• Wed. Feb 8th, 2023

Every day, you make judgments as you travel through life. Everything you do, hear, or see is filtered through the never-ending filter of judgment that exists between your ears. Your expectations are on one side of that judgment, and reality is on the other. Then there’s your version of reality, which is in an entirely separate realm. Your mind is continually grinding them together and putting them at odds. Some things live up to your expectations, while others do not. You’re only trying to find out where reality—your reality—sits in relation to your expectations as you judge yourself and others.

The Expectations Game

How Expectations Influence Our Decisions

Words Speak Louder Than Actions

Expectations that aren’t in line with good intentions

Why Do You Judge Yourself Based on Your Goals?

Why Do You Judge Others Based On Their Behavior?

How Will Judging Yourself Based on Your Actions Change You?

How Judging Others Based on Their Intentions Helps You Build Better Relationships

Improve Your Decision-Making Skills

Additional Information on How We Judge Ourselves and Others

The Expectations Game

Every everyone on the earth, including you and me, has expectations, regardless of their level of self-awareness. Expectations are beneficial because they provide a framework for assessing the world around you. These expectations are formed by your own set of values and beliefs, as well as your life experiences.

If you were raised in a home where your mother displayed her entire love for you, you’d expect other mothers to act the same way. As a mother, you’ll want to be able to instill the same values in your children. As a male, you’d expect your children’s future mother to do so.

You can find many cases in your life when you have expectations that are a direct outcome of anything you’ve experienced if you think about it.

Furthermore, you form expectations based on the things that are lacking in your life, particularly when compared to the conditions of other individuals you know. If you grew up in your parents’ luxurious home, for example, you’d expect to own something like or better when you’re older. However, if you grew up in a small home while all of your peers grew up in larger homes, you may expect to do much better than your parents.

Whatever you do, you always set a standard, even if it’s not evident at the time; it’s always there, lingering in your mind. You have expectations for yourself in the same way that you have expectations for others, society, and even the globe.

This expectation-setting game isn’t always a terrible thing because it can be intrinsically motivating. However, there comes a point when it no longer is because unmet expectations combined with the passage of time leads to dissatisfaction and anxiety.

“You don’t have time to love people if you’re judging them.”

Mother Teresa is a well-known figure in the

sunset evaluating others’ thoughts

How Expectations Influence Our Decisions

What is your initial conclusion when you anticipate someone to act a certain way but they don’t?

Here are a few possible responses:

I need to change my expectations because they are inaccurate.

Despite the fact that my expectations are correct, this individual does not understand; I should explain, and perhaps we can come to an agreement.

Although my expectations are reasonable, this individual refuses to meet them. It’s best if I remain away from them.

What emotions would each of the replies elicit in you? The full spectrum, most likely. You can see how the first one is inward-looking, in that you believe you are missing something and should conduct more self-reflection and analysis. The second is somewhere in the middle, when you feel compelled to have a discussion in order to achieve a compromise.

The last is the more arrogant posture, in which you expect others to change and conform to you, or you will dismiss them as uncaring and distance yourself from them. As the disparity between your expectations and the reality you observe and assimilate widens, judgment looms. This is because we all have an innate need to explain things and find it difficult to accept reality as it is.

When expectations aren’t satisfied, we need someone to blame, whether it’s us or someone else. The very last thing we can accept is that reality is simply what it is. We must point a finger, voice our dissatisfaction or fury, or effect change in ourselves or others.


“Everything we judge in others is something we don’t want to face within ourselves.”

Words Speak Louder Than Actions

The expression “action speaks louder than words” has been popular since the 1600s, when it was first popularized by John Pym, though in a somewhat longer form. It still implies the same thing today: what you do defines what you genuinely think or believe, regardless of what you say. Do you love your spouse if you tell them, “I love you,” but you don’t act as if you love them? You may truly believe you do since your approach to demonstrating love differs from how your spouse views love, but who is correct?

The truth is that you are correct and incorrect at the same time. To grasp it, imagine floating over a pair as a cloud, with omniscient powers. “I love you,” says the wife. You then float inside her skull, hearing and feeling only her thoughts and sensations. She means it when she says she’s warm on the inside. She starts massaging her husband’s neck with a soft stroke. She kisses him on the cheek and offers him a cup of hot tea after a few minutes.

