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154 How To Stop Judging

by Claudine Sweeney
November 10th 2022

Ever catch yourself judging others or yourself? You know you never feel better when you do it, but perhaps you judge far more than care to. Listen in as we share why our brains do it and hoiw to st... More

you're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise up and Shine podcast. Welcome back listeners Today. I want to start us off with a quote, the happiest people I know are evaluating and improving themselves. The unhappy people are usually evaluating and judging others. So today we want to talk about something that we all have done, we all judge others, sometimes we even judge ourselves and we'll be talking about as well, but judging others and it's funny because just last night I kid you not.

This came up for me, I was at an event and there was about a dozen or two dozen people there and I just got in the car afterwards with my husband and I was just so judgy towards a few people that were there and I just in my heart I could feel that I was like why did they act that way? Why do they behave that way? Why is there life that way? And I just felt so judgmental and I don't even know why there were perfectly pleasant, they didn't do anything wrong and you know it's just a judgment, I just made this evaluation really quickly about other people and then my husband was great because you know, he's a far better man than I am and kind of quickly talked me out of it and but I just felt bad after then I started to judge myself. Like I'm so judgmental, I'm supposed to be christian woman here and I'm so judgmental. So I felt really bad about it. But I know it's something that we all do. So today we want to talk about it because it really doesn't help us, it doesn't help our mood, it doesn't help our happiness and satisfaction level and certainly doesn't help our relationship when we're judging others.

Yeah. And you know, one thing that has helped me, like I all ask myself because I can fall into that I can kind of fall into the self righteousness and start to judge others, especially other moms. Um I do highly judge myself a lot. Yeah, my fingers tend to be pointed more towards me in that regard. But when I do tend to, you know, when I do judge others, it just kind of pops into mind like, but who am I right? Who am I to judge? Who am I to consider where they might be wrong? Who am I to think that um they're on the wrong track in life or what not, you know I mean? Because like even today I had a conversation with a woman and she was sharing this personal story, very personal story of hers and she was like, okay, like don't judge. And she kept going on with her story and I'm thinking like I've kind of gotten to the point where like, oh yeah, I'm not gonna judge you. Yeah, I've I've judged others.

I've judged myself pretty harshly. I'm like, I have learned, who am I right? Who am I to cast the first stone shall we say? So. But really it's like, gosh, the more I grew and developed and had become more self aware, I've learned. We're all struggling. We're all trying to survive life. We're all trying to do the best we can. We all fall short. We all make mistakes. Um you know, I think especially as a mom, I know in the early years of when my kids were really little, you know, there's this high expectation almost like this invisible standard that's set, I I would hate to blame Pinterest or social media, but that didn't help anything or instagram. But um those influences, it was, it was detrimental, shall we say to I know my mental health and emotional health as a, as a young mom, but as I've grown and you know, as we shared on the podcast gone through depression and anxiety and all that stuff, I really have come to a point like, dude, we're all here together struggling, but we do, it's still kind of this innate tendency you either judge others or ourself and I and I think even if you would agree Claudine both you and I talked like we you tend to fall into the category of judging others.

I tend to fall under the category of judging myself really harshly. And so but really these practical we're gonna share in in a few minutes is for both, for both, whatever you fall under. Absolutely. And you know, you talked about just trying to survive and that's what our brains are created to do, right? They're wired to help us survive. And our brain is forced to make tons of judgment every single day. Some of them good, some of them bad, some of them neutral. It can be just in our day to day experiences when we're driving a car, we have to judge, is it safe to change lanes? Is it safe to go through this light? Is that all those things? And that's part of what keeps us safe and then um and that's useful part. And then if we see someone maybe helping a little old lady across the street, we make a judgment about that person and we say, wow, what a nice person. So our judgments aren't all negative, sometimes they're positive and part of that is it's meant to keep us safe. It's helping us to survive. The problem is nowadays we've gone into judgment like on overload right?

