I’ll bet that however much you try not to, you slip into judgement.

Oh, I know that you don’t mean to.

But you do.

And then, when you realise what you’re doing, you start judging yourself.

So let’s make an agreement; if you truly want to be less judgmental of others and yourself, I’ll give you a couple of ways to make this happen. All you have to do is listen.

How to Stop Judging
You know that your first judgement of someone isn’t always true.

You might meet someone on a day where you woke up late, dropped your phone on your nose as you scrolled in bed and then trod in a pile of cat sick.

Let’s say you’re not feeling it.

And on this day, you’re looking through glasses fogged up with ill will and moodiness.

But then, you bump into this person a few days later when you’re back to feeling at your best, and you’re amazed at how differently they’re showing up.

So the first thing to do is to be aware of your mood, be aware of the thoughts you have. You know that happy people don’t tend to say mean things and are less likely to judge others.

Remember that your judgement of others says more about you and your mood than it does about the person you’re judging. If you’re feeling less than good, keep schtum.

Are you judging the way someone behaves?

Yes, we all have opinions about behaviour, but what is it about their behaviour that you don’t like? If you think someone isn’t behaving in the way you think they should, that’s a judgement.

And who made your way the right way?

You could say that a judgement is making a critical evaluation. But using what criteria? Your own or someone else’s?

You’ve probably picked up judgements from parents or peers without realising it. And, if you’ve taken the polar opposite of your parent’s ideas because you don’t like them, that’s a judgement too. You’re judging your parents.
Ask yourself why you’re judging someone.

Do you feel threatened by their choices or lifestyle? People want others to behave the way they do because it validates their choices, which might be why you’re judging others.

Are you insecure? Are you putting someone else down to elevate yourself? To make yourself feel better?

Think about why you feel like this. And bring your shovel with you because I need you to dig below the surface answers.

As Anaïs Nin said,  ‘‘We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.’

So look at why you’re judging them and yourself.

How to stop Judging Yourself
When did you start thinking like this?

It wasn’t when you were young. I’ve never seen a two-year-old twisting in the mirror to see if their bum looks big in their nappy.

And toddlers never judge themselves when they start to walk and fall over. They just get up and try again.

If I went into a school and asked a group of five-year-olds, who could paint me a picture, I’ll bet every hand would go up.

Mind you, they would all raise their hands if I asked who could speak French, even if they might not know what French is.
But if I go into a classroom and ask the same group of children who can paint me a picture when they’re 11 years old, how many hands would go up?

By this age, they’ve started to judge. Both themselves and others, and judgement is like rust; judgement rots everything it touches.

If you get worried about meeting new people or entering a room full of strangers, you might imagine they’ll judge you.

This means that you’re judging yourself. You don’t know what other people think; you only know what you think.
Your suffering self-judgement.

When I work with weight loss clients, I ask them what exercise they do, and many of them tell me how they love to swim. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise if you’re overweight as it’s so gentle on the joints.

But then they tell me they don’t go swimming because they’re overweight and think people will stare at them and laugh.

I ask what they think if they see an overweight person at the gym because, as far as I know, whilst you might get lycra-clad lovelies parading around, a gym is designed to help people to get fit, and they always answer that they think, ‘good for you’.

So, I ask, why don’t you think that about yourself?

These clients project their self-judgement onto other people and expect people to judge them in the same way.

And the only way to stop doing this is to notice that you’re doing it. How? One way is to listen to the critical voice in your head, but you’re so used to this criticism that it slides by, so notice the feeling you have when you’re judging yourself. If you want to curl up and die, that’s a clue. If you feel hot and sweaty, that’s a clue.

Your body responds to your thoughts, so use your body to show you what thoughts you have.

Judging yourself or others never makes you feel good. You might get a short dopamine spike of malicious pleasure or self-righteousness, but that doesn’t last long.

When you’re feeling critical, notice the feeling and consciously say the opposite of the first thought.

So if you look at someone and think their boobs are as natural as a McDonald’s burger, hold that thought. Now say or think something nice about the appendages.

Practice doing this every time you make a judgement.

It’ll probably be easier to do with your judgements of others than yourself, but the more you practice, the more you’ll be able to transfer this thinking to self-judgement.

When you worry that others are judging you, remember that you can only know what you’re thinking, not what they’re thinking.

And lastly, don’t forget that judgements are opinions, not truths. As Hippocrates said;
‘There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance.’