By: Monica Lee
When I was putting together a post about healthy habits for 2014, my mind went right into action. Stop negative self talk, turn off your electronic device and spend some time being quiet. I noticed one habit that I returned to repeatedly even though it made me uncomfortable. Stop judging other people. Ugh! No wants to hear that! It does not fit neatly into the category of self help and doesn’t seem like a fun, upbeat New Year’s resolution.
Bear with me for a second though, current popular culture is becoming increasingly critical. We have an entire industry of “judging” in American television. Whether it is judging voices (American Idol), skills (Top Chef), or clothing (The Fashion Police), we have gotten very comfortable with the notion of “being a critic.” A bit too comfortable.
If you were to do an honest self audit on judgment, and trust me it can make you a bit uneasy, you will probably realize that you have even judged the people that you are the closest to. It might range anywhere from how someone is parenting their child, to whom they married, to how they choose to spend their free time. Just because someone is not doing something the way you do it, does not make it worthy of judgment. Watch out for this kicker, “They’ll figure it out... eventually.” Sounds pretty high and mighty when it is typed out, doesn’t it?
My guess is that we all have taken part in judging people unfavorably in some form. What we fail to realize is what it costs us in the process. Every time we cast negative judgment onto someone else, it can potentially paralyze us. We unconsciously inhibit ourselves from trying new things and new experiences at the risk of being judged. The alarm bells ring in our head, “I am going to look ridiculous” or the seemingly simple, “What will people think?” This type of thinking stifles innovation, creativity and originality in all its forms.
To stop those self destroying thoughts in our own minds when need to stop saying (or even thinking) them about someone else. Dare to be different in 2014. The healthiest habit you can cultivate this year is to dare to stop judging other people so you can ultimately stop judging yourself.