Leave Judgment to the Judges

| February 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

Every time a new TV show pops up with the setting containing a board of judges, I sigh and dig in my heels knowing we’re losing our ability to communicate effectively because the norm is now to devalue people. Meaning, while such shows seem to be very popular, we are continuously desensitized to giving judgment in harsh and disrespectful ways.

Thinking of my clients, people in my life and myself, I have never met a person who benefits from constantly judging others or ourselves, as opposed to receiving productive feedback. Being judged that way raises stress levels and lowers our quality of life.

I dare say that it also produces wrinkles – the non-endearing kind. Judging is often the internalized voice of the more critical parent. A lot depends on how we were guided through life and its many new situations as a child. Whereas being raised in order to become a functioning and self-reliant adult is very important and the objective of child rearing, there is more to it than just functioning in life. We want a good quality of life, with a balanced psyche and an open mind in order to lead a happy and fulfilled life.

Being habitually judgmental can stand between us and all of the above. The first step is to recognize judgments that are creating a barrier, isolating us from others and from our own true self. Some questions are an initial screening for unnecessary judgmental actions:
• “Am I comparing myself to other women/men, their looks, clothing, jobs, theirs cars?”
• “Do I have a negative inner dialog, devaluing the other person I am comparing myself to, when they have better or more?”
• “What is my first thought when I meet a family member I have not seen in a while? Is it something that makes me seem superior in a way?”

Whereas any of these questions can result in a feeling of jealousy, the initial problem is the judgment action. It isolates us; we start to feel bad, sad and inferior. We then need to “win” something in order to feel better; which means more judgment, comparisons, devaluations of others follow. It becomes a vicious cycle where we constantly fight to keep our head barely above water. We do this in order to get the slightest good feeling about ourselves.

This can be stopped right at the beginning. First, observe your thoughts and just try to pinpoint the ones that are of a judgmental nature. Be okay with yourself if it is slow at first; it´s a learning curve. Once you have a good idea about what your thoughts look like and which ones are of a critical nature, pause with every such thought that you notice. The PAUSE will allow a new habit to be formed and implemented. Now – and this is the transformational part – come up with a positive and generous statement about the other person who was the cause of the judgment. The best results come from actually speaking the positive statement out loud. These sentences don´t need to be monumental. A simple “I like the color of your blouse” will suffice. THEN, notice how you feel. I promise, the bad feeling will evaporate and a sweet contentment with life and with today will linger.

Please, leave the judging to the judges. And next time one of those TV show judges crushes the dream of a contestant, think about whether you want to support that unhealthy approach to communicating to others. Learn more at www.HealthwithTaste.com. Send comments to sabine.starr@yahoo.com.

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Certified Life Coach