Ever had this thought: “O I should not judge that person”?
In our current society it is often deemed not okay to judge somebody or something. It can be deeply rooted to not speak whatever we judge somebody for, because we judge that “not to be okay” or “not done”. (the more spiritual version of that being “that is your stuff, deal with it”)
Yet over and over I have found with myself and clients that fully owning and speaking judgements can be one of the most liberating and alivening things you can do.
We all judge. All the time. Positively (“hey, that is an amazing dress”) and negatively (“that driver is being an ass”). And that is okay. It is a way to differentiate the outside world, quickly scan which are ‘my people’ and which are not, who is safe or not, a way to put things and people in a box so we can make meaning of them.
Imagine for just a second not differentiating our experience at all. That is very overwhelming. We would go a bit bonkers right?
So we all judge. But we do not often share these judgements. Because we are afraid. Of disconnection, of a strong response, or… judgement! We keep them in – but that does not make them go away. So instead of bottling them up I advocate for speaking them – while taking full responsibility for whatever it is you are judging. And honouring the vulnerability (from you and others) it actually takes to speak a judgement – because you are going against a lot of social conditioning.
When we learn to own our judgements they become powerful roads to connection.
Think about this: judgements push people away, puts them in a box, minimises them to a caricature of who they actually are (highlighting certain traits while ignoring others). It is the opposite of relational.
So speaking them, bringing them into relationship and checking what is true, is a brave act of wanting more closeness and connection, an attempt to understand.
Note this: if we ignore the judgement and go straight to understanding and compassion, it does not work, it is fake. Our judgements are our first line of defence and they need to be honoured and acknowledged, before anything else can happen. Making room for more understanding and compassion afterwards.
So how do you do this? I am a vey judgemental person and I dove deeply into this subject. This is what I found:
● Denying judgements does not work, because they are simply there.
● Judgements are better in than out: if they are not spoken (while owned) they come out anyway, in very insidious, often mean, ways. That creates an even further distance. So not speaking them for fear of disconnection often creates more disconnection.
● Speaking them without owning them can be harmful (“violent communication”). Which is not what I am advocating. I am taking a stand for owning them and speaking them: which means: speak from the “I” perspective and take full responsibility for what is going on. Which is called “non-violent communication”.
● More often than not our judgements reveal something about ourselves more than the other person. There have been many times I spoke a judgement and the other person received that with “Really? That does not bother me / it does not stick at all”. Which means I have to look at myself and exploring judgement becomes a deep road into self-inquiry.
● Owning a judgement is wonderful, but stick around for the impact. You might hit a nerve and then you can explore that (sometimes we judge people very accurately, and depending on where that person is, they might have a reaction)
● And before you take the above bullet point as a reason not to share a judgement, also stick around for the other impact; where you will find it is not actually a big deal to the other person and definitely not the end of the world.
And most importantly: every time I own a judgement and stick around, I tend to feel more connected to the person in front of me. I spoke the thing that is between us and I can actually see them more for who they truly are.
That is my plea for liberating judgements (while owning them) and creating more aliveness in connection.
Have a try 😉
PS: And if trying feels bumpy and you want to connect further on the ‘how-to’, feel free to drop me a line! I love this stuff.