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What About That "ME" in Judgment?

Judgment is an intrinsic part of human nature. We use it daily to navigate the complexities of life, from assessing our food choices to the right or wrong way to avoid traffic. We often judge ourselves heavily with 'should's', 'shouldn'ts', and insecurities pointed out by our inner critic. Interestingly, when this instinctive mechanism extends to assessing people, it often reveals more about our own inner workings than it does about the individuals we're judging. What's that all about?


Judgment arises from our self-protection mechanisms. We judge when our beliefs differ from others, when we feel insecure, or when we encounter the unfamiliar. These judgments can create conflict instead of the connection we seek. Some examples that may not surprise you include:

  • He's lazy

  • Her attire is completely inappropriate

  • He is selfish

  • They are cliquey

  • She's so arrogant


Judgments are quick generalizations about what we're seeing or experiencing and is often a reflection of our own beliefs, insecurities, or fears. If we have a concept of what success looks like and someone falls short, they may appear less successful to us. If we place a high value on our work ethic which looks like putting in long hours then anyone who works differently than that may appear lazy or uncommitted.


The ruler we use to measure ourselves is the ruler we use for others.


To understand judgment better, consider the concept that 'the ruler we use to measure ourselves is the ruler we use for others.' Becoming aware of our judgments helps us explore the stories we've created about ourselves and others. Instead of judging, practice curiosity. Replace 'That's wrong' with 'That's interesting' and choose to learn more or simply let it be. Remember, you don't need to have an opinion about everything. 

Learn more about Judgment. Judgment is the focus of the third module (week 3) of my mindfulness course: Mindful Mastery: 8 Weeks to Embracing Your New Zen. Learn more about how it colors our reality, strengthens duality, limits our reality, creates conflict and what mindful people do to step out of judgment and experience more of life with peace and ease.

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