How To Stop Judging People

How To Stop Judging People

Written by Lars

Topics: Habits, Happiness, Mindset, Self Improvement

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Growing up, I used to judge others and myself for anything and everything. It was a negative, happiness-destroying mentality that left me with low self-esteem and poor opinions of almost everyone. The thing is, I didn’t even realize it was wrong because everyone around me did the same. Soon enough, it became my default way of thinking.

 

Throughout my life, I’ve attended small schools, and with that came the seemingly inevitable gossip. The thing about gossip is that it’s almost always negative, and it’s used to tear people down. Since everybody constantly spoke behind each others’ backs, it became an unconscious habit, so I couldn’t even come close to stopping it.

 

When replacing negative mindsets with positive ones on your journey of self-improvement, it’s essential to stop judging yourself and others. This is harder than it may seem, but the effort is well worth it.

 

For example, I used to see someone obese and think, “Why do they eat so poorly and not exercise enough, it’s so obvious what they should be doing; I can’t believe they make such bad lifestyle and dietary choices, etc” or someone ignorant and think “why can’t they realize (something)? It’s so obvious!”

 

More recently I’ve been realizing many things about people and why they are the way they are, and after much thought, conversations, books, articles, etc, I have come to the conclusion that any negative judgment is inaccurate and irrelevant. Obviously, I’m not even close to perfect, as I’m still struggling with this. All I can do is keep trying, and eventually I’ll get there.

 

I have realized that people are the way they are because of their influences. A ridiculously ignorant or hateful person is the way they are because of the way they were raised, who they were friends with, who and what they were exposed to in their lives, etc. They did not consciously choose to be the way they are, and you have to accept them wherever they’re at in life. Of course you don’t have to agree with their beliefs or behavior, but you must completely accept the fact that these people are the way they are, and that’s not changing right away.

 

Full acceptance is always the first step, but you can keep going from there. Next, if you know someone who you might want to label in some negative way, you can become a positive influence in their life and help them change for the better. This must be done with as little criticism as possible, because when people feel threatened, they become unresponsive and defensive. You must help them from a place of care and love, not frustration or anger. If you respond to an angry person with anger, guess what you will get right back: more anger! Negativity always breeds negativity, and positivity always breeds positivity.

 

If you catch yourself judging yourself or someone else, which you will, become aware of it and consciously replace it with a positive thought about them instead. It doesn’t even have to be real. If it’s a stranger, just find something good about them, and if you can’t, just assume something positive. In the long run, your default reaction will be positive.

 

Another thing to keep in mind as you stop judging others is that we all essentially want the same things, and we’re all acting out of our present level of consciousness. We are all striving to fill the same basic needs. We all want love, acceptance, happiness, significance, recognition, to be part of a group or community, close friends, etc. I could go on and on.

 

You can’t “fix” hateful people by hating them; it just feeds their hate even more, and brings more negativity into this world. You never need to accept others’ beliefs as true or even rational, but you should respect them since it is their personal right to believe whatever they want to believe. You should fully accept them the way they are, and then go to work on influencing them by teaching them about different ways to think and live. Remember, never impose your beliefs on others; just expose them to new possibilities and ideas. Whatever they believe is always their choice.

 

Another way to change others is by working on yourself. By changing yourself for the better, you are changing society and humanity for the better, which will end up influencing everyone. The more people who strive to better themselves, the better we all get, as more of our collective influences will become positive instead of negative.

 

We often don’t like people with a different set of beliefs than us, which can make us feel superior to them. It’s important to change our mindset towards these people in order to adopt a more accepting, open-minded way of thinking. Of course, this isn’t easy. Most likely you have lived your entire life seeing people in a certain way. Looking for the good in people and finding common ground is not the easiest thing to do, but as long as you are trying, that’s all that matters. You’ll get there eventually, the point is you’re trying, and that’s all you can do.

 

To wrap up, remember: people are the way they are because of their influences; you must first accept them as they are. We all want the same things, and we act out of our present level of awareness to try to get those things. We can teach and influence others for the better both actively and passively. Actively, you can motivate and teach people endless things, and passively you can work on yourself, which in turn affects society (which influences everyone in it, creating a positive feedback loop).

 

As Ram Dass says in Be Here Now, “I can do nothing for you but work on myself, you can do nothing for me but work on yourself!”

