What You Can Do to Be Less Judgmental

behavior judgment open-mindedness Apr 11, 2023

We all know that feeling. We meet someone new, and we have already judged them within minutes. Maybe they're wearing something we don't like or said something we disagreed with. Of course, it's human nature to judge others, but sometimes it's essential to stop and think about the consequences of our words. This blog post will discuss ways to be less judgmental and more understanding toward others.

We should control our judgmental thoughts.

Judging people and things seems to be a part of us. We can't help but think and say the first thing that comes into our minds whenever we see something, especially if it's another person. However, making judgments is not inherently wrong; our judgments can be positive or negative, which others may perceive differently depending on their mindset. Passing judgment on things and people is how we make some of our actions and decisions depending on how we see things. The problem is that our judgments may only be a quick analysis of something and don't paint the complete picture. We can make hasty decisions and actions if we only assume things.

It may be impossible to stop judging others entirely. However, we definitely can do something to lessen the instances of judging, and if we must do it, do it with a positive outlook and not use judgments to look at things negatively. In addition, there are some things we can do to help control ourselves from being too judgmental, and any of these can become a habit if we consciously practice them and mind our thoughts before we say or think about something.

1. Be mindful that you are judging something

Making judgments can seem automatic for many of us. It's almost like a reflex for us to comment or say something about what we see. There's no problem if we judge objects; it's a different story for people, though. People have feelings, and they can be hurt by what we say. Everyone is limited to what they can tolerate when somebody says something negative about them. To stop becoming judgmental, realizing that you are judging others is vital. It can be tough to notice this, especially if it becomes habitual for a person to judge. Mindfulness is the key to controlling judgmental thought. It means trying our best to realize we are about to judge others and stopping before we say what we think to the person we are judging. This can be easier said than done, but several things can help us to become mindful of what we do, including being overly critical and judging people.

2. Be more open-minded

People tend to pass judgment on others more quickly if they have a closed mind and lack knowledge about what they are judging. So to counter this behavior, learning to be more open-minded will help broaden our thoughts and think carefully before judging someone. In addition, open-mindedness helps us think what could be the circumstances that led to someone acting or saying something in a particular way. We can go beyond physical appearances and first impressions if we open our minds more.

3. Don't judge on appearances and first impressions alone

We tend to judge someone immediately based on the image they make the first time we see them, hear them say something, or do something that catches our attention. Humans can be pretty limited in our ability to grasp the complete picture of something or someone, and we may need to dig deeper if we want to understand something better. The first impressions people make on us are not enough for us to immediately pass judgment on them. Bad things could have led to someone acting unruly or committing an unpleasant act toward us. There could be a bigger story behind the picture of someone on social media or printed works. Unless you fully know the circumstances, or at least a portion of it, why someone is acting or saying something in a particular way, it's better to hold off our judgments and be more curious about others' situations.

4. Learn and immerse yourself more in different situations

Lack of familiarity and knowledge can cloud our minds, leaving us negative thoughts and judgments about others. Being educated about the different backgrounds of people and spending time with others with different mindsets and perspectives can help open our minds and make us aware of what goes on in others' lives. By seeing what happens with others, we can have a more positive outlook and compassion towards people by empathizing with them and seeing that they may not be so different from us. Stepping beyond our comfort zones and learning about another person's world can help make it easier for us to put ourselves in another person's shoes and understand where they are coming from.

5. We can't easily change someone's behavior and actions

We may like to judge people because we are trying to force our ideals and perspectives on others. When we see something different from others, be it their language, actions, and behaviors, these things may look off-putting to us, leading us to be critical of others. We may be unable to change how somebody acts and thinks ultimately because we can decide, work, and have the final say over something regardless of what others say. People can be adamant about their beliefs and may not easily change their perspective based on their upbringing. So if others don't easily change, we should learn to accept and move on that people behave and act in a certain way. The least we can do is have compassion and empathy for others.

6. Be kind to others

It is easy to pass judgment on people when you don't treat them kindly and see them as inferior or different from you. We tend to fear the unknown, which can sometimes extend to putting people away from us by judging them. A change of perspective can keep us from becoming a judgmental person. Instead of looking for differences, perhaps we can recognize similarities between us and others. Finding common ground makes it easier to form good relationships with people. When you are on good terms with people, you can be less inclined to judge them and instead focus on their positive points and praise them.

7. Avoid triggers for judgment

Certain situations and things can act as triggers for us to judge people. For example, looking at the images and videos posted by others on social media can trigger our own insecurities and make us judge others. Seeing somebody commit an immoral act or something against the law can make us immediately think that someone is a criminal and evil. Being in a meeting or any group setting where people take turns talking can make you have critical thoughts if you spend all your time only listening. It may be challenging to avoid triggers for judgments altogether, but we can always try to notice them and do something to stop our judgments. Perhaps we can limit social media usage and browse other websites instead of looking at people's profiles. Listening without making judgments is also possible, and we can try talking more during meetings to help keep our minds from wandering. Mindfulness can help us catch ourselves before we start judging others.

Being an overly judgmental person cannot be good.

Making judgments is something that we usually do, and it can't be helped that we do because that is how we can form our perspectives and beliefs about what's around us. We can make positive and negative judgments, and there's nothing wrong with that, as we can use these opinions to improve or change something or continue doing what we are praised about. The problem is when we focus too much on giving negative judgments, especially if it is out of place and formed only from our bias. It can create false truths about others, and we may get into trouble for saying something untrue or getting on the nerves of people we judge. It's not good for the mental health of those being judged, and most likely, you don't want to receive such things yourself. So unless your opinion and judgment about something are required, we may be better off staying silent and minding our business unless we want to help others improve or change by pinpointing something negative about others. There is a right time to judge people, and that's when we want to see others improve and not because we want to put someone down.

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