our unique belief system.
It’s important to note that judgmental people are often as ‘hard’ on themselves as they are towards others. The habit of self-criticism is just a bad habit that some of us adopted when we were young. This habit does not serve our continued personal growth and development in any way and in fact, keeps us feeling insecure and takes us away from feeling any love and respect for ourselves.
If we do not do anything to rid ourselves of the negative habit of self-judgment, we will pass this habit onto those that we are responsible for raising now and into future generations.
Take a moment to reflect and ask yourself: ‘What is it that I want to pass onto my children and grandchildren?’
If you think about how being ‘put down’ has made you feel in the past, it may change the way you react towards those you love in the future.
Do you think negatively putting someone down is a good way to encourage and support those we love and care for?
Do you think it makes for a better living environment, working environment, or family situation when we are critical of each other?
Healthy, happy individuals will want to instill beliefs into their future generations that support positive growth, overall well-being, confidence, self-respect, and self-reliance, etc. It does not serve our well-being to be surrounded by a family or social group that has low self-esteem and little self-respect!
My current situation is stressful. What can I do to help myself?
We are magnificent beings, born with so much potential to create wonderful lives for ourselves. However, as we grew and adopted the beliefs of others who were responsible for teaching us when we were young, we may have taken on so many limiting beliefs. And often, these beliefs remained mostly unchanged for most of our lives. Many of us learned to be critical of ourselves and others as a way of justifying why we can’t do something, achieve more, or have the dream lives that we desire.
Luckily, the story need not end here. There are two positive steps we can take to help get ourselves out of this trap to dramatically improve our lives.
1) If we can stop judging others based on our unique view of life and allow them to be themselves, then life becomes less stressful. (This, of course, does not mean that we need to submit to any negative or violent behavior from others. We should always exercise our right to be safe and if necessary remove ourselves from any negative, destructive, or violent situations. Our intuition will often be our best guide to tell us what the best course of action is.)
2) We need to stop being self-critical. Sure we are not perfect! But who is? We benefit when we stop comparing ourselves to others and comparing what we are doing to what we think we should be doing. If you have a goal and you have not yet achieved it, don’t beat yourself up over it! This does not help you in any way whatsoever. Instead, first, reflect upon why you have not yet achieved your goal. Then, if it is still important to you, learn and implement the necessary steps required to achieve the results you desire.
A positive attitude will give you a positive life. And a negative attitude will give you a negative life experience.
Which do you prefer?
Why not begin now to create a more positive and healthy life experience for yourself. You alone have the power to achieve this!
Begin now by always, always, always, being good to yourself. Learn to listen to the small voice inside your head that is constantly telling you stuff. Is it telling you supportive and beneficial thoughts and ideas? Or is it feeding you with thoughts of fear, low self-esteem, and negativity?
It is your choice, and with some mindfulness and effort you can change the channel (to a more positive one.)
What experiences have you had when dealing with negative people Did you find a way to get them to stop actively judging and criticizing you?
What about your own negative thought patterns? Have you been able to ‘upgrade’ to a better channel?
Please share your experiences with us in the comments below.
Shared with love and respect for all beings in the hope of making the world a more positive place to live.