This holiday season it seems fitting to say something about judgement. It is easy to say, "Let's not judge". However, don't we all do it? We judge the way someone responds to us. We judge how our boss behaves. We have an opinion about how others "should" dress, or how they "should drive". In fact, we are most critical of those we call family or lovers. "He should not have done or said this or that to My mother, or he should have gotten me a better gift." "She should buy those for the party; they are better." "They should not talk like that to ME", or "He should know better." Can you hear yourself?
I would like to offer a few thoughts to ponder this holiday season, that may result in all of us being less or hopefully not judgmental.
One idea is that when we judge or are critical of someone else, it is a reflection of how critical and judgmental we are of ourselves. Ever wonder why you have an opinion AT ALL about how someone else dresses, what they plan to do, or what they bring to the party? Are you also that judgmental of yourself, what you should wear or bring? It is interesting to think about. Let's try this: ask yourself, "Why do I even care about this, or what is it about me that I care about decisions that person makes?" Barring someone intentionally verbally or physically attacking you, ask yourself these questions. Ponder the answers before you decide if you are going to care or make a comment or judge the other person. This is so you can become more self aware, and so we don't sh-d on ourselves.
For example: Let's say my sister is going to invite our brother's ex-wife to her holiday party. You don't think it is right. First, ask yourself why you care who your sister invites to her party. Answer it honestly. Literally talk to yourself or write it down. Maybe the answer is because you don't like that person. Maybe it is because you want to have an opinion about what someone else should do. Maybe it is because YOU wouldn't do it. Take a few minutes to explore that. Then, once you come to that self-awareness, you can make a decision about what you are doing to do or say - which may be nothing. If my sister invites someone I don't like or think she should to her holiday party, I can attend, attend for a short time, or not attend. I could talk to my sister about how that may make our brother feel, or I can stay out of it. I have options, and I do not have to judge my sister for what she decides to do. I will have enough to worry about or think about regarding what I plan to do in this situation. I will not be sitting around thinking about what my sister should be doing. It is literally that easy. But the self-awareness you attain may surprise you. Why sh-d on anyone?
Now, some would say that even those attacking you personally, it is also really about them. I agree, but that situation is also different. That is because instead of pondering why it bothers you in the moment, you may have to set a boundary, get help, or get yourself to a safe space. However, we are pretty good at making everything SEEM like it is a direct attack on us, and it may not be. For example: I work at a hospital, and a patient's family member is yelling at me. They are yelling about poor communication, long wait times, or how no one is helping them - or any number of things, like having to wear a mask. They ask for MY supervisor to complain about ME. I start to get mad. Have I taken this personally? Is this really an attack against me?
I could take this personally and judge that person for making me feel bad or look bad. But, after you do get your manager or boss or escalate the situation, or once the situation is de-escalated, again you can ask yourself..."Why do I care that this person is complaining about me?" Or, "What is it about me, that I care that this person is upset?" Literally take a few moments to process this. It may occur to you that you don't like people to be mad. Maybe you think, "That person is an idiot, or they are making me look bad". No matter the answer, you have some good information about yourself, and you can focus on how you respond or feel.
However, is that person's behavior REALLY about you? Are they trying to make you look bad? Did you give them a reason to come to the hospital? Did you cause them stress by harming them? Did you make the mask rule, or did you personally make them wait? Consider why it is upsetting you. Ask yourself, "Why am I taking their rant personally; what is it about me that I'm taking THEIR behavior and making it about me?" You may think, "because it made me uncomfortable, or because I had to talk to them." However, once you process this in your head or write it down, you may be able to not judge them. You may see that you can own why you are bothered, and at the same time, you may be able to NOT take their behavior personally. You are then freed up - emotionally unattached and without judgment. You may even have compassion for them. You can then think, "Wow, it must be hard being to so upset, or I hate that they are so stressed right now." Your judgmental view has all but disappeared, and you have no sh-d's for anyone.