How often have you passed judgment about someone or have had someone pass judgment about you? Either way, a judgmental attitude says more about us than those that we judge.
To judge is to form an opinion or draw a conclusion about another. In theory, judgment comes after carefully weighing evidence and testing assumptions. However, it’s easy to blind ourselves to our own evil, because when we judge others, it puts us in a position of pseudo power. Yet, we can’t rely on our own judgment when our psyche is out of focus. Why do we judge others?
Low Self-Esteem. Self-esteem is an intimate experience that resides at the core of our being. Low self-esteem is an emotional impairment in which we devalue our own worth. This unfavorable impression reflects a lack of confidence in ourselves and a fundamental belief that others are better than we are.
Self-Righteousness. Self-righteousness is a narrow-minded conviction of being morally superior to others. Through feelings of self-righteousness, we believe that our own moral standards and behaviors are perfect.
Emotional Insecurity. People who are emotionally insecure perceive the world as a hostile, unpredictable and dangerous place where others are always out to get them. This perception triggers a general uneasiness, resulting in a breakdown in the individual’s overall emotional stability.
Jealousy and Envy. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference. Jealousy is being anxiously suspicious of having something taken away from us. Envy is holding a grudge against someone because we want what they have. Both are damaging to the soul.
Prejudice. To be prejudice is to prejudge. Prejudice stems from our preconceived unfavorable opinions and beliefs about people that are neither fact- nor experience-based. Whether it’s racism, sexism, classism, ageism, nationalism, sectarianism or any other ‘ism,’ prejudice negatively affects our world view, attitudes and behaviors.
Overcoming a Critical Spirit
Finding fault with others is easy, because our expectations lead us to judgment. However, instead of making us feel better about ourselves, judging others binds us to our own selfish interests and shortcomings.
Overcoming a lifetime of conditioning takes time and hard work. Because we’re so close to ourselves, we often lose objectivity and fail to see the obvious. Nonetheless, there is light inside our dark, closed off spaces. To find that light, we must engage in deep self-reflection and begin recognizing and nurturing our own value, since it all begins with self. How we see others is one thing, but how we see ourselves is everything.
Until Next Time,