Dare to live without limits Week of 713/20

Bryan Golden

Avoid the tendency to sit in judgment of those around you

“When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself.” — Earl Nightingale

There is a tendency to evaluate someone else’s life through the lens of our own experiences. However, each individual has their own unique perspective on life. Each person has different experiences, dreams, and desires.
A judgment is a criticism of another person’s decisions or behavior. We deride that person with comments such as, “I can’t believe they did that,” “What were they thinking,” “How could somebody be so stupid,” or “I don’t know what’s wrong with them.” You sit in judgment by finding fault with others.
It’s impossible to fully understand and appreciate someone who you are judging. Each person is shaped by their perception, reality, and experiences. No two people experience, or react to the same situation identically. When you judge someone, you do yourself a disservice by stifling your own growth. Judging others also diminishes your happiness.
Everyone has flaws. Personal growth and improvement are lifelong processes. Each individual is accountable for their own life. Judging others blocks your growth. Everyone is in charge of their actions and results.
Taking care of your own life is enough of a responsibility. Don’t waste effort judging someone else. Besides, who are you to sit in judgment of others? When you judge others, nothing positive is accomplished. Sitting in judgment causes everyone to feel bad. No one benefits from constant agitation.
Other people will be hurt by your judgments. You will create hard feelings and resentment. Conflict will arise or worsen. There may be alienation from those you are judging. You may create rifts which will be hard to repair.
Although there are numerous motivations which cause someone to sit in judgment, the result is always the same; some type of negative reaction. It’s so easy to fall into the habit of being judgmental that you aren’t aware of it. In so doing, your relationships become stressed, causing you undue frustration.
Accept people for who they are without judging them. You don’t have to like or agree with everyone, but each person has the right to live their own way as long as they are not harming or infringing on others.
The way other people experience their world is different than how you experience yours. You can’t judge someone based on your perspectives and they can’t judge you based on theirs. Being open to different viewpoints is much more constructive than making judgments.
Have empathy for others. The way a situation appears to you may be completely different from how another person is affected. For example, a family who has two new cars and a big house may be experiencing lots of financial pressure due to the amount of their debt. Therefore, judging that they have endless money to burn is erroneous. How they spend or don’t spend their money has no impact on your wellbeing. It’s their life, not yours.
You are most likely to judge others when you are annoyed or angry with them or when there is conflict. Monitor your thoughts. When you find yourself sitting in judgment, just stop it. You don’t appreciate when others judge you, so you should understand exactly how it feels when you judge them.
When you start to judge others, look in the mirror. Your time and energy are better spent working on self-improvement. Every person has room for growth. One of the areas to work on is becoming more non-judgmental.
The quality of your life will noticeably improve as you become less judgmental of others. You won’t be wasting effort on someone else’s life. Live and let live has always been great advice.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2020 Bryan Golden


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