We all judge people. When we engage with people, we often cast some kind of judgement on them. Whether it’s as small as thinking their hair looks bad or as big as thinking they’re probably a boring, self-centred person with no interests other than themselves.
If everyone does it, why is it a bad thing to do?
General judgements about people can be helpful and often are. However, we also fall into the trap of making quick negative judgements about people based on ignorance or lack of understanding.
This judgement closes our minds to who they could actually be. Instead, we build a faulty image of them which only harbours anger and unnecessary negativity.
Most of the time our negative judgements of people are built on some kind of ignorance about the person, the desire to put ourselves in the limelight or simply being unthoughtful.
That’s why people are surprised when they talk to someone and realise they aren’t how they thought they would be at all. They lose the previous misconceptions they’ve had about the person and realise there was no reason to jump to conclusions.
When we say negative things about other people, we’re simply harbouring negativity in our minds instead of being happy or concerning ourselves with more important things. It’s extremely useful just let go of the unnecessary dislike we have of other people. If we can’t help the person we should move on with our lives instead of keeping negativity in our minds.
You’ll harm your relationships with others if you cast premature judgements.
You’ll become frustrated for no good reason.
That frustration is easily avoided if you refrain from petty, unnecessary judgements.
Gossip less (preferably, not at all)
Conversing about how other people are annoying or do get a lot of things wrong tends to result in two different outcomes. Either, you let yourself re-live the initial anger you had towards that person or you simply begin to take pleasure in the flaws of others. Neither are great yet it seems to happen often.
When I find myself doing it, I notice that I become a much less pleasant person to talk to and generally be around. What gives me the right to talk about someone behind their back for no reason?
I feel it comes from the mistaken idea that we should vent our frustrations instead of keeping them inside. We don’t work like pressure machines. Venting our frustrations is a much easier path to follow than calming down over a longer period of time but it isn’t effective because we become far more likely to continue venting in the future.
I’ve spoken about why you shouldn’t judge people but this doesn’t mean you need to think positively about everyone that walks down the street. Of course, that would be nice but not everyone elicits positive reactions from people.
This simply means to withhold your judgement of them. How is this done?
- Be aware that you’re judging them.
- Ask yourself why you’re doing so.
At this point, you might find that you’re judging them because of a previous event that’s put you in a bad mood or your justification for doing so is poor.
- Put yourself in their shoes.
Trying to gain a better understanding of who they are will make you more compassionate and less likely to jump to false conclusions. Maybe there’s something about them you didn’t know about and as a result of that, they’re cast in a negative light to you.
Let go of judging people. Hopefully, you’ll feel much calmer for it.