The Journey into Non-Judgementalism and Why We Shouldn’t Judge Choices Without Knowing Reasons 92

The Journey into Non-Judgementalism and Why We Shouldn't Judge Choices Without Knowing Reasons

This is a guest post by Malia Keirsey, an independent author and guest contributor for writing service from Chicago. She is passionate about blogging and writing on different topics, such as inspiration, motivation, marketing, education, etc. Follow her on Facebook.

Have you ever watched an obese person in a restaurant eating food that would be a “no-no” on a diet and be saying to yourself something like, “That person has no self-control!” Or how about watching someone on a highway, speeding and changing lanes and saying, “That guy’s an idiot!” We all do it, and that constitutes being judgmental.

I pretty much know how I became so judgmental.

I became that way, as most all of us do, by growing up in a specific environment/lifestyle and coming to believe that our environment/lifestyle was right and good.

By contrast, all other environments were not as right and good. Becoming judgmental was easy – it’s easy for all of us. We don’t understand those who are different from us, who don’t meet our “standards,” and so we automatically judge their lifestyles, their behaviors, their values, etc., as somehow wrong or inferior.

The interesting thing with all of this is that while we are judging others, we are also being judged by them.

I can remember older relatives judging my clothing styles and my makeup; I can remember some of them judging my selection of sociology as a major – they wanted me to choose a career where I would earn more. And while I condemned their judgmental traits, of course, I didn’t judge myself for doing the same.

The Thing about Judgement

My “awakening” came on a Sunday morning my sophomore year in college.

I was flipping through channels on the TV to find something to “sort of” watch while I cleaned my room from two weeks’ worth of clutter, trash, and dirty clothes (interesting how I didn’t judge myself to be a slob). I landed on PBS (Public Broadcasting Station), and they were having one of their fund-raisers. If you have never experienced this event, I urge you to tune in sometime.

They bring in great talent to entertain and ask viewers to call in and make a pledge to help fund their next year. Sometimes those pledges can be in the form of purchasing CDs of something that has just been heard (a music group or a speaker), with an amount of that purchase going to the network. I am a big fan of public broadcasting and think everyone should be. But I digress.

This particular morning, there was a man speaking – his name was Wayne Dyer. So I left him on while I began the pretty enormous task ahead of me. The title of his “lecture” was “The Seven Faces of Intention,” after a book of a similar name. He was quite engaging and passionate. What stopped me in my tracks, like the proverbial deer in the headlights, was a single statement:

“When we judge someone else, our judgment does not define that person. It defines us as someone who needs to judge.”

I sat down on the edge of my bed and began to listen more carefully. He gave some examples of things that we do and say that are judgmental, and I saw myself pretty quickly.

By the end of Dyer’s lecture, I was on the phone buying the CD and ordering his book. And this was the beginning of my journey into non-judgementalism (This is not a real word, but it works).

That beginning was identifying myself as being someone who needs to judge.

The Journey into Non-Judgementalism

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It’s not an easy journey because old habits “die hard” as they say. Still, it is one that everyone should take, because, in the end, you will be happier and much more at peace.

In fact, a study, published in Mindfulness magazine in September 2010, showed that people who are less judgmental have less anxiety and depression than those who do judge others.

So do this for yourself. Here are some tactics that I have found helpful.

1. Be Aware of Your Judging Behaviors.

Have you ever listened to a politician speak and said to yourself, “He’s an idiot!” What you are really saying is that you don’t agree with his views. Maybe you have watched a parent-child interaction in a store and said, “What a terrible parent!” Admit it – we all do this.

But this is the beginning of the journey – recognizing that your disagreements with others bring out some need to condemn them.

Catch yourself when you mouth or say these things and re-frame the words.

Start saying, “I don’t agree (with those words or behaviors), but then I am not that person.” Or “I would not choose that (approach or belief, etc.), but I am not that person.”

2. Build Your Own Self Up.

Often we judge others to make ourselves look or feel better.

People who have good self-images and who are comfortable in their own skin tend to judge less.

Instead of focusing on others, focus on yourself and becoming the best that you can be. As you do this, you will become less judgmental of others, because your focus is on you, not them.

For example, the behavior of many students in colleges and schools. It’s all about self-doubt when they can’t reach own goals. They could ask for help in studying anyone, but they’re going smash instead.

3. Develop Empathy.

Empathy is simply the act of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and seeing the “world” from their perspective.

The more empathy we have, the less judgmental we are. We may not know anything about the past and the baggage that others carry. Their experiences and motivations may be very different from ours.

Adopting the attitude that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have to work with is so liberating. We can observe without judging, and that’s a good place to be.

