My own need to stop judging others developed over time when I was a kid. I come from a large family and my parents were very controlling and demanding. I learned to be critical of everything my sisters and brothers did. At first it was for fear of being in trouble with my parents, then over time, it became the primary way I related to others.
You may have this same need to judge others and the reasons can be different. People judge for various reasons. Maybe you were raised in a critical or demanding family yourself. Perhaps you judge others as a way to project your inner self-judgments seeing in others what you don’t like in yourself. Still others have low self-esteem and just have a negative outlook on life period. If you were anything like me, you were also arrogant and learned to belittle others as a way to feel better about yourself or feel more important than others.
If you recognize this need to judge others in yourself, and like me, are tired of hurting others and destroying relationships, then I want to share with you the tweaks I made to myself to stop this destructive habit. I was successful only because I was honest in confronting myself and admitting that the problem was within me, not everyone else. If you are at the same stage, then here is what I did:
Self Tweak #1 – Recognize That the World Does Not Revolve Around You
The root cause of this issue is our own arrogance, our overly inflated ego. When others judge they tend to find that their way of doing things is the only way you should do things. Even if they can admit that there is more than one way, they believe that theirs is the right way to do things.
I thought I was the center of the universe. Not only that, I thought everyone was watching me be the center of the universe. That’s where the flaw was in my logic. Imagine my shock when I realize that very few people were watching and even fewer held my views and beliefs to the God-like standards I held them.
The reality is that no one cares about your standards and ways of doing things because they have their own. Stop wasting all that energy and re-focus it on controlling the ONLY thing you can control – you.
Self Tweak #2 – Admit That Perfection is An Imperfection
We have all heard that no one is perfect. However, I am becoming more and more convinced that few people actually believe this. There is a verse in the Bible that says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” I really believe that people change this verse around to say, “Y’all have sinned… ”
You need to realize that everyone has imperfections, flaws in their systems, and kinks in their armor. By everyone I especially mean you. Stop focusing on this and recognize that by the same token, everyone also has their own set of skills and strengths. This is the marvel of humanity, everyone has a unique combination that makes them a worthy individual. If you can learn to be more patient and tolerant of their weaknesses and help them to showcase their strengths, you won’t ever have time to judge others.
While its okay to be meticulous and detail-oriented, if your attention to details cause discomfort and pain for others, you might want to take a closer look at those details.
Self Tweak #3 – Learn The Power of Forgiveness
Because we all make mistakes, we will all experience pain and hurt at the hands of others. It is a part of life and cannot be avoided. All too often, however, we tend to overplay the victim and refuse to forgive because we believe we are making people suffer like we are suffering.
Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes time, energy, and a lot of effort to hold a grudge against someone. You have to wake up everyday, remind yourself that you are mad at people, remember what they did to make you mad, then take the time to relive the offense to stay in tune with all the toxic emotions that are associated with it.
How many of you would be shocked to learn that while you are doing all that resenting, the person who committed the offense is living their life to the fullest and isn’t giving you the time of day?
What’s The Secret To Forgiveness?
Allow me to let you in on a little known secret when it come to forgiveness. Most people think it is some magic force that makes people evil. When they mess up and they can’t live with themselves. Therefore they need to receive forgiveness from the person they offended. Part of this notion I will admit comes from Hollywood. We all have gotten caught up in some movie and related to the person who looks at some criminal and says “I will never forgive you!”
The secret is that forgiveness is not for them and was never meant to be. Forgiveness is for the person who is offended. The one who got hurt. By forgiving others, it allows you to let go of all that hurt and pain. Then you can begin to accept the imperfections that others have.
A person who cannot forgive others usually has problems forgiving themselves. You must start by learning to forgive yourself and accepting your weaknesses as well as your strengths. Once you can master this, it is easy to forgive others because you can now exhibit empathy. You know more because you’ve been there.
Remember that a person who cannot forgive when others hurt them only ends up hurting themselves.