When you actively judge and criticize others, you are exercising and practising this perspective, this way of thinking and being.
Over time, you’ll find it easier and easier to judge others and you’ll also find more and more fault with yourself. Judgement and critique are mindsets that are harmful to not only others, but also to your relationships as well as to yourself.
You are what you practice. Where are you putting your attention, focus and energy? Is it to tear people down or to build them up?
Consider the consequences of being that person who throws around judgements and critique. The person who always has something negative to say about others behind their backs. Do you honestly believe that such a person feels good about their actions and who they are? Or, is some part of themselves appalled and revolted by their own behavior?
Let’s look at the other side of this. How do you think the person who is always looking for the good in others feels? The person who lifts other people up. Who encourages them, who builds them up. The person who speaks lovingly about people behind their backs.
I bet that person sleeps great at night and feels great about themselves! Chances are that if they can find the good in others, then they can also find the good in themselves.
The next time you want to jump to judgement or criticize someone consider that you are limited in your own knowledge and understanding. You can never assume to know what is in the mind of another. Just as no one can assume to know what you are thinking. You may not know the motivation behind a person’s words or actions. You can’t assume others see and understand things from your perspective. As such, you can’t judge them using your perspective.
If you are feeling driven to judge and criticize, ask yourself: Why is that? What is really going on? Do you have a wound that you need to address? Do you need to heal? Do you need to engage in some self-care? Do you need to love yourself more? Where is this anger and negativity coming from?
It is not natural to go around wanting to hurt others.
Always act in a way that will facilitate the growth of your own self-love. If you act in a way you loathe, it will be harder to love yourself. If you fall out of self-love you will also fall out of self-acceptance. Once that happens, the harsh self-critique and self-judgement begins. You’ll enter into a self-defeating cycle of psychological violence towards yourself. This will in turn affect every aspect of your life and it will adversely affect the quality of your life.
Chances are that the more you critique and judge yourself the more you will do the same to others. This pattern left unchecked, will self-perpetuate.
What is worse is that when we judge and critique others, we propagate and encourage this behaviour in others as well. If it is OK for them, it must also be OK for me. They deserve what they dish out. Who do they think they are? They’re not perfect either! It’s just a downward spiral from there. Just like respect breeds so does disrespect.
Is this really something we want to advocate for? Is this what we want to put our time and energy into? Is this the impression we want to leave in this world? Is this our legacy?
The answer is a clear “No”. It is up to us to be mindful of our words and actions. We must hold ourselves responsible and accountable for both our actions and the consequences of those actions. We must exercise some forethought. Not just for the well-being of others but also for our own well-being. We owe it to ourselves to act in our own self-interest. Sabotaging ourselves is not acting our best interest. We deserve better!
Take the time, invest the energy in your self-care.
Do the work. Heal your wounds. Learn to love yourself again. Practice forgiveness, compassion, and acceptance of yourself. Celebrate what makes you, you. Put aside your self-judgement and critique.
You will find that when you learn to love and accept yourself without judgement, without critique, that you will also find it much easier to do the same with others.
Lastly, if this has been a pattern for you, start with forgiveness for yourself. Don’t make matters worse by beating yourself up over things already done. If you can make amends, make right a wrong, do that. But if there is nothing you can do, let it go! Don’t harbor resentment against yourself. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes. We are all learning and growing. It is OK!