Have you ever shunned someone because of a hearsay offense? Did you ever find out if the said offense was actual? Have you experienced being avoided by people because you were wrongfully accused of something you did not do? How did you feel about it?
Not everything we see or hear is true. Like a coin, stories have two sides. Like a seemingly calm ocean surface, a person’s personality cannot be seen from their outward appearance. Therefore, we can never conclude fully knowing a person by what we see or hear about them. We can’t even base our judgment on a few encounters. Come to think that even the people we grew up with or share a long time with can still surprise or shock us with their personalities, skills, and other things they choose to hide. Thus, we should never easily judge a person. We have no right to do so anyway. The right question to ask ourselves is not how to judge a person the right way but how to avoid judging others instead.
Here are ways I find effective in stopping myself from judging people in my thoughts and my words.
- I do not believe what I hear about a person from another source, regardless of who the source is. If the situation affects me, I would always want to know the other person’s side before deciding which side I should take. If I have no business getting involved, I would just let what I hear out my other ear. I would not allow such information to dwell inside my head.
- I put myself in the person’s situation. Imagining myself to be in someone’s shoes helps me develop empathy. Being aware of how it must have felt to be that person usually stops me from passing judgment because I wouldn’t want to be in their situation.
- I try to understand why people act the way they do. Knowing the reasons for a person’s questionable actions usually leads me to understand them. Seeing that a trigger caused them to act a certain way, judgment is out the window.
- I accept the differences in people’s nature and nurture. Embracing that varying factors cause people’s differences helps me develop a less judgmental mind. I do not compare how a person should be or act based on how I act because we might have different experiences, status, traditions, and upbringing.
- I remind myself how I have no right to judge anyone as I also have flaws and shortcomings. Nothing is more effective than remembering the fact that I, being an imperfect person, should not have the right to judge anyone.
Freeing yourself from judgmental thoughts or stopping yourself from minding other people’s lives, choices, or businesses will give you a less burdened mind. Instead of thinking about issues or problems with others, you can spend the time making yourself better or being productive.
Do you tend to judge other people easily? How do you stop yourself from doing so?