Getting Better

Are You The Judge? (Part I)

Gavel & Stryker
Gavel & Stryker (Photo credit: KeithBurtis)

Have you ever seen a stranger across the room and, based on what you see, made a decision about that person?  Have you ever made a judgment about a person based on what he or she does for a living or has done in the past?  Of course you have. We all do it. I’ve done it to other people and people have done it to me.

Judging someone is about forming an opinion about that person without all the facts, before you get to know him or her.  I’m not going to talk about how wrong it is to judge another person because I think you already know that.  I’m going to point out how judging someone hurts you in three specific ways:

1.  You become self-centered. When you judge someone your focus is on you. Why? Because you measure the other person based on your point of view and ideals, and you impose your standards on the other person.   This judging is unfair because everyone is purposely a unique individual with different experiences and opinions.

2.  You devalue the other person. You miss the value the other person can add to your life.  Because you’ve judged the person, you close yourself off from knowing who the person really is and what he or she can impart to you.

3.  You become a cynical person.  A steady diet of judging people causes you to become cynical.  You will start distancing yourself from other people because you develop a deep distrust of them; you also become pessimistic. The funny thing is that other people pick up on your cynicism and avoid you.

I bet you weren’t aware of the harm judging other people causes you.  But since this blog is about successful personal growth and personal re-invention, in the next post in this series, I’ll share ways to avoid judging other people.

Question for Comment: In the past 6 months, have you judged someone before you got to know him or her?  Was your judgment changed after you got to know the person?

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