Improve your wellbeing by releasing toxic thoughts

 

Look at what she's wearing! He always fails! How many times have you thought or said something like this about somebody else? Probably quite a few times because it's human nature to be judgemental. But it's not a good or healthy part of our nature! It's easy to pass judgement without knowing the full story. It makes you feel superior. Judgements or prejudices divide people and block understanding. This is deeply unspiritual. Having judgmental thoughts and being overly critical is toxic to others and to yourself. You damage the other person with your unfounded prejudice. But you also damage yourself by holding on to negative emotions that are part of being judgemental - such as anger, negativity and insecurity. So here's how to judgement detox.

 

1) Look within yourself

Being judgemental is usually a sign of insecurity. You are judging others because, deep down, you think you are not good enough. By criticising others, you are trying to deflect attention away from your own shortcomings. You will continue to be unhappy if you continue to negatively judge others to cover your insecurities. So it's time for some introspection. Set aside time to think about the root cause of your insecurities and your need to be judgemental. Face your emotional fears and you can release them.

 

2) Don't make assumptions

Being judgemental is usually about making unfounded assumptions about other people. You see the way a person appears, or an action they take and make a judgement without understanding the reasons for that person's behaviour. Before you can judge someone you need to understand their perspective, viewpoint and experiences. What led them to make this decision? Have empathy. Under the same pressures you might have made a similar decision. Would you like others to judge you without knowing your reasons for a choice?

 

3) Build bridges

Instead of talking behind someone's back about a mistake they have made - open up the lines of communication with them. So you can find out more about why they made this choice and understand their actions. Perhaps you can help this person? Communication wipes out misunderstandings and creates a more pleasant existence for everyone.

 

4) Become aware

Sometimes you might not realise when you are being judgemental. But you need to become aware of it so you can change your behaviour. So take five minutes every evening to think back on the events of the day. Did you say or think anything negative about anyone else? Ask yourself why. How would you feel if somebody said the same to you? Would you feel judged? By asking yourself these simple questions it should become easy to identify judgemental behaviour.

 

5) Alternative views are valid

You are not always right! Only a foolish person believes his/her views are the only valid views in the world. A wise person constantly questions and reassesses the situation, altering opinions as new facts and new realities are uncovered. New and different ideas are what drives humanity onwards to invent and create. Once you understand that others can hold equally valid viewpoints you will lose the desire to have prejudice.

 

6) Listen

To move past judgemental behaviour, you just need to listen. Ask the other person what they are feeling and thinking. Then don't interrupt. Let them speak. You listen. You might learn something. You might be able to help or advise. By listening to the experiences of others you will replace pre-judgement, insecurity and anger with understanding, empathy and knowledge.

 

7) Accept others as they are

Everyone is different. Different opinions. Different ideas. Different beliefs. Once you move into understanding that other people's views and behaviour is are as valid as your own, you can move towards acceptance. So don't try to change people into carbon copies of yourself. Accept people for who they are. Yes, you can help people to better themselves - but only if they ask you. Accepting others is not the same as allowing yourself to be mistreated, though. If somebody repeatedly behaves badly then you limit contact, or cut off contact completely.

 

8) Put yourself in their shoes

If you are angered by somebody's behaviour and are judging them harshly for it - try to see it from their perspective. Perhaps you greeted a neighbour this morning but he/she rushed by you with a scowl and not returning the greeting. You might be judging them for being rude. But what if you were in a rush - perhaps to pick up a child, and in a panic about being late you were not paying attention to anyone else? Would you expect to be judged harshly? Or would you hope people would understand? It's easy to justify your own behaviour but even easier to judge others for the same behaviour.

 

9) Assume the best

If you approach everybody with a positive mindset, prejudice will fall away. Of course, you should not put yourself at risk by assuming the best. Sensible safety precautions always apply. But if you assume the best about people, rather than the worst, there's no need to be judgemental. Even better, when people experience your positive attitude towards them, you are more likely to get what you give - a positive result.