How to Become Less Judgmental: Studio 5
We’ve all known someone who is judgmental. It’s an unfortunate character trait and is often easy to spot in other people, but can be a bit more difficult to see in ourselves. But the truth is that we all could stand to be more kind and accepting of others. Here are 4 strategies to become less judgmental:
1) Cultivate Empathy
One of the first steps is to practice developing empathy and consideration for others. This often starts with ourselves. If you find yourself judging another person or harboring bad feelings, get curious, try to understand him/her, and ask questions. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and you’ll likely start to let go of some of your judgmental feelings.
2) Practice Self-Reflection
Whenever we judge someone, it’s always about us, not the other person. So when you catch yourself judging, self-reflect on why some behavior of that person is bothering you. For example, if you say or think that another woman is self-centered and spends way too much money on her appearance, hold up the mirror and see what issues of yours are being reflected. Perhaps you are jealous of her or are insecure about your own appearance and how much you invest in looking your best. Maybe that woman reminds you of someone who once was unkind to you. Judgments are very often brought about by something bringing up past wounds. Self-examine to find your reasons.
3) Seek Common Ground
Part of human nature is to notice the differences between ourselves and others. This can leading to ranking and comparison and is fertile ground for judgment to take place. Try to break the habit of seeing only differences and instead look for similarities between yourself and the other person. If you have trouble finding anything in common, remember that all human beings have experienced suffering. You may ask yourself, “What is his/her current challenge?” Seeking common ground can help you let go of judgment.
4) Stay in Your Business
Sometimes we unnecessarily insert ourselves into others’ business. Though there may be a natural concern for someone else’s well-being and we might want something positive for him/her, being overly concerned with another person’s life and choices can come across as judgmental. Instead, seek to stay on your side of the fence. And while staying in our own business can help us become less judgmental toward others, it can also help reduce some pain and anxiety for ourselves. Remind yourself that there are certain things that you do not need to worry about.
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her books The Burnout Cure and The Assertiveness Guide are now available.