Why Judge?

overanalyzing

               Judging is a great destroyer of relationships, and it can destroy your self-confidence as well.    Yet we all do judge others.  When someone looks or behaves differently than we expected, we judge that person negatively.  We expect others to be like ourselves, do what we want them to do, or have the same standards that we have.  When they don’t, we push them away with a disapproving look or a criticism. 

               What’s more, we judge ourselves as harshly as we judge others.  We assess whether we are living up to our standards.  When we determine that we are falling short, we beat ourselves up.  Not so good for feeling self-confident.

               So why continue to judge?  Because we think we can control other people (or even ourselves) through our judgments.  We become impatient when a person is walking in front of us too slowly. We say, “Why don’t you ever listen”, when we want someone to listen to us.  We conclude that a person’s way of parenting is not the way we think it should be done.  We become angry when someone expresses an opinion we don’t agree with.  All of these judgments just make us or the other person feel bad. 

               To not judge just switch your focus.  Instead of seeing someone with your eyes, see them through their eyes.  They see the world differently than you do and that is ok.  These differences really do not have anything to do with you.  A person is not walking slowly, not listening, parenting a certain way, or expressing an opinion to purposely annoy you.  It’s just the way they see things.  So you can let them be and not react with a judgment (even one not expressed).

               Letting go of judging oneself is especially difficult but can be done if you take note of a behavior that you would have liked to take back but then not wallow in regret.  Everyone who is human makes mistakes and learns from them.  But not everyone beats themselves up because of the mistake.  Again, switch your focus to see the goodness that is still in you even when you have made a mistake. 

               Loving oneself and loving another is to let go of judgments.  A love that empathizes and accepts takes the place of judgments.

Listen to Your Heart

plush-toy-listen-to-my-heart

Valentine’s Day reminds us of hearts but when was the last time you listened to your heart? Is your heart racing?  It could be because you are in the presence of a new loved one.  The adrenaline hormone and the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine, increase when two people fall in love, causing their hearts to race for just a moment. 1

Losing a loved one through death or divorce also takes its toll on the heart. This stressful event can cause a temporary weakening of the heart muscle, especially in older adults.  The chest pain that is felt is referred to as “broken heart” syndrome.  Ironically, even a stressful happy event, such as a wedding or the birth of a grandchild can cause “broken heart” syndrome.

If you want to be happy and have good health, it might be more important to make your partner happy than trying to make yourself happy.3   Giving love from the heart in terms of social support makes your partner happy, which can help you have better health.

And, yes, go ahead and share that dark chocolate candy and a glass of red wine with your loved one this Valentine’s Day.  Dark chocolate has been shown to be associated with lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels and improvement in the way your blood vessels dilate and relax.4   Flavonoids are present in red wine, and one glass a day is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.

Remember, though, you should always check out heart symptoms with a physician and do not engage in chocolate or wine immoderately.

  1. Loyola University Health System. (2014, February 6). What falling in love does to your heart and brain.  6 February 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2017 from, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206155244.htm.
  1. Ghadr, J. R., et al. (2016). Happy heart syndrome: Role of positive emotional stress in takotsubo syndrome. European Heart Journal, 37 (37): 2823-2829. DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv757