It’s normal to be judgmental. It’s a function of how the brain works. It’s how we make sense of reality. We see a thing and compare it to other known things. Is it small, big, familiar, strange, pleasant, or unpleasant? Verbalizing that is an extension of our thought process. However, making negative judgments – whether mentally or verbally – creates a negative energy vibration. This can make us, and others feel bad. It can influence your energy field so that you aren’t as positive, happy, or sparkling as you could be. If you are interested in learning how to become less judgmental, here are some concrete suggestions you can adopt as replacement strategies.
When you catch yourself thinking or saying things like I am fat or I am stupid, add “until now” to the end of your sentence. It acknowledges your feelings. It also allows for the future to be different than the present so that you don’t get stuck creating a reality that you don’t want. Words are powerful. Make them work for you, not against you.
If your negative self – judgment is something like I don’t deserve to be happy or I will never succeed, add “I love and accept myself anyway.” If I suggested that you negate your feelings, that would probably be hard. You feel the way you feel. By acknowledging that you love yourself anyway, it makes it okay to have a down moment. Again, it neutralizes the negative energy and turns it into a positive.
When you catch yourself spewing negativity at someone else, watch out! What you create comes back to you. There is no way to be ugly without getting a bit on yourself. Nobody wants that. Practice keeping your language value neutral. Here are some examples of value neutral words: table, far, green, dance, picture, gentle, hot, and snow. For comparison, here are some judgmental words: nasty, witch, sleazy, mean, tyrant, and gross. Some words can either be value neutral or judgmental depending upon how they are used and the emotion behind them like: dirty, fat, or loud.
Another thing you can do when judging others is to follow the thought with, “S/he’s doing the best that s/he can” and feel the sincerity in your heart. For example, “My mother never cared about anyone but herself. She’s never going to change…” feels a lot different with “and she’s doing the best that she can” tagged on to the end, doesn’t it? If your words have the effect of softening your heart, creating compassion and acceptance for who the other person is, just as s/he is, that’s the right approach.
It’s not the observation that is wrong. It’s the emotion and energy behind it. Things are as they are. And words and emotion are energy. Energy has power. If they are negative, they bring your vibration down. If they are positive, they bring you up. You can see the world as it is, influence it to be better, or make it more dismal. It all starts with your eyes, your mouth, and your heart. When your mind is positive, you see more positive. When it’s negative, you see more negative. Give yourself a break. Create a positive reality!
When you get good enough at this that you have a moment’s notice that something judgmental is about to come out before it actually does, give yourself a moment to digest the thought. Now ask yourself, “Do I really need to put that out into the world?” If so, find a way to say it in a nonjudgmental way. You can do it. Surely you know people who always know the right thing to say, right? They got that skill through practice. You can too. Usually what happens, though, is that a moment’s pause is long enough for you to realize that the thought doesn’t have to be expressed.
When your thoughts become less judgmental, your inner environment will be more peaceful. People can get really upset by all the wrongs they see in the world – especially when they are taken personally. When you become someone who can make a mistake without being defined by it, who is worthy of a second chance, who is worthy of love, you feel better. When you feel better, you do better. When other people are just doing the best that they can, they don’t seem so bad or threatening. This makes it easier to share your world with them. And we all need each other.