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  • spiralmind

    Well said, Lars. I know I’ve made great leaps and bounds myself. When it comes down to it, it’s all about breaking that conditioning and reprogramming yourself. Empowering yourself in the process. Most of the people you see are all wired wrong and they don’t even realize it. I tend to call these people “containers”, others might call them zombies. The main fundamental principal is that they do not think outside of themselves (and their immediate wiring) and thus are just walking robots repeating the same errors and judgmental behaviors as those that surround them. This makes men but a shadow of their true potential; Empty, thoughtless and cold.

    • http://www.holisticimprovement.com/ Lars King

      Agreed 100%. That’s why we need to try our hardest to spread the teachings of personal development and “awaken” the masses.

      • Ame3thyst3

        It’s tough to awaken another. I have aspired to a state of higher consciousness and think I am doing a pretty good job in my quest of becoming a better person and then I find myself right in the middle of another Life Lesson that challenges my ability to Take The High Road. To really THINK about the choices I make.

        And look what YOU did! Instead of reading about the wars and the weather and such negative things I am having a wonderful time on your website thinking about a greater energy. A positive energy. Even though the world is in a terrible state I have a DIFFERENT ENERGY. Could this be..it has to be..due to your high-frequency energy that is emanating LOVE? Yes indeed. Truth is simple. You speak the truth. Keep it up Lars. Great job!

        • http://www.holisticimprovement.com/ Lars King

          It definitely is tough. I believe in the long run everyone will be awakened, but it’ll take a long time. Yep, the journey never ends!

          I’m really glad you like it so much, read all my articles and send them to everyone you know! Thanks for the positive feedback :)

          • Ame3thyst3

            Dear Lars, I wanted you to know how much your “not being emotionally attached to the outcome” has made a huge impact on me. A positive impact indeed. I was driving today and normally I’m trying to make the lights and calling other drivers some not so nice names under my breath. But today it was much different. I just thought “I am not emotionally attached whether I make this light or not” and how that reduced my stress and anxiety! WOW!!! Told my mom and she agreed that was an amazing way to “look at things.” So a huge thank you to you Lars. I now have a coping skill that actually helps. Wish I would have known about this decades ago as my anxiety levels reached deadly highs. Stress has been hard on me through the years as I just didn’t know how to handle it. I have even been to numerous counselors/psychologists/psychiatrists and not ONE coping skill from any of them. Talk about feeling misunderstood! Truly I don’t believe they even know about this “cognitive” (?) way of thinking. Well now I DO have a coping skill thanks to you. Hang a shingle outside your door as you are wise beyond your years. Heartfelt thanks to you Lars. Many blessings.

            Will be reading your other articles but I am still “digesting” this one. You are an angel. Have a wonderful day.

          • http://www.holisticimprovement.com/ Lars King

            Driving is the perfect test for freedom from outcome! Also meditation (http://www.holisticimprovement.com/ultimate-guide-to-meditation/) helps you become more aware of your emotions so you’ll be more aware when little things like hitting a red light frustrate you where before you weren’t even able to realize that you had a negative emotions because it was so automatic. Seriously, daily meditation has been one of the things that has helped me in every single area in my life the most. A huge you’re welcome, I’m so glad my articles are helping you shift your mindset and life to a better place. Read all of them! Much love
            -Lars

  • Ame3thyst3

    Great article about not judging others. I have found that realizing that each and every one of us are walking OUR path in OUR time. Saying “Each in their own time” has helped me regarding judging others and their ways. I am where I am NOW and they are where they are NOW. They have their lessons to learn and I have my lessons to learn. It just simplifies getting to the TRUTH without a negative or pre-conceived notion. I have plenty of lessons to learn and they are MY lessons.

    AND for a long time this is the FIRST PLACE I have read that leaves me with a positive feeling and further cements my goal of higher consciousness and LOVE. YOU DID THAT.

    Congrats on your gift of “teaching without preaching.” Great job Lars. You have quite the gift. Can you email me when you post another article? Well, enough said. Bravo

    • http://www.holisticimprovement.com/ Lars King

      That’s so true. I like the way you think about it.

      Thank you so much for saying that, it really means a lot.

      Sign up for my newsletter to read my new articles when they come out here: http://goo.gl/KUNMaJ

      • Ame3thyst3

        I have already happily signed up. Bless you Lars.

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