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Who Are You To Judge?

By Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC

“Do not judge, or you will be judged. For in the same way that you judge others, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured to you.” 

Matthew 7:1-2 

Who are you to judge? I often say this to myself, other people, and sometimes my clients, too. Human beings are built to compare and judge themselves and others, yet we have no place to. Regardless of any reason, we have no right to pass judgment towards anyone. People hardly realize their own mistakes, yet they so readily strive to point out the flaws of other people. 

Below are some thoughtful and helpful reasons why we should not judge others: 

Lack of Information 

Often people make harsh judgments without knowing the full story or all of the facts. Typically, it’s none of the other person’s business, anyway! Hold off on making any comments, or choose to not comment at all until you know more.  

You and Your Worldview Are Different 

All people in this world have that in common – we are all impeccably different. Many of these differences are based on the concept of nature vs. nurture. People can and will do what they want, and it will make you happier to stop judging people based on your own preferences. After all, their preferences and opinions are different – and that’s okay! 

Acceptance and Tolerance

Live and let live. Perhaps you don’t approve of what someone else is doing, or choices they have made, but that’s not up to you to judge. How do you know that that person isn’t trying their best to make changes? There is always more going on behind closed doors.  

Appearances are Often Deceptive 

Have you ever heard of the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, right off the bat after meeting someone, your subconscious will take over and you’ll likely formulate judgments about others based on their appearance or first impression – without even realizing it. Not surprisingly, there is much more to a person than what is exposed within the first meeting. No matter how much another person may irritate you, accept and rejoice in that every single human being has some sort of strength or capability to offer.  

Remain Curious

Curiosity keeps us open to the possibility that there is something about the situation that we do not fully understand. Judging others is easy, and sometimes it temporarily makes us feel good to do it. Contrarily, curiosity calls for high levels of maturity, emotional intelligence, and a healthy dose of self-control. For example, when you see someone acting in a way that you think is insane, stupid, or doing something you don’t agree with, it might help you to ask yourself the following question: 

“I wonder what’s going on with that person that I don’t know about?” 

Reframing and Recognizing Weaknesses

Next time you notice yourself feeling inclined to judge someone, see if you can reframe instead. You do not know their story. More often than not, people judge others in the areas where they feel the weakest. It reveals the soft spots, the insecurities, and weaknesses. Check out the example below to better understand how this can be done: 

Judgment: 

“Ugh, why can’t that mother control her unruly kids? Look at them run through the grocery store like animals!” 

Reframe: 

“Sometimes I doubt my own capabilities as a mother, and it gives me solace knowing that others struggle as well. I certainly have been in the same position as that woman before.”

Instead of judging and putting this woman down for her current shortcomings, result in empathy instead. 

The Truth about Judgment: Defining Yourself

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

Each person only knows their own pain and experiences, thus we should never judge the lives of others. Judge less, accept more, and restore your own happiness. 

 References: 

Bhowmick, B. (2017). Reasons why you should stop judging others. Life in Style. Retrieved from: https://www.google.com/amp/s/timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/life-n-style/reasons-why-you-should-stop-judging-others/

Richards, S. (2020). What judging others reveals about you. Retrieved from: https:sholarichards.com/judging-others/

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