Thinking about judgment today. Here’s the thing about putting anything that you do in front of people. It’s going to impact on them and press their buttons. Some are going to tell you you’re doing something wrong. Some are going to hate it, possibly even dislike you. Some will love it, others will be indifferent. So if you judge yourself or the merit of what you’re doing by other people’s reactions, you’ll be blown about like a tumbleweed in a wind storm.
It’s easy to believe people who tell you you’re doing something wrong. But this I know for myself: when somebody else does something that presses my buttons – annoys me, scares me, whatever – I can say they’re doing something wrong (to myself, or to their face) or I can deal with whatever’s firing off inside of me, which will allow me to respect that they’re doing what’s right for them. So my choice is to either embrace them in the place they’re at, or walk away if I can’t. But I leave them intact.
If I’m trapped in some way and I’m not dealing with it, then when somebody expresses their own trapped-ness in a way that I think isn’t going anywhere, my own buttons are going to fire off like crazy. Don’t do it like that, can’t you see what you’re doing wrong! I’ve often judged or imposed my opinions on others before I realized what I was doing, then had to go back and make amends. I’m sorry, that wasn’t about you at all, it was about me.
We’re so conditioned to judge others rather than face our own truth – it’s pretty much one of the foundations of our culture. We love looking at people and saying “you know what your problem is?” It’s a form of I’m okay you’re not okay. We see ourselves as better, more informed, more complete, more empowered, (whatever) than the other person. It makes us feel real good about ourselves. Doesn’t make the other person feel so good, though!
What’s the difference between concern and judgment? Well, concern comes from a place of self accountability – I’m worried about you, are you okay, is there something I can do? That leaves the person feeling loved, and equal. It’s hard to look inwards when somebody has provoked us, but at least then we move on from whatever’s bugging us. Then we can see that if we hadn’t been provoked by the other person’s seeming incompleteness we might not have seen our own. Also, we avoid saying things that could be pretty demoralizing.
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