We have been gifted with critical thinking ability to be able to form opinions and take decisions with a clear mind. However, we often end up using the same ability on people, and draw opinions on them. While this is a common issue faced by most people, it is important to know that being judgmental about others can be a harmful characteristic trait. Speaking of the same, Psychotherapist Emily H Sanders wrote, “How easy is it to slip into a critical place from time to time? (Someone tell me I’m not alone on this one). Our critical mind is important, as it helps us form opinions and make tough decisions; however, the point of our critical thinking ability is not to devalue others.”
Emily further explained why this may happen – this can happen when we do not understand the other person’s viewpoint and are strict about our own to be imposed on them. It can also happen when we do not like the person, or are disappointed with them. Often, we ourselves feel devalued in a situation and end up judging others to get over it. However, it is important to change this attitude. Here are a few ways by which we can do the same:
Consider the whole person: A person’s opinion is just a piece of them that they choose to show. However, before judging them, we must consider the whole person and not just their opinion.
People think differently: Time and again it is important to remember that people are born and brought up differently, and hence bear different thinking abilities. This open different perspectives for us as well.
Different people: It is important to surround ourselves with people who think differently and hold different opinions. This will help us in opening up our minds.
Label neutral: When we observe opinions that do not align with ours, we should be neutral about them, rather than calling them good or bad.
Setting example: Using ourselves as examples of how people should behave is a harmful characteristic trait.
Compassion: Being compassionate and kind can also help us in changing our judgmental attitude.
Gentle reminder: One in a while it is important to remind ourselves that we are not always right.
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