On over five, It's like we judge more than ever and it really comes to the part of our brain which is the primitive or the lower self. I even say the flesh really it's the ego part of us that always wants to feel better than, or okay or you know, again survival mode. And if I'm better than these people, then I'm doing all right. And so we judge sometimes to feel better about ourselves. I feel like with all the work that I've done when I know I'm judging, it's probably because I'm not feeling great that day. And it's so funny because that night last the other night I did it and I do feel like I'm in a great place. But yet there was a part of me that was still wanted to judge other people. And and then again, like I said, I felt terrible and I don't know why I did it. And again, I would never say this to their face or to anyone else. But I got in the car with my husband and I was like, why this why that like their choices weren't as good as my choices, right? And so really it's that part of us that wants to feel like we're doing ok, that we're better than or surviving.

And and it's all okay because I'm at least I'm not like that right and not healthy. But that's that's what a judgment is. It's just those, some of our thoughts and feelings and observations about other situations and other people. Um, yeah, so I'm kind of the opposite. Like we said, I tend to judge myself more harshly and I think everyone else is better than I, right? And so it can cause me to kind of get into this pit of depression or inadequacy and insecurity shame, just thinking that well everyone else is smarter than than me or prettier than me or a better mom than me or cleaner than me or more organized than me or all the things, right? And it can be really detrimental. I mean I lived there for so many years just as a mom trying to do my best, trying to, it's like the inner struggle, like I'm trying to be that quote unquote Pinterest mom, but then I constantly feel like I'm failing as the Pinterest mom.

Like, I mean, who said Pinterest was the standard or instagram or instagram or any of the social media, you know what I mean? Because we all post our proudest, uh happiest well to do moments, right? Cleanest moments. I mean, I like, yeah, the highlight reels, I remember like when my kids were really little, like, we'll take family photos and then as I had young kids and they're like two years old, three years old when we can actually sit for a photo, they won, we're very opinionated on what they wanted to wear or they were just really messy and their clothes were constantly stained and like there's no way, there's no way and I would judge myself, like I cannot get us all put together to take a family photo. We don't match, we learn a mess. And I would think that I'm so like, so inadequate, right? I'm failing. I can't even have a family photo and everybody be happy. That was another one. Like one of my Children would always have the scowl on their face.

So, but really, and I remember hearing this quote, it said, don't measure yourself based on someone else's yardstick and that really stuck with me. I just thought, wow, like God didn't give us all the same load or, or rolls or abilities or strengths or even weaknesses, right? Like we are all so different. Yet somehow we judge each other and expect all of us to be measured by the same standard. And really as I grew, you know, my kids are pre teenage now, but it is just all the work I've done on myself. I thought, oh my gosh, all the time I wasted all those years I wasted comparing myself to others and just feeling inadequate. Like I'm not doing enough or I am not enough and gosh, it's really freeing, right? Claudine? It was so freeing when you get to the point of, hey, I don't really have to judge myself anymore or I don't have to judge others or I don't have to compare myself to others.

And again, it's your kind of battling your own flesh. Like you said, right? You're battling your own brain of that security and that comfort and that safety. But at the same time, it's just being intentional, being intentional with where your thoughts go and how you follow well, and I think I do think about that scripture in Matthew seven that says do not judge or you too will be judged in the same way you judge others, you will be judged. And with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. I certainly don't like being judged. I don't like when someone forms an opinion for me, just by an outward appearance, by just looking at me or by seeing one action out of context or something. I don't like being judged and yet I do that to others. So, um, you know that scripture is very sobering and so we all do it. We know that it's pretty common one way or the other whether we judge ourselves more harshly or where whether we judge others more harshly.

