If you judge people you have no time to love them.
The topics of criticism and judgment come up all the time in my online counseling private practice based out of Flower Mound, Texas. These are also things many of us are working hard to undo (myself included). What’s great is that when you’re ready to tackle the issues of judgment and being critical in your own life, you can start externally with how you see and treat other people or you can start internally with your own self-judgments and self-criticisms. And, wherever you start this work, internally or externally, changes in one area can create changes in the other one too!
So, where does criticism and judgment come from? It may stem from:
- Not feeling good about yourself
- A past trauma you experienced
- The way family members treat you
- A way of being that’s modeled by your friend group
- A learned pattern at school
- Something reinforced by society
- Something seen and normalized on social media, in the news, etc.
- From your discomfort with people who are different from you
- Your own feelings of envy and jealousy
- 10.Not being happy with your life choices and circumstances
What would you add to this list?
The opposite of criticism and judgment is often through to be compassion and empathy.
Let’s start with self-compassion. Self-compassion may sound like:
- I am worthy
- I own my true story
- I am authentically me
- I have value
- I am enough
- I am love
- I am seen, heard and understood
- I am known
- I live in my own truth
What else would you add here?
Compassion and empathy towards others may sound like:
- You are worthy
- You own your true story
- You are authentically you
- You have value
- You are enough
- You are loved
- You are seen, hear and understood
- You are known
- You live in your own truth
Would you add anything else?
Unfortunately, we don’t often move from criticism and judgment straight to compassion and empathy. There may be a step in the middle for you that includes acceptance and forgiveness. This may look like “I accept and forgive myself” and “you are accepted and forgiven.” Undoing this negative and harmful cycle may look something like: criticism and judgment moves to acceptance and forgiveness and finally to compassion and empathy. In more situational cases, this shift might happen more quickly, while for cases that are more pervasive, it can take longer to undo. I hope this topic resonates with you, and that you have actionable steps you can take to move yourself out of the criticism and judgment space and into compassion and empathy for yourself as well as for others.