4. Curb the Gossip.

Whether it’s in school or in the workplace, gossiping is negative and destructive.

And there may not be any way to avoid being around others who do gossip. It’s easy to get caught up in judging the person who had an affair or the way someone dresses or something as simple as a hairstyle.

Everyone else is laughing and judging, so why not you too? Just stop it. Don’t participate or leave the situation.

This behavior has no positive outcome and doesn’t “grow” you as a person. Remember, your focus is on being a better you, not on anyone else.

5. Be Mindful of the Words You Use.

“Should” is a judgmental term. One of the 12 steps of alcoholism recovery in the AA program is to stop judging others. And this step focuses heavily on not using the word “should” when reaching out to others in a helping role.

When you use the term “should,” you are imposing your values on someone else. Rather, if in a helping role, use the word “could.” Present options. Say something like, “Here is what I do in this kind of situation. It might work for you too.”

In the end, we can only be responsible for ourselves and our choices. And we can only control what we choose to do. We have to let the rest go.

If you don’t agree with that politician on climate change denial, then just know that you disagree and take positive action to ensure that you are not damaging the environment.

You cannot control or change the values, thoughts, and actions of others by judging them. You can only control yourself.

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Becoming Your Own Boss: Tips on Getting a Business Off The Ground 8

How Writing a Blog Can Help You Live the Life You Dream About

Becoming your own boss is a complicated process, and not everyone does it the same way.

I got lucky. I was still working when I got my business off the ground, so I had a source of income while I was working the kinks out of my business. I did most of my work for the new business when I got home or on the weekends. I asked for a change in job responsibilities at the office so that I didn’t have as much on my plate.

This all gave me a chance to start earning money without going into debt. When it was feasible, I stopped working my regular job and transitioned into working for myself full time. It took about a year and a half.

Establish clear boundaries.


Sometimes people don’t take you seriously when you tell them that you work for yourself. They think you are always available to chat or have lunch.

I had a number of friends that would call me at all hours, assuming I was available because they wanted to talk. Granted, it was nice to have that freedom at first. But, I soon realized that if I was going to be successful, I couldn’t let those kinds of distractions interrupt my workday.

Save before you start working for yourself full time.

I was in pretty good shape when I made the transition, but looking back, a few more months with a paycheck would have been wonderful.

When you start your own business, money can be very tight. You never know what you are going to make month to month.

I had one customer that initially made up most of my revenue. That customer only paid on a quarterly basis, which meant that times were tough in between payments.

I had to spend money to build the business, which meant there wasn’t a lot left over. If I didn’t get a payment right on time, it was very difficult to deal with.

There were times when I had to ask for a loan from family members simply to pay my bills.

Reach out and build a support network.

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It can be really difficult to adjust at first. You have great days and you have terrible days. You meet goals some months, while other months you are left wondering where you went wrong.

If you make a mistake, you alone are responsible for it and your business and reputation can suffer. It is easy to feel depressed at times. You may even start to feel like you can’t handle running a business and that you made a big mistake when you left your office job.

Remember that you are not alone. All entrepreneurs have these moments, which is why it is so important to connect with others in the field.

Take time for yourself.

I had a honeymoon period of about half a year. It was really exciting to see the business get bigger. Each milestone that I met was a reason to celebrate.

However, heading into the second year, it was more difficult. I was tired. Things weren’t as exciting because they weren’t new anymore. And then, year three came along. I was done with working such long hours.

I was done with having no time off. Burnout is certainly an issue in this business, so you have to figure out how to balance your personal and your professional needs.

It took me a long time to get where I am today. I had to do a lot of research. I had to educate myself on business. I had to find an SEO expert. I had to figure out who my main competitors were and keep an eye on them. I also had to stay current with what was happening in the field so that I didn’t fall behind.

No matter how hard I worked, it seemed like I could never get caught up. Running a business is a big responsibility.

If you are interested in starting your own business, you want to set yourself up for success. Try to cut back on your living expenses. Make sure you have substantial savings. Set up an area in your home where you can work, free from distractions.

If you are married, get your spouse on board. He or she can help pay bills while you are getting your business off the ground.

Your business is only as good as you are.

Make sure you have a support system of other business professionals. These people can help you acknowledge your weaknesses, encourage you to keep moving forward and advise you on common mistakes.

You can try and go it alone, but it will be very difficult for you. As with anything else in life, your support network has a lot to do with your success. You are probably strongly invested in your business; after all, it is something that you created. Make sure you have people that you trust to help you along the way.


Grace Lee has been practicing in the field of digital marketing for several years now. She has already brought numerous sites in search engines’ first pages in search results. In her spare time, she loves listening to podcasts about Google algorithm updates and other matters related to SEO.