Judgement

Recently I have been exploring the topic of judgement, as I have come to realise that I have been a very judgmental person for most of my life. Judging others is so much a part of what I do that I’m often not even aware that I am doing it. I have found that in order for me to be able to see a behaviour clearly, I need to be able to get a bit of distance between me and the behavior: but my problem with being judgmental is that it has often felt as close to me as my breath.

My judgmental ways have taken various forms. There have been the out and out verbally expressed judgmental snipes and the more surreptitious forms of judgement, such as a pregnant pause, the raising of an eyebrow or the shared look with a fellow staff member in a team meeting. And then there have been my judgmental thoughts, of which there have been an infinite number, silent by nature but registered in exactly the same way as an out and out attack of words.

So, who have I judged? It’s perhaps more pertinent to ask, “Who haven’t I judged?” I judge everybody – the rich and the famous, the down and the out, my family, my friends, my work colleagues, absolute strangers in the street and those I have neither met nor seen.

What is it that I judge others for? I think I can honestly say ‘everything.’ And the ridiculous thing is, what I judge others for is often the opposite of the same thing. For example, I have judged people for being too fat and too thin, too loud and too quiet, too stupid and too intelligent, too ugly and too good looking, too sensible and too reckless. I was going to say that I could fill a book with a list of the things that I have judged others for but it’s much truer to say that I could fill a small mobile library with my judgmental ways.

And the utterly ludicrous thing is, I have recently come to realise that my supposed viewpoint from which I cast my judgement is completely arbitrary – a moving platform that has changed so radically over time that I can’t even identify any more with the platform on which I once stood. The staunch platform on which I stood in my twenties was built on the belief that vegetarianism was the healthiest way to eat and that strenuous exercise was good for the body and therefore I naturally judged others who ate heaps of meat and who chose not to exercise. But now, twenty years later my views have changed… I no longer believe that vegetarianism is healthy for everyone and I currently hold the belief that strenuous exercise isn’t good for anybody. So, if I were to judge others from my current standpoint, then I would be judging those that were choosing to live life like I used to.

And the word ‘choosing’ is a significant one because what all judgement boils down to, is judging another for the choices that they are currently making, which begs the question, “Who are we to judge another’s choices?”

As part of my growing awareness around my judgmental ways, I have started to feel the effects of judgement on my body. It feels like an attack, not only on those that I am judging but on myself. When I judge another, it feels like I simultaneously harpoon us both, freeze framing us in time and space. Judgement relies very heavily on time; it tries to insist that another be somewhere other than where they are, which, when you think about it, is utterly ridiculous – how can any of us be anywhere other than where we are now? The Universe is forever expanding and as part of the Universe, so too are we being pulled to expand, but judgement tries to pin us down to the tiniest of specks; it prevents us from seeing the deeper and grander aspects of each other.

Judgement is also rejection because each time we judge another, what we are in fact saying is, “I do not accept the way that you are choosing to be.” And this rejection is likely to push another even further into disharmonious ways of being, because rejection is an attack that most of us recoil from. Acceptance on the other hand is gifted with grace and allows others the freedom to move and change at their will.

Everything in life falls into one of two categories – it either supports us to return to the Truth of who we all are, or it hinders the process of return. Could it be as simple as understanding that judgement hinders our return, whereas acceptance speeds us on our way?

By Alexis Stewart, disability support worker, yoga teacher, massage therapist, mother, partner, self-appointed cheerleader for humanity, woman whose identity as an individual seems to be fading fast

Related Reading:
The truth of simple acceptance of self
Accepting all of you
Self-acceptance and appreciation bring true presence

1,233 thoughts on “Judgement

  1. Comparison with others also is intrinsically entwined with judgement and explore and exposing these in our lives is evolutionary and thus exposing the lack of appreciation we have for our essences or Souls.

  2. An old thought came in that I feel to share, that when we point a finger at another we have three pointing towards ourselves, Hm! funny that, and adding to what Alexis has shared, this is so relatable to my life, as I can feel that the three fingers pointing at me are also a self-judging in my previous way of living which was being overweight, a drunkard, who smoked, took drugs, became a vegetarian for over 20 years, sports nut and many other flavours in my life… When I stopped and changed my ways condemnation of others came to the fore and thus I could also feel that these forms of critique that played on my ability to be Truly-appreciate-ive of the essences that I can be in are thus the same essences for everyone.

  3. Judgement of others or of ourselves is when we think they do not fit the mental picture of how we think they should act or look – and is us who paint the picture.

  4. Judgement as I have learned is a lack of understanding of self or another. This does not mean that I never judge, but it does mean that I catch myself more quickly if I am judging now and then ask myself to re-consider and allow myself to question why the situation could be happening – which then leads often to a deeper understanding and hence a dropping of the judgement.

    1. I am discovering the more I let go and accept myself the more accepting of others and where they are on their journey I become. We are constantly saturated with negative energy and positive energy as it passes through us, what one we chose to align to determines how we will be with ourselves and all others. There is a way to live that makes it more difficult for the negative energy to take hold so that it slides off us like water off a ducks back. I’m not there yet but I know it’s possible because I have witnessed other people living this way how amazing is that!

  5. Your honesty around judgement is refreshing in that you are calling out that you do it, just how much you do it and how contradictory amongst many things it is. All of which I am sure pretty much the whole world can put their hand up for. So as you have succinctly put maybe it is time for us to to spend far less time judging either ourselves or others and more time instead asking for true truth in the world ✨

  6. This is a great blog Alexis to read because it provides a stop moment so that we can feel just how damaging judgement is on us and other people and how for many of us we do not even realise that we are being judgmental.

  7. Why do we judge? Perhaps we are in constant judgement of ourselves and the only way to release this tension or make it seem like we are is to lash out in the form of judging another.

    1. Judgement can be a way to hide away from the deeper responsibility of feeling what we are feeling and how we could ultimately support another by allowing them space and growth.

      1. Interesting, it’s possible that we dive into judgement as a form of avoidance of sticking our head above the water. So when we see somebody doing something unloving, we join them into that by being judgemental rather than bring light to the situation and stand out from the crowd.

  8. ‘And this rejection is likely to push another even further into disharmonious ways of being…’ I’ve been feeling how, if I talk of someone negatively and don’t hold them in the beauty that they are, whatever it is that I don’t like in terms of what energies they maybe giving expression to, it’s more likely they’ll continue this because they won’t be feeling the love and reminded we all come from love and are love.

  9. I personally feel that before we judge others we have judged ourselves first, so is it possible that if we unpick why we judge ourselves; what is the driving force behind the self judgement and heal the hurt then I feel that we will not be able to judge another because we are free of it ourselves.

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