But let's talk about some practical that will help us to stop judging because ultimately we want to stop judging. We know it's not godly, it's not christ like it doesn't benefit us, it doesn't give us joy most more satisfaction, more happiness. So, so practical, number one is just being aware, pick one that you want to work on whether it's judging of yourself or judging of others and then really be conscious every day of your thoughts about others and about yourself. And if they tend to get judgmental once you're conscious of it, just stop and say, okay, I'm making a judgment right now. This isn't necessary or helpful. So that is practical because I think so many times we just do it all the time. We don't even think we're that. Why would you know last night I just happened to tell my husband out loud. I just we got in the car and I was like, I just don't understand this and I just don't understand that. And it was very judgy. But usually I don't even say anything.

This is I just, it's common. You know, I'm just constantly doing that. Why did she do that? Why would she wear that or why would he say that? So just being aware of it, bringing it into our consciousness and then stopping and saying this is not necessary. It's not helpful. It's not beneficial. That's great number to get curious. This really helped me with judging because when we're just curious, like I wonder why they reacted that way. I wonder what might be going on in their own life. You know, I mean, I wonder maybe they're going through some struggles, maybe they're having a tough time in their marriage or with their Children or whatnot. But just get curious. I think when we're curious then we're not so much in the judging seat, but we're like, you know, kind of have a little bit more sympathy. Gosh, I wonder what's going on. I wonder what's going on in their life. You know, and it breeds a little bit more compassion, you know, you know, that is so helpful for me.

And my husband was great last night. He's like, you don't know anything about their past experiences. You don't know anything about their childhood. You have no information. You just made a really quick observation from a few minutes of time and just made this judgment call. You know, it was really interesting because I was like, you're right. You know, I don't know anything about their past anything. And the other part of it is that sometimes I think why isn't everyone like me right? They should be like, why don't they dress like me? Why don't they think like me? Well actually I probably don't want them to dress like me because I'm not the best dresser. But you know, why don't they behave like me? Why don't they think like me or why don't they have common sense when Exactly. But yet not everyone's had my past experiences and not everyone's had the privileges that I've had and um, the benefits that I've had and the and the challenges I've had, which have refined.

Absolutely. But you know, it's so easy to just look at someone and make a very quick, very Assumpta tive judgment like and then, and then basically saying it's less than and so when you get curious, it's like, yeah, I wonder why they would think that's a great idea. I wonder why they would say something like that. What's going on in their brain that they would think like that and it it's me so much to I mean last night again I was just kind of tired. I think it had taken a re really long time to get our food. So I had gotten really grouchy tired. I was almost stimulated and over tired not to make excuses, but I do look for patterns and I do when I get over tired, I tend to let myself go. I get way more judgy. So I love that. Get curious start just ask yourself questions like why would they say that? Why would they think that? And this helped me a lot if you think about it, at least for me personally, I don't know many have experienced this, but we can judge those who we think are judging us, right?

So I've had experiences where I have been judged and it's kind of been talked about behind my back and then somehow word gets back to me and it's like, hey, and then I will start making judgments like where are you coming this? And that's not fair and you're not, you know that you don't know me at all and you just kind of get into this little rant, right? But it's interesting because it's well here I hear someone judging me and so then when I find out that I entered judge them. but when we get curious it like I said it allows that compassion and just be like gosh, like I wonder what life experiences they had. I wonder what maybe traumas they had. I wonder I mean all of our experiences in life shape us our experiences our influences and we're all different. Right? So when we think about that and just get curious like gosh, like I wonder what they feel in their heart to think though things of me because I've also I've spoken with another woman recently about like how do you kind of get over this?

Like she has experience with this other woman who is judging her and it's false, Right? It's just kind of her belief that she formed but it's not an accurate factual situation or statement. And so but this woman that I was talking to has a really hard time with being judged that way because she knows her character but the person who is judging her does not know her character and is just being judged right? As we sometimes do. And it's hard when you know that someone is thinking those things of you when you know in your heart I'm not that person like I hate that you think of like that. Yeah, it's based on their past experiences. Exactly. And so when you get curious like gosh I wonder what has gone in in their life and wonder what they're feeling. I wonder what struggles they have. Then again, it allows you to have more sympathy, more empathy and more compassion towards that person and not take it so personal, but just kind of separate yourself from that and have healthier boundaries because I will get even more judgy when I feel like when I get defensive I get defensive, then I'm really like, who are you?

