Reserving Judgment

Is it human nature to judge? Time Magazine says that our brains immediately judge people. I know we can curb this if we choose because I have learned how. Keep in mind that I said I can curb this behavior; I never claim perfection. This references my previous post where I wrote about controlling your brain.

Because this blog is all about bringing your best self to the foreground, I thought judgment was an appropriate topic. I have mentioned how important it is to dispel the negative self-talk, but being your best self is also about how you treat others.

Years ago, when I was single, I went out on a date with a man who was incredibly rude to our server at the restaurant. He went so far as to snap his fingers at her for service; I was mortified. I took her aside and apologized for his horrific behavior, gave her a large tip, then ended the date by calling him a “neanderthal” and walking out. I did judge him by the way he treated the server. While he may have deserved it, if I hadn’t rushed to judgment, but had a discussion with him instead, it is possible that we might both have learned something. People are complex.

Back then, I had less knowledge and wasn’t as effective at communicating (obviously). Anyone can begin reserving judgments if they choose. Here is a link to a cute, short video with tips about this topic and further explanations.

In Zen Habits, the harm caused by judging others is mentioned. The list below is from that site and represents my thought process when I catch myself sitting in judgment:

  • I am very ignorant of what the person is going through.
  • I don’t understand the situation.
  • I have unrealistic expectations of people.
  • I think I’m superior to other people.
  • I’m not grateful.
  • I’m being self-centered.
  • I’m not being curious, but instead I close off all learning.
  • I can’t really help the situation from a place of judgment.

Do you think it is possible to be your best self if you are living in a place of judgment? Why or why not?

Thanks, as always for taking the time to read!

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