We seem to be naturally programmed to judge. Like we have discussed before, much of our judging is based in our need to find a coherent structure in the world around us.
When we don’t have factual information at hand, we make a guess. Most of the time this is enough to calm our hunger for order.
It doesn’t really matters if our guess is accurate or not, as long as it makes sense to us.
I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with this and it seems to be pretty much unavoidable.
But judging becomes a problem when we get used to do so not to calm our subconscious need for structure, but because we have adopted judging as a conscious habit.
Unfortunately, this happens more often than we want to admit.
When Judging Becomes a Habit
We are so prompt to judge people, ideas, events or circumstances, that we do so without even thinking about it.
Every day, all day long, we are constantly judging.
When we wake up and check Facebook or Instagram, we like Gina’s profile picture but we don’t like Tommy’s latest status update. Later, we judge the driving skills of other drivers on our way to work and we think about how thoughtless they behave. When we get to work, we judge our co-workers; some of them in a positive way, and others in a negative way.
We are constantly judging every single experience and placing every single moment into a good or bad bucket, to say the least.
The habit of compulsive judgement starts as a small stream, but it soon becomes an overflowed river.
We are judging all the time, 7 days a week and during every single waking hour.
The worst is that we do not only judge others and external circumstances around us, but we are also judge ourselves all the time. We judge our skills to face the coming challenges and our competence to cope with the current ones.
We are constantly judging our own identity, and sometimes we place ourselves in the good bucket and other times in the bad one.
Even when we do not realize we are doing so, we are. And this is, at the very least, exhausting.
Non-Judging and The Art of Let Go
Non-judging is a very important part of living a mindful life.
Non-judging doesn’t mean that we won’t judge at all. Much of our judging takes place subconsciously anyway.
Non-judging simply means that we will make our best effort to decrease the attention we pay to our judgments. We will acknowledge every single judgment we make, since it serves a very important purpose in some occasions, but we won’t dwell on it anymore.
We will acknowledge our positive opinion about Gina’s picture and our negative opinion about Tommy’s status. We might still dislike the recklessness of others drivers and we might acknowledge the positive and negative traits of our coworkers.
But when we are practicing non-judgment, our opinions will be quickly dismissed. We won’t act on it; we won’t spend time thinking about it, defending our point of view to ourselves or to others.
We might not like Tommy’s status and we can acknowledge so, but we won’t go further to validate our point of view.
At first, this will feel awkward. We are used to judging and to think and talk and to get obsessed about our opinions and points of view in relation to every thing around us. So, is only understandable that we feel a little off when we shift our mindset about judgment.
But non-judging and letting go can also become a habit when we practice it long enough.
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