If it was me, I would have done it differently. These may be some words that come out from our mouths when we fail to fully comprehend a situation or understand our friends’ perspectives. How often have we made this mistake of snap judgment?
We all have our own set of values and beliefs; we have strong opinions on what we consider is right and wrong. The value system shapes our perspective, influencing how we view situations and make judgments. When we assign to situations our personal conviction of right and wrong, we create a separation between us and them. Even as harmless as our words may seem, judgment places us on a pedestal where we seem different and better than the others.
When others are not living up to your value of hard work, you may see them as ‘lazy’. When someone does not give the way you do, you may view them as ‘selfish’. When someone seems to be struggling at work or in school, you judge them as being ‘weak’.
There comes a point when being judgmental can have harmful consequences. They discourage meaningful conversations and unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings.
When we converse, it is easy to talk for hours about the fun and lighthearted stuff, but when it comes to sharing our problems, being open and honest is not always so simple. Sharing our thoughts, feelings, challenges and weaknesses require courage and trust. It can be scary showing the less perfect side of life to others for fear of being vulnerable.
Yet, when loved ones share about their problems, rather than feeling accepted, supported, and loved, your judgment may cause them to feel hurt and alienated. The disappointment amplifies when it is their trusted loved ones who put them down - at times belittling their experiences and emotions. They reached out to seek comfort, only to receive disapproval.
When feelings and actions are repeatedly disregarded and frowned upon, it is inevitable for one to build a mental wall to close up and protect oneself, believing that no one seems to understand.
It can be hard to put yourself in the shoes of others and see from their perspective the reason behind their actions. Let’s not pretend that we are better than others because everyone is different. Judgment towards them only reflects our lack of understanding, empathy and compassion.
Instead, what we can do is build relationships that provides a safe space for others to open up. Give the same mercy to others that you would want for yourself. Choose your words wisely before you shroud your words with judgment that come across as defeating and negative. We need to recognise that our judgments are not facts but simply our very narrow perspective of viewing the world.
KNOW SOMEONE WHO MAY BE FACING A CRISIS OR GOING THROUGH A TOUGH TIME? LEARN WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP SOMEONE IN CRISIS, OR FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR SERVICES HERE.