Whether because of our family patterns, our own insecurities, or our cultural obsession with critiquing people, many of us have a tendency to judge other people harshly, whether we know them well or not at all. We criticize people for their personal choices, for their ways of life, for their addictions and mental illnesses, even for things as superficial as their looks. We look down on other people without possibly being able to understand their intentions or their inner thoughts and feelings. We belittle them and feel as though we can determine their worth based on our judgments. This can cause us to have serious conflicts with people and to alienate them, to make ourselves distance and separate ourselves from other people, even people we care deeply about, and to isolate ourselves more than we might otherwise.
When we are judgmental, it is often because internally we are judging ourselves. We feel insecure and bad about ourselves. We suffer from low self-esteem. We have a lacking sense of self-worth, and our self-image is based on feelings of self-hatred and self-rejection. We don’t love and accept ourselves. Our addictions and mental illnesses are part of what makes us so ashamed of ourselves and so insecure and self-hating. If we felt happy and at peace within ourselves, we wouldn’t feel the need to judge other people so harshly. When we feel confident and self-assured, we don’t feel the need to look down on people.
Judgment hurts us in part because deep down most of us feel inclined to want to be kind towards other people. Having compassion, understanding and acceptance feels so much better than hating people. Finding our commonalities feels so much better than being intent on focusing on our differences and seeing those differences as reasons to look down on people and think poorly of them. Judgement of other people keeps us locked in cycles of self-hatred and self-judgment. When we start working on developing our unconditional self-love and self-acceptance, we naturally feel less inclined to judge other people. We see the beauty of our interconnectedness, how similar we are as human beings, how universal certain things are in human nature, such as the difficulties we’ve experience and the ways in which we ourselves have been judged. We deepen our empathy for other people. We see that we can in fact relate to them. We stop wanting to judge ourselves or others. We free ourselves from the clutches of this very destructive, toxic tendency of ours.
Riverside Recovery believes in the importance of holistic healing and education, mindfulness and mind-body-spirit wellness. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information on our treatment programs.