You’re now floating inside the husband’s head, hearing only his thoughts.

What’s going on here? It’s just a massage, really. That was not something I required today.

Now float out and assume the role of omniscient observer.

So, who is correct?

Of course, it all relies on your point of view, which is why being able to put oneself in another person’s shoes is such an important communication skill. If you only think about how you feel and how what you say makes you feel, you’ll miss the other person’s point of view and risk creating a gap in expectations.

“Some individuals come into our lives to bless us, while others come into our lives to teach us something, so love them for who they are rather than criticizing them for who they are not.”

Yolanda Hadid is a model and a fashion designer.

evaluating yourself and others

Expectations that aren’t in line with good intentions

But, in the case above, what goes on in the thinking of the husband? He can obviously perceive the wife’s motive. Her actions are consistent with what she’s saying, but they’re not the ones he anticipates. That is typically the case when you observe good intentions but the acts that follow do not meet your expectations. It’s worth noting that I’m not even addressing a case in which you know or suspect evil intentions or a lack thereof. That’s a completely separate topic.

We’re only talking about situations where you’re fully aware of the other person’s good intentions, but their actions don’t match what you’d anticipate.

What’s your initial thought? Do you automatically judge that person as a deceiver and, possibly, a liar, even if not purposefully, because “actions speak louder than words”? Does this imply that you disregard their intentions and judge them solely on their actions?

Or do you assume that their intent should be considered, but that they are unable to tie that intent to the appropriate action at this time? The former concept devalues the individual, and those “good intentions” will quickly be forgotten. You’ll soon begin to regard the other person as a villain for failing to match your expectations.

The latter theory says that your assessment should be guided by the other’s good intentions, and that you should spend more time outlining your expectations and assisting the person in connecting them. To put it another way, the person needs to learn more about you before they can understand the acts you expect.

The difficulty is that until you have this latter perspective, you will never give the other person a chance. The more you judge someone solely on their behaviors, the more you disregard their motives, stripping them of any chance of ever meeting your expectations. In that instance, you will remain disappointed and angry, while the other person will remain perplexed as to why they are unable to satisfy you.

Why Do You Judge Yourself Based on Your Goals?

What propels you forward is action. It doesn’t always imply that it propels you “forward” in the sense of moving in the right direction at the right speed. Simply put, it means to move. Intentions are desires for action that may or may not be carried out.

“I wish to lose weight,” for example, is an intention. You state it and may or may not believe that you are capable of carrying it through. Not believing it isn’t covered in this article because it implies that you’re lying.

As a result, we’ll assume that when you express an intention, you truly believe it and wish to carry it out. You, on the other hand, do not. People with strong self-awareness and a growth mindset are distinguished from those with a fixed mindset by how they appraise themselves at the time.

“I haven’t done anything to lose weight, but it’s on my mind,” says the first. It is one of my top priorities. I’ll do it one day. I’m ok. At the very least, I’m prepared.” And “at least” is where it all begins. Saying “at least” is meaningless unless it is followed up with action.

All you’re doing is justifying your inaction when you tell yourself, “at least, I had the notion.” It seems as if thinking about it makes not doing it less bothersome than if you didn’t know.

The truth is that there is no distinction.

When you judge yourself solely on the basis of your objectives, you artificially shrink the gap between reality and expectations. It’s not real, but your brain thinks it is, so you’re less worried about it. It’s almost as though it’s a numbing agent.

Why Do You Judge Others Based On Their Behaviour?

Let’s take a look at the situation from the other side of the lens. You are now assessing others rather than yourself. Here are four different types of persons you could encounter in your daily life:

People that do not disclose their intentions and do nothing, leaving you in the dark about their thoughts;

People who say they’ll do something but don’t follow through;

Those who declare their goal and follow through on it;

Those who simply go ahead and do it;

It’s difficult to assess the first group. That’s the spouse that never says “I love you” or acts as though they do. It’s the friend who never checks in with you. You have no idea what’s going on inside these people’s heads.

The second group consists of individuals who continue to deceive you. They state their intentions and make it very apparent, but their deeds do not match their words. We’d all like to hang out with the last two groups. These are individuals who either do or say what they mean, and their actions speak for themselves.

