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.