Let's list out all your flaws. I that's my nature. Like, oh, you want to correct me? Well, let me let me think of the 10 things I can correct you on. I've grown so much and I don't verbalize any of that, but I don't even want them in my brain. So and the third the third practical is obviously just share Grace right to just give grace. Grace is unmerited favor. And so sometimes we just have to give favor to those that might not deserve it, which might be the people that are judging us or criticizing us or even people that think differently, act differently, behave differently than we do. Um just give them the Grace, give him that favor that unmerited favor that we've all been given, right? We all enjoy it given to us by God. I know I do like, I don't deserve a lot of the great things that I have. Certainly I'm sharing about how judgy I am So, you know, it's like, I'm glad I'm not treated by God based on how judgmental I am towards others. You know, he shows me a bunch of grace and that's where it is.

It's kind of getting curious and then that extra layer of just showing Grace giving that favor where it's not necessarily earned but just believing that you know, they're worthy of it regardless. Even if they look different, think different, you know, all of that than what we think because we all have expectations, right? We think this is the way that a so and so person should behave or should show up in life. And then when they don't meet those expectations that we've created in our own bro trains, right? They're not it's not like there's a manual out there that says this is how every person in this stage or whatever should act or behave. We create those expectations and then when people fall short we get judgy makes no sense. I mean it's not even logical really is I'm sharing this, I'm like this is not even logical, but yet we do it all the time. Really important to share and spread that grace. You know, one thing that I think about and I don't know if many people think about this or if this is just where my brain goes. I think about like especially in this sense of if I was treated unfairly or someone had made judgments about me that I knew did not reflect my true character.

Um and then I in turn get judgy back at them or gossip about them to someone else. I've thought about what if in the future they ever came back to me and apologized for their wrongdoing. Yet in that time I went and spread all this gossip about them. How bad would I also feel like, oh my gosh, I totally judged them and threw them under the bus the bus and here they came back to me, saw their fault and apologize and owned up to it. And now I spread all these, you know, all this gossip and information, others and made other people think about them. The way I think about like I just, my brain goes there, I think about, I think about that. And so as well as showing them grace, I kinda want to and it's not easy. It's definitely not easy but protect them like because I know they are still God's child even if they are in the wrong or if you know they're judging and there's a misunderstanding what have you, but if I can do my part and still create that space that I can give them grace.

And so if there is ever that time that they recognize, hey, I was not that person, I was not in my right mind, I didn't treat you very well and came back to me then there would really be no fault because I did not kind of match their judgment right and especially share it with others. So I think about that. I don't know if that helps anybody but my mind does go there, I want to kind of protect that space for them as well and not create a bigger problem that really needs to be you know and as well as having your own healthy boundaries, I mean it's not like we need to be the best friends with everybody ii with everybody but having healthy boundaries but just not kind of adding fuel to the fire, you know when we judge others or even judge ourselves, so something else to keep in mind. So so good. Well there is a lot we all do this. Our brains are wired to judge others and ourselves just to protect ourselves to thrive and to keep safe, but we don't want to do it because it doesn't lead to our happiness, it doesn't lead to our own self awareness.

I mean we should be spending more time becoming self aware rather than judging others. It is not loving and grace graceful and it's not christ like so I hope this has been helpful to you listeners. I hope you've gotten something out of it. I know I was convicted when I saw in my heart so quickly I was judgmental and I'm like I need to work on this and so here we are recording this episode for you all. So until next time take care. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise up and Shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today. If you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember, ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life.

154 How To Stop Judging
154 How To Stop Judging
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