You can see how your evaluation of other people’s performance is dependent on what they actually do rather than what they claimed or imagined they’d do in all of these instances. When it comes to others, that thought is no longer sufficient, unlike in the previous part, where you were fine with only thinking the right thing and not doing it. You can’t use their good intentions as proof of their genuine beliefs.

It’s something you’ll need them to do. Unlike yourself, who is content with having the correct thoughts, you are always in need of others to do the right things; otherwise, your world will come crashing down.

It’s a double standard that will erode your peace of mind over time. This begs the obvious question: is there a way to turn that way of thinking around?

“That is the most difficult thing of all.” It is far more difficult to judge yourself than it is to judge others. It’s because you’re a wise man if you succeed in judging yourself.”

  • Antoine de Saint-Exupery Antoine de Saint-Exupery Antoine de Saint-Exup
  • self-image concepts
  • How Will Judging Yourself Based on Your Actions Change You?
  • You’ll enter a revolutionary phase of your life when you stop assessing yourself based on your goals and only judge yourself based on your deeds.

Because the gap between reality and expectations can only change when you act if you hold yourself accountable for your actions and do not sugarcoat yourself by looking at your intentions.

Your ideas and opinions about what you’d like to do or not do are no longer relevant. They are exactly what they should be: a driving force behind your plans.

You don’t express your plans to calm your mind or to demonstrate to the rest of the world and yourself that you comprehend what needs to be done. Instead, you express your goal to forge a clear way forward. You become genuine.

Intentions are no longer employed to bridge the mental divide; instead, they are used to motivate you to do action, which will eventually bridge the gap. It’s important to note that this does not indicate that you should become a dictator with yourself and start condemning and criticizing yourself. There’s a tremendous difference between berating yourself for every tiny shortcoming or error and consciously utilizing judgment to propel your growth.

The first is paralyzing and will not assist you. The latter is energizing and will help you progress.

“Believing you are full of goodness paralyzes you. It also paralyzes you if you judge yourself to be full of guilt.”

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian author.

criticizing others in a couple’s relationship

How Judging Others Based on Their Intentions Helps You Build Better Relationships

Taking things personally is a major blunder when it comes to criticizing those who don’t keep their promises.

So, if someone says they love you but doesn’t act like it, your first thought might be that they don’t. The longer you think about it, the more likely it is to turn into “I am not lovable.”

You forget that individuals are still humans when their behaviors don’t fill in the gap you’ve made between reality and expectations. They have flaws, limitations, challenges, struggles, worries, phobias, and biases, among other things.

It’s possible that someone doesn’t love you if they can’t show you that they love you. However, it’s also possible that they adore you but are unsure how to communicate it or haven’t yet discovered the manner you need to be loved. It would be preferable if you gained a better knowledge of the situation before pronouncing judgment.

That’s why assessing individuals based on their intentions is so important for allowing the connection to develop sufficiently till you realize the truth. When you start presuming that individuals have good intentions and that those good intentions reflect who they are and what they are willing to accomplish, you open the door for that relationship to thrive.

Those folks may turn out to be untrustworthy and harmful in the future. The difference is in how you go about it.If you judge someone solely on the basis of their actions, you may miss out on their challenges and prematurely end a relationship. You give individuals a chance when you judge them based on their intentions. The truth will always come out, but how you feel will be determined by how you approach that relationship.

“A man’s ability to find a balance between his body’s necessities and his mind’s demands is how he measures himself.” Albert Camus (Albert Camus)

Do you know what your basic values are?

They shape your life’s actions and attitude. You can’t set goals without them. Thankfully, I made a cheat sheet to assist you in finding them. It’s available for free download below.

Improve Your Decision-Making Skills

When you mentally reverse the judgment game, two remarkable things happen:

You become more conscious of your blind spots and go on a path of personal development.

You trust others and let your connections to develop at their own pace.

This perspective will eventually convert into increased self-awareness, which will make you more open to improvement and growth. You’ll notice the things you need to alter and, rather than being relieved by simply thinking about it, you’ll take action.

From now on, begin to pay attention to your ideas. Look for instances when you can mentally assess the disparity. Examine your expectations with a critical eye and consider how you might judge yourself and others based on their intentions. It always pays off in the long term.

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