Have you ever wondered what’s going on when you’re judging others – or when they’re judging you?

Most of us never ask this question, as judgement is part of our nature. Evaluating people and ideas is simply what the mind does – often unconsciously. So why question it?

Because understanding the process of judgement can improve your relationships tremendously. Do I have your attention now?

What judging others mean?

Judgement (as opposed to discernment) is all about projecting our values and beliefs onto others. Judging someone means that you’re expecting that person to meet your expectations, to “live up to” your values – values which you’ve spent a lifetime creating. But what about the other person’s values – you know, the ones he or she has spent a lifetime creating? Where do those come in? When we project our values onto others, we’re essentially saying that they must be like us. They must see the world the way we see it. They must believe what we believe. And they must value what we value – nothing more, nothing less. When we judge others, when we project our personal values onto them and decide whether they’ve “lived up to” them, we’re looking for clones of ourselves.

One of the best ways to improve our relationships is to continually remind ourselves that we are all unique. When you catch yourself judging someone, try replacing that judgement with curiosity. Wonder what values, beliefs and life experiences led the person to make that choice. Train yourself to respect (or at least accept) those differences even when you don’t understand them. Your life will be richer for it.

And know that when others judge you, they’re probably looking for that clone in you. When you’re feeling unhappy about someone’s disapproval, remember to ask yourself this important question: Do you really want to be that clone?

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