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To judge or not to judge

We are judged regardless of our appearance, personalities, our career paths, even down to how we choose to dress. It is only natural. We compare ourselves to others and those we hold in high esteem.

I think back through my journey and my different career choices and I can identify judgement in each environment. In Dubai, potentially one of my fondest memories, coaching children and adults to swim- the privilege to watch a child gain confidence and happiness through swimming- but judgement would appear as teachers compare themselves to one another and the green eyes monster appears, with teachers envying each other and talking negatively about a coaching style or practices.

Similarly, I took on a 12 week challenge to be a men’s physique competitor, training daily at 6am, 1pm, and 8pm- what a great life, eating 8 meals a day, surrounded by friends, and similar minded people, yet, again if you took a step back mostly you were surrounded by judgement, judgement of your lifting technique whilst training, judgement of physical appearance when competing- an industry that judges and works from appearance.   

Military life- judged on whether you will make the cut, whether your uniform is immaculate. I am so proud and honoured to have a military life- with that being said it doesn’t mean I don’t feel judged, or watch as others get judged around me.      

We live in a world where, we are encouraged to embrace our uniqueness and differences- after all it’d be very boring if we all thought, acted and lived similar lives- we have different personalities and people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds all living amongst one another.

Judging others isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as we can learn from others and be guided into improving on ourselves or gaining confidence- but we have tendencies to judge others in a negative light more so than negative- when I reality who are we to judge. There is more than one route to a destination, just because someone doesn’t follow our route doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Have you ever judged someone?

More than likely but why do we judge one another? Why do we judge our friends, work colleagues and even strangers that we know nothing about? It goes back to the dawn of civilisation when another human could be a potential threat to your life. However, it also indicates not all judgemental behaviour is bad. Humans work best when they are part of a tribe, we are social creatures who do well when we collaborate and feel safer within a tribe. The need for inclusion was crucial of our survival. This is the side I believe people should practice more. Wanting to be included and include others, work together to reach an individual’s goal instead of using the negative judgemental behaviour as an emotion of fear to keep people away.

Today’s healthy judgemental behaviour can collectively pull people together to call out negative actions that could be harmful towards others and minimise this from happening in our society. Do we do this enough? Absolutely not. Unfortunately, it is in our society to use the ugly side of judgmental behaviour. We do this to make ourselves feel better, to hide our own flaws but it’s a temporary emotion, it’s a drug that can become addictive to the point where you don’t even realise you’re doing it. We enjoy that feeling of superiority or the one in the right. It becomes a self-image boost, gives reassurance and provides all sorts of emotional and psychological effects.

Anger and resentment, two of the culprits at the heart of negative judgemental behaviour. Sometimes we are so consumed by anger, we fail to consider or just the simple fact that we might be wrong in having misjudged a situation. Or we have the simplest forms of resentment and dislike a person because we feel envious of their successes- each of us have different successes- and we should embrace another’s success.

How can you change this?

Can judging someone in a positive way help you become happier? Exercise your thoughts, challenge them to change and create that awareness to prevent yourself going into auto pilot and following society with a negative judgement on someone. This takes time, and practise- question your own initial thought, do not make a judgement based on someone else’s judgement, create your own opinion of someone, and it sounds simple but simply get to know someone!  Personally, I have developed such a strong response to judging others, that believe me or not I judge people all the time but in the positive way. I now find the positives about someone before the negatives and it’s lovely.

When one person may think “I’m not sure what they’re wearing, it’s too much- who are they trying to impress?” to simply changing my thoughts too “that’s an unusual outfit, it’s not for me, how confident they must be in themselves and I bet it feels comfortable to wear.”

  • Having this mentality can actually make you happier, having positive thoughts really reflects on your emotions and has a better psychological effect on you.
  • It creates an awareness of your thoughts and more importantly your emotions.
  • It also allows you to rise above judgements made on you. You understand why a person may judge you- it is not a reflection of you- but a reflection of their own self-esteem and lack of confidence.

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