Beyond the Tyranny of Judging People.

people-walking-in-city

 

“I think that my job is to observe people and the world, and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.”
― Haruki Murakami

 

I wrote about Being Slave of Money around a month ago.

(To get the most grip of the post, it would be better if you read that post first and then continue reading this)

There I wrote about my cousin brother who is running madly behind the idea of money and is possibly leaving behind all the possible essential things behind- like relationships, being happy, being content or just living. And how is miserable. And cocky. And arrogant.

That was a month ago.

And after following the concept of Minimalism for almost another month and after failing in keeping up with it many times  or so, I realized that I was wrong.

Wrong not in the idea of that post, wrong not in the intention behind the post, wrong not behind the thought of the post. I still believe that no-one should blindly run behind money.

But I was wrong because I judged. 

Is judging itself bad? No, not really. But it is definitely a symptom of something that can be harmful.

I am saying ‘harmful’ and not ‘bad’, because rather than judging it to be good or bad, I prefer to observe it.

I realized that I am very ignorant of my brother is going through.

I realized that in a way I am stating that I am superior to him which I am not, I am being extremely self-centric.

I realized that I don’t understand the situation completely. I never can because I am not him.

I also realized that I am setting expectations from people. Unrealistic expectations.

I am not being curious as to why the other person is behaving the way he is, I am just judging him and dismissing him.

Also, I realized that I am not really helping him. And, I cannot help him too because I have already judged and dismissed him.

And I am kind of frustrated and unhappy with the way the other person is behaved.

It also affected the relationship with him because once you judge, you generally see the person in only that light.

I am unable to help, unable to take what the other person has to offer to me as a person. Among many such other harms.

And now, just replace my example with the countless time you’ve done the same with some other person. Fill it with spouse, lover, brother, parents, friends, strangers. Anyone.

You’ll notice the same pattern, mostly.

The question emerges-

How do you let go of Judging people?

The first thing to do will to be aware of that you’re judging.

Just be aware that you’re doing it.

Don’t judge yourself for it, don’t get angry on yourself.

Just know that you’re doing, that you’re judging.

That you’re indulging in an activity which is harmful, for others and for you.

This takes practice. This takes extra awareness. To know that you’re judging. To see it as a flag of something harmful.

There are symptoms which will tell you that you’re judging- if you’re complaining about someone, gossiping about them, dismissing them as a person.

Identify the symbols and know you’re judging. Recognize them.

After recognizing, try to understand why you judged in first place. Why? Be curious. Ask questions like-

How much do I know about the person?

Can you guess what other person is really going through?

Are you setting an expectation which is unrealistic?

Can you fit in other person’s shoes?

Can you imagine a time when you went through similar times?

Ask these questions.

Then ask yourself: How can I help?

At many times, people need someone to listen, someone who accepts them without judging.

Someone who can sit beside them and look in their eyes and talk with them. And appreciate them for who they’re.

Sometimes, they need more: advice, guide or a hug.

But I’ve realized something that you can’t help them from the place of judgement. It is only when you accept them. Appreciate them. Be empathetic towards them can you really help them. Be curious about them. Not before.

I realized that I’ve judged my brother soon.

I went to meet him one day and talked with him.

It took him a while to open up as himself.

But he did and he told me things.

Things like how he recently had a break up, things like how he has a will to support his parents, things like how he is tired of being obese and not having true friends. Things like how he goes to parties just so that he find some people who will accept him.

I just listened. Intently, curiously and with empathy.

And after days, I saw him happy.

As it turned out, all he needed was someone to listen and appreciate for who is and what he is.

And I felt happier in the process.  

Try it next time. You’ll change lives.

Not only of others but of your own. 

Other Awesome Reads-

A Simple Method to Avoid Being Judgemental– Zen Habits

 

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12 thoughts on “Beyond the Tyranny of Judging People.

  1. I really like this post. I used to judge people so much; I was quite a miserable and joyless person back then. Now, because I am coming into a better understanding of God’s amazing love for me and for all people, I can honestly look at people with eyes of mercy and say (in my head) “God really loves that person” (no matter what they look like or what they are doing). And, thus, I treat people with love and kindness as a reflection of God’s great love for them. Peace to you, my friend! Elissa

  2. Great post! I too catch myself judging far too often as well, so I can totally relate. And I agree that listening to the other person usually solves the problem and the tension that is there.

  3. Judging people is part of human nature. I’m disconnected from my subconscious when I judge – I know I’m doing it, but I give people a chance to prove me wrong. And when I’m wrong, I’m happy to have met someone who exceeded my expectations.

    It’s important to remember that we evolved as judgemental creatures because it served us well as animals. Even now, it’s still an essential part of the human experience. But it’s also a powerful tool that can bring positivity into your life.

    Thanks for the insight, Hardik.

  4. I’ve actually learnt this from a few wise people I am lucky to be with. And maybe something I carry around with myself!!

    Most people never ask for judgement. They just want you to listen. Without a comment or a feedback or advice. That’s it. The fundamental thought of psychology is that a person knows what is wrong with him/her and knows exactly what to do. All that is needed is an impartial ear. And then it all goes away 🙂

    Listening always helps. It is a dying art. But it helps. Judge all you like. But if you listen, you find that you’re more centred and not jumping around everywhere to all sorts of conclusions.

    A great post

    • True that.

      Listening, without the intention of replying, is probably one of the sanest of the things, you can do.

      And in this so-called fast-paced world, no one really ever does that.

      And really it indeed is a dying art. To just listen. Intently and without judging.

      Thank you for such an insightful comment.

      Cheers and keep reading 😀

  5. Amazing post. I particularly like where you pointed out that you cannot help someone from a place of judgement, only when have accepted them are you able to help.

    Sometimes we see people act in a certain way which does not sit well with us. It takes strength not to judge them for it. Accepting that there may be a reason they behave that way may be the first step toward becoming less judgmental and a kinder human being.

    Thank you so much for posting your thoughts on this subject.

    • Hey Jamie, thanks for taking the time out for posting such an insightful comment.

      It does requires both courage and efforts but it is something which always helps us in the long run.

      Being kinder is truly the way to go.

      Keep reading and cheers! 😀

  6. Great post! I have also been guilty of judging people, negatively, sometimes, believing that my views are somehow above theirs. Sometimes I even said unkind things. But I eventually realized that’s wrong for me to do that. I was never extremely judgmental in general but occasionally I have been. Now I am very conscious of how I think, interact with, and judge others. Even when I disagree and even when people are being unpleasant, kindness is the way to go. Often, people who are bitter, resentful, angry….are in pain and act out because they are driven by the deep pain inside. Even though it may sometimes be difficult to show them kindness and compassion, I still believe it’s best. It’s good to try to see their views and how/why they may think and act the way they do. They may really be wrong but we can still show understanding.
    It’s great that you realize when you judge unkindly. That’s a great accomplishment and a sign of self-growth.

    • Hey Kim!

      You’ve no idea, how much such meaningful and insightful comments delights me. So right up, thanks for that.

      We all will slip occasionally. Rarely anyone can master the art of not judging but the key is to be aware of it when you’re doing it.

      That way slowly but eventually the intensity and frequency will reduce.

      Again, thank you for such a brilliant comment.

      Keep reading and cheers. 🙂

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