How do I stop judging things
Assess and evaluate for less - for more acceptance
... and less VER-judging! This, dear people, comes from our columnist mindfulsun, our mindfulness and sustainability woman in the Tollabea editorial team. I learned a lot from reading the text - and I hope you do too.
She advocates judging and evaluating less - for more acceptance
When evolution gave us evaluation and judgment to ensure our survival, e.g. ...
- Assess dangers correctly
- Who can I trust and who am I safe with?
- If something is unknown to me, I become defensive because it might pose a threat
... she definitely didn't mean this kind of evaluating and judging:
- "You have a fat ass"
- "You don't have all the cups in the cupboard."
- "Your clothes look cheap." Etc.
Today I would like to write about this kind of evaluating and judging.
By the way: who actually determines who has to have how many cups in the cupboard and who counts them?
And now: Please everybody hands up who has never rated someone and everybody hands up who has never been rated.
I'll start with two simple examples that I'm sure many of us are familiar with - one way or the other:
My son told me that a boy in his class said to him: “Your clothes look cheap and shit.” That is clearly an evaluation and here I can explain the difference between: describing / observing and evaluating well. If I asked the boy to simply describe my son's things - without evaluating - the result would be: black hoodie, black pants, gray shoes. Everything else: cheap, shit, ugly, etc. these are subjective ratings.
Imagine you are in the supermarket and a child is lying on the floor screaming. The mother calmly continues shopping. Observing and describing would be: There is a screaming child on the floor, the mother is shopping. Evaluating and judging is (example): The mother doesn't care, she doesn't care. The child is not well brought up. And so on and so on.
So why not just make a point when observing or describing?
Why judge, evaluate, interpret and put in drawers?
Because it is human and yet often not necessary. It can be hurtful and also presumptuous.
Mindfulness, consciously observing WHEN I evaluate has changed a lot for me. I have also noticed how much strength and energy unnecessary evaluation can cost. For me it was frightening how often I subconsciously rated.
And since I now know that evaluating and judging is not lacking, I am more concerned with recognizing exactly when I am evaluating. Because often unreflective evaluations simply result in careless comments and actions. People get hurt, we don't even give people the chance to get to know them properly. We wipe something off the table that we just don't like at first glance.
The result: tunnel vision and stereotyped thinking
There's a saying that when you rate someone, it says nothing about that person and everything about you. (or something like that)
My conclusion: When we evaluate and make judgments about people and situations, it is in us - from our experiences, our perceptions of how we tick - and not a description of the other person or a specific situation.
How often do we evaluate and judge a person as a whole just because we do not find his behavior right at the moment or because he is doing something differently than we would do it? How often do we rate appearances?
At this point - also for our children: What we think and what we then say and how we then act, there is a difference! Why does one person explain to the other: "You are fat, you are ugly etc." Yes, we cannot find all people pretty - where does the urge to speak out come from?
Why blaspheme about it? In times of social media and the internet, I like to be together in a big mob with others.
Our children watch it.
How do we get against the constant evaluating and judging? What helps - us and also our children?
1. Be mindful. Be aware when it happens.
Always keep in mind: people are different. People look different. There are different ways of dealing with something. Everyone reacts from their experiences and their imprints. We cannot look into other people's heads and hearts! Who knows what exactly is going on in someone else's life, how they're feeling?
2. Question yourself a little:
Why do I rate other people? What am I feeling right now? What happened in my life that I'm doing this right now? Am I insecure or jealous, am I not feeling well myself?
3. Find a different perspective and consciously formulate things differently:
Instead of "That's the way it is" - "I feel that way"
Instead of "That is wrong" - "I see / feel it differently"
Ratings and assessments are nothing else: own perception! And that is expressed in a careful choice of words and we also make ourselves aware of it.
It is actually very simple said - more difficult done - it takes practice: stay with yourself!
And a portion: empathy, compassion, acceptance and tolerance
- Communicate to children: We are all different and yet we have one thing in common: We are all human beings
- Show children that their own perception is subjective and not universal
- Consciously use non-judgmental language with our children and do not shy away from going through this process over and over again.
And yes, it will always happen that it doesn't work!
We are (almost?) All non-enlightened beings and Buddhas resting in us. We can pay attention to this: How good is it for me if I don't evaluate? How good is it for others if I don't? How good is it for me not to be rated?
PS: Do you have examples where you first unconsciously rated something or someone and later realized: It's completely different? I would be very happy if you would share this with us!
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