How to Stop Judging Others
There’s a whole lot of judging going around these days. Our nation and our community are facing multiple, extreme situations which are highly emotionally charged.
Fear, anxiety, and fight-or-flight reactions are very common in regard to:
- Racism / Anti-Racism
- 2020 elections
We are experiencing a lot of divergent opinions and divisions among family, friends and communities. As people lock firmly into their opinions, two opposing sides are created and it sets up the dynamic of one side being right and the other side being wrong.
Herein lies the judgment we have for others.
Many people I am talking to realize that they are judging others and at the same time realize it is against their core values to judge. So, the judgments themselves are causing upset and suffering.
People are asking: How do I stop judging, especially my friends and family?
What would Buddha say?
Getting upset and judging those with differing opinions only causes suffering for you.
The Buddha teaches that we cause our own suffering (i.e. stress, anger, anxiety, upset) by not accepting what is. In other words, by resisting “what is” we create our own upset and suffering.
In the current, extreme situations we are facing as a country, the reality is that not everyone agrees with your perspective.
No matter how much you believe you are right, the other person with his or her different perspective also believes just as strongly that they are right. Neither side is going to convince the other.
This is “what is.”
The more you resist that the more upset you become. Hence, the phrase that “resistance is futile.”
Move Toward instead of Against
Instead of putting all of your energy into resisting what you oppose, how about moving your energy toward what you do want?
Move forward toward what you believe in instead of focusing on resisting what you are against.
I think you will find less struggle, stress and anxiety
Be Willing to See Commonalities
When very strong opinions are held (triggering strong emotions), we tend toward “all-or-nothing thinking.” We see two polarized sides and have trouble seeing any middle ground.
Rarely is anything all or nothing.
Be open to seeing that we are all human, that none of us is perfect, and that we all are trying to do our best in our own ways.
Also, check out this article for 5 communications strategies to try when dealing with people on “the opposing side.”
It’s All About You!
Focus more on yourself and living according to your values. Focus less on other people and being upset if they have different values.
Keep moving forward in the direction that works for you. Keep your attention on the positive that you want to see and be in the world.
Focus on yourself, the changes you want to see, what you believe in. There will always be those who believe otherwise. If you can accept that rather than resisting that, you will save yourself much stress and suffering.
It will become easier for you to do less judging of others because your attention is on yourself instead of on them.
Be the Change You Want to See
COVID-19. Choose the Coronavirus precautions that you want to take for yourself and your family. Then choose not to focus on those who have opposing views. Go out into the world in your own way, moving forward according to your own values and beliefs.
Systemic Racism. Spend your time and energy seeking to understand systemic racism and seeking to understand yourself. Click HERE FOR HELP on how to do that. Spend less energy focusing on those with opposing views.
2020 elections. Spend your precious energy focusing on the candidates or party that you believe in. Perhaps helping with voting, or campaigns or writing to legislators or putting a sign in your yard. Choose thoughts and actions that will help you focus your energy on moving toward what you want to see.