Judging People Reveals More About You Than Them
Judging others will always reveal more about you than those you judge.
We all know that judging people is wrong, rude, and unnecessary. Despite knowing this, we all do it anyway. However, what few of us realize is that when we judge others, it is not really about them: it is about us. The judgments we make often reveal things about the people that we are and the values we have. The next time you find yourself judging someone’s words or actions, try to follow these 5 steps to find out where your judgments actually stem from.
There are 5 steps you need to follow to understand the source of your judgment.
Step 1: Identify what judgment you are making.
When you find yourself thinking poorly of someone, ask yourself exactly what judgment you are making. This means identifying what label you have given them: For example, “They are rude.” Usually, when we assign somebody a label, it is because we believe that we are superior. In this case, you would believe that you are polite or respectful.
Step 2: Ask yourself how you think they should behave instead.
Of course, when we judge someone’s words and actions, it is because we believe that they are doing something wrong. It follows then that we think we know the right way to do or say something. Ask yourself: “What should they have done instead?” Taking the aforementioned example, you will respond to this question by saying they should have done something you perceive as polite: “They should have smiled more/been more talkative/etc.”
Step 3: Ask yourself why they should behave this way.
This step is often the most challenging as you have to ask yourself why it is important for someone to behave the way you think is right. In other words, you need to justify why their behavior is wrong and why yours is right. Many will struggle to answer this question as they think, “It just is!” This reveals that, more often than not, your beliefs stem from something deeper: your beliefs and values.
Step 4: Identify where your belief comes from.
During this step, you need to understand why you believe that smiling/being talkative/etc. is polite and why their behavior is rude. Generally, people find that their beliefs stem from their upbringing and their culture. In other words, what you perceive as rude might not be so to others. Taking the previous example further, maybe you were taught that being quiet is a sign of disinterest and therefore, disrespect and rudeness. In reality, however, somebody might just be shy, uncomfortable, or attentive rather than talkative.
Step 5: Choose to keep or replace your belief.
When you understand where your judgment stems from and you have tried to see the situation from another perspective, decide whether you should keep or replace your beliefs. Understand that just because somebody is handling a situation differently, it does not mean that they are wrong. It just means that maybe, there is another way to handle it!
Instead of judging people for being different, be curious and be kind. Accept that we are all different.