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Thread: How to be less judgemental.

  1. #1
    Gold Member El0t's Avatar
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    How to be less judgemental.

    My entire life I've been concerned with efficiency and productivity-- no doubt as a direct result from how I was raised.

    This has led me to do extremely well in my career, with friends, and when I reflect on who I am as a person, but has always presented something of a problem when it comes to any romantic relationships.

    Even when in a trusting relationship with someone I respect, I constantly judge their actions and behaviors. I'm very precise about the people I keep as friends; I judge my partner's friends and their actual value to my partner. I don't believe that social media is productive or necessary; I judge my partner's use of social media. I value my job and commitment to it; I judge my partner when they take off from work to pursue something personal and "unnecessary". etc. etc.

    I've done my best to manage it, and over time I'm proud of the progress I've made in terms of distancing myself from these neurotic thoughts or acting upon them. However, I know I'm far from perfect (or sane) and my base instinct to judge/ reactive irritation or anger to situations (however well I may be able to conceal or manage it) is still present and problematic.

    If anyone has any input on how to continue to amend or manage these sorts of thoughts/reactions, I would gladly appreciate it; as I am feeling at a loss these days for how to proceed.

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    Maybe do some charity work to help you realize how lucky you are to be successful, have lots of friends, etc? Sounds like you just need a wake up call.
    Learn to be grateful, it will help minimize being critical.

    I knew of a guy who had everything going for him. A super good looking, cocky as hell, successful firefighter, who had a line up of women wanting to date him. He made everyone know he was very picky. He had a dont-come-near-me-unless-you-are-a-model attitude. Until....He fell from a rocky ledge at a party and basically crippled himself. He eventually healed, but cannot work due to the residual effects of his coma. No one wants to date him now. Do you think he has become a little less critical in the dating arena? Of course.

    Im not saying you are in any way the same as this guy, but being grateful for what you have in the moment will help quell this quality of being critical. Sounds like you just need to step down from the preverbal "high horse." What is good for you is not necessarily good for everyone else.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member quirky's Avatar
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    What do you think makes you judgemental?

    Usually people that struggle to fully accept others is because they struggle to fully accept themselves, they're most judgemental/strict towards themselves and their disapproval of others is a projection of their inner state. That's usually the case. Also a black and white way of thinking, a rigid approach to life. Which is largely about control. What is your background like? Did you feel accepted for who you were growing up?

  4. #4
    Gold Member El0t's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by quirky
    What do you think makes you judgemental?
    Don't know how to phrase this more concisely than to say that growing up my mother was the stereotypical Asian tiger mom. "100%? Wasn't there extra credit?" about sums it up. I don't think that it's necessarily a completely fair way to raise a child, but I do see the merit in what she tried to teach me and how it has significantly impacted my success in many areas of my life since then.

    As things stand, I accept myself as a whole and take a lot of pride in where I am overall at this point in my life. I think the judgment of others comes from perceiving that they don't reflect as much as I do or put enough effort into deliberately living their lives. True, that if I was similar to "them" in this capacity I doubt I would be accepting of myself.

    Again, from an outside perspective, I know it's not for me to say what is the "right" or "best" way to live, but when it comes to my personal relationships I can't help but feel a certain way.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    I'm still kinda judgmental, but it's more to humor myself than it is to see someone else as doing something wrong or being lower in any way.

    I don't know if there was any process to it, but eventually I just started thinking about everything I had in my life and how I was genuinely content and didn't really need to give a **** about what other people do or don't do.

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    I guess just by realizing no one person is any better than any other person and no one way is better than another person's way. Being judgmental is just deep insecurity.

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    Platinum Member lilypadgirl's Avatar
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    Short of having a traumatic experience like the firefighter in sadchick's post, I think two things may help.

    First, time and maturity. I was a lot like you in college (with a similar upbringing). I couldn't understand why people do things in inefficient ways or value unproductive things. I still am to some extent - I don't think that will ever change. But I'd like to think that I am much more empathetic now. Just more life experiences, more struggles and failures, more interactions with different types of people has helped me gain more perspective. Also, as I get older, the things I wanted to accomplish when I was younger got accomplished (and, in some cases, not - I had my own traumatic experiences that contributed to my growth) and I realized there are other goals in life than efficiency, productivity, and ambition. Actually I now regret not having more fun and being more laidback when I was younger.

    Second, and this is related to the first point, I think you should try more things outside of your comfort zone and normal activities. Things that you don't think are a valuable use of time, those are the exact things you need to try to do. At least once. View it as a learning experience that will be valuable for your personal growth if you truly don't value the activity itself. Maybe you'll find a new hobby/passion or confirm for yourself that it's not worthwhile. Maybe something that interested you when you were younger before it was dismissed it as frivolous? Only personal experience can give you the perspective and eventually the empathy to relate to others on those dimensions.

    Good luck.

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    Platinum Member Hermes's Avatar
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    You hit the nail on the head, Victoria.

    Being uptight all the time is the short road to high BP and heart trouble too.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Thank you for a really smart and rich topic.

    One thing I noticed about my own perfectionism is that it was driven by the critical voice I ran in my own head. It was as though I took over where my Mom left off by inventing some harsh judge and jury that I'd carry around in my own unconscious.

    At some point in my late 30s I was assigned an exercise by a mentor where I'd divide myself into my adult 'me' with all my life experience and hindsight and a child 'me' who was closer to my formative experiences and suffered insecurity and carried pain into my adult life.

    The goal was to use my adult self to soothe the child self. I had to play both parts--raising the perceptions and fears and humiliations of the child to the adult self for counsel and nurturing and comfort.

    It's through this lens of kindness toward the insecure child that I managed to see how I developed much of my own flawed thinking, and how this became a habitual way of coping that no longer served me--and why.

    It was also through this lens that I learned how to become gentle with myself and change my critical voice to one of a supportive and inspiring coach.

    But the biggest gain from this was secondary and unplanned--I became kinder toward others and more accepting of their differences in perception and lifestyles and mistakes and vulnerabilities.

    It's as though my judgement of others may have been as protective as it was of myself--a desire to 'correct' all flaws and imperfections that I perceived as setting one up to suffer the wrath of the imaginary judge and jury. Once I popped that illusion by becoming less critical of my Self, I was able to extend the same generosity to others as well.

    Our mothers can't be everywhere, and with any luck, yours has softened somewhat with age as mine has. That's a helpful element in all this. But even when my Mom was my harshest critic, she was never as harsh as I had become with myself. I created that monster, and so I was able to dissolve it regardless of whether Mom would have ever agreed with all my attitudes and actions going forward.

    I remember sitting bolt upright in bed one night during a sound sleep. I said out loud, "Hey, wait a minute. Mom does not know EVERY THING--she's just as flawed and as human as I am."

    So began my slow but steady climb toward equality with Mom as an adult, and as her parental power has receded over the years, my view of my role as her eventual caretaker has prompted me to forgive her shortcomings--and my own. This is the foundation for forgiving everyone else for being flawed and frightened human animals, too. We're all just doing the best we can at any given time, and nobody really has one up on anybody else. We all leave this life the same way, and I'd rather leave it having been tenderized enough by life's hardships to love freely than to become rigid and brittle and too inflexible to enjoy fully the dash between the two dates on my tombstone.

    Head high, and you're doing great.

  11. #10
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    I find it hard not to judge as well. I'm getting better at it tho. One of my best mates is one of the least judgmental person I know, I don't know how he does it sometimes lol.

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