Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Monday, December 1, 2008

Yes, We All Judge Each Other

Once in a while, I hear someone assuredly state “I don’t judge people.” My reaction is always the same – a bit surprised, a bit curious to hear more. Is it possible not to judge? If such benevolent, unearthly souls exist, does their lack of judgment make them better people?

We live in an interesting society in which the bible has largely defined the moral compass of our culture, and yet there remain unmistakable pockets of prejudice and discrimination. It seems that we still have great difficulty learning how to truly respect one another and refrain from judgment of others.

I believe that it is nearly impossible to avoid some level of judgment of others. After all, everyone can think of examples of things one should not say or do to another. If someone does that, aren’t you likely to judge? The bigger question, perhaps, is whether it is healthy to have some judgment of others. Think about it and see what you come up with.

As a rule, I believe that you must live and let live. Unless someone is hurting someone or something, I believe it is important to allow others to be themselves – and that may look different from you. If you do find yourself judging occasionally, try to keep your judgments to a minimum. More than anything, you should be aware of what triggers your judgment.

Ask yourself what brings out your strongest, most judgmental reaction? Next, ask yourself why that it. As long as you believe something, you must back it up with why. Finally, have a conversation with a trusted friend and ask him or her the same thing. Sometimes hearing what others have to say can shine a wise a light and even cause you to change some of your own beliefs.

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