Why do we judge each other? Why do we feel the need? Perhaps it gives us a sense of power; in judging others we are than too preoccupied to pay attention to our own lives. It places us in a position of superiority and the other in a position of inferiority, however short-lived the feeling may be. We all know how it feels to be on the receiving end of judgement and it doesn’t feel good. So why do we persist in judging others so often?
Passing judgement, even on the most trivial things, has become a common pastime for many. A large majority of conversations centre around judging others; from hairstyles, to clothes, to partners, to choices, to lifestyles and more. If we were to take out the aspect of passing judgement on others, similar to the act of gossiping, some people would have absolutely nothing to say. We have become unaware of how much time and energy we spend engaging in judgement. Many of us don’t even realise we’re doing it.
The strange thing about judging others is that it ends up affecting you more than them. Firstly, it is a waste of energy for you, not them. You lose precious time and energy when preoccupied with judging. Secondly, negativity is always present when you judge. You aren’t happy with how someone looks, or what they say or how they live, and you give your dissatisfaction a voice. The other party may remain completely unaware of your judgement and therefore, it may not directly affect them. However, if they are aware of your judgements, they will undoubtedly be hurt, as you know from your own experience of being judged by others in the past. Nothing constructive is born from judging others.
When you judge others it speaks volumes about your own personality. If you are willing to take a close look at yourself, you might discover traits you never knew existed. Your grievances with others when they are simply living their life, making decisions as best they can, as you are, will allow you to examine your own conscience. Why do you get annoyed when someone says a certain thing or acts a certain way? Why do they get under your skin? Why is it any of your business?
People commonly say: judge no-one until you’ve walked a day in their shoes. It’s a hackneyed phrase because it’s true. When we are on the outside of a situation it is much easier to cast judgement and deliver advice. When standing on safe land, it’s easy to advise the person stuck in the mud. You aren’t experiencing the same feelings as they are; there are no direct, immediate threats to you.
Judgement comes in many forms; we don’t like what we see, we don’t like what we hear, we agree or disagree, we praise or we demean, so we voice it. Verbalising our judgements whether to close friends or complete strangers may make you feel superior momentarily but then, most often than not, it passes and feelings of disappointment arise. You’ve let yourself down and as we all know, this is the worst type of disappointment because there is no-one you can blame but yourself.
If we begin to see ourselves in others and begin to realise we are all in this together, doing the best we can, the best we know how, then maybe we won’t be too quick to judge. Perhaps we can learn to accept and support each other, even if we don’t agree. Even though we are all connected in some way, we have individual paths to tread and different lessons to learn. Judging others does not help us get to our own destination sooner or become the person we’ve aspired to be.