To be judgmental is part of life and it is something that everyone does to some degree or another. There will be some instances where this is seen as good thing and other times when this will be seen as bad or inappropriate.
If one was to see an athlete or sports star cheat or break certain rules in a game, it would be appropriate to say that what took place was wrong and shouldn’t have taken place. However, if one was to say that only some races should be treated with respect or given opportunities that would be an example of where judgment is inappropriately used.
There is also how intensely the judgement is made and what this then leads to. One person may make judgements in their own mind and yet very few people will ever find out about them. So just because someone is judgemental it doesn’t mean that it will lead to anything significant; it can be hidden and kept from others.
And then there are other people who can express them in ways that are harmful to others and even dangerous. This could lead to verbal abuse being carried out and even physical violence.
At the most basic level, judgement is nothing more than a survival mechanism. The ego mind labels things based on their perceived impact on ones survival. So when one feels that they are under threat in some way, a judgement will be made.
And once it is made, some kind of action will be taken; this could be an internal change or an external response.
While this can relate to things that directly put one’s life at risk, it can also relate to areas where one feels emotionally and intellectually compromised in some way. Here, ones survival won’t necessarily be at risk, but the mind can still interpret it in the same way.
So if one was driving their car and another car was driving too fast behind them or one was about to be attacked by someone, then their survival could be at risk. This would be a clear example of this survival mechanism at work.
When it comes to a situation where another person believes something else or chooses to live their life in a way that is different, ones survival is unlikely to be at risk. If what they do affects others in some way, then ones survival could be at risk.
But in this context, what is causing one to feel a sense of unease is the result of how they are interpreting what they are seeing and not what the other person is actually doing.
What people do or do not do is then up to them, as long as it does not hurt another person or the planet. Just because one feels a strong reaction to what another person does, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong or bad. It could simply be the way that they are expressing themselves and how they choose to live their life.
So if one is extremely judgemental to others or towards certain things and their own survival is not at risk, then it could seem strange and even confusing. How one interprets the world and what they see as right or wrong, is a result of what is going on within them.
And what is going in within someone will define what they judge and what they don’t judge. Now this could be what they are aware of or what they have repressed and are therefore unaware.
At some level there will be conflict and this conflict is causing one to feel so strongly about certain things and regardless of whether their survival is under threat or not. And this will be between the mind and the body. What is going on in one’s body might not be acceptable to the mind.
So certain feelings, emotions, wants and needs that one has could then be denied or avoided by the mind. But just because the mind has blocked these out, it doesn’t mean that they will disappear or have no influence. They will remain in the body and there will be consequences.
These feelings, emotions, wants and needs are not right or wrong, they are simply part of the human experience. But due to things such as ones upbringing, education, religion and social conditioning, the mind is taught to accept some things and reject others. This creates inner conflict and disharmony and this can then lead to external challenges.
And through the mind becoming disconnected from these feelings, emotions, needs and wants and therefore the body; they then end up being projected externally. So one might have lost touch with them, but they will then be triggered by others. But if one is unaware, then other people will be classed as the cause of one’s judgements.
There is going to be many ways that this takes place and it will depend on what one is denying within themselves. One may have learnt that sex was bad during one point in their life and so they have to deny their own sexual needs. And whenever they hear about other people engaging in certain sexual behaviour, they judge them as being bad. When in reality, they only reason they are judging them is because of their own sexual conflict that is going on within.
Success is another area that can create a lot of judgment and this can cause one to judge people who are successful. At a deeper level this can reflect their hidden feelings of: powerlessness, hopelessness, frustration and anger.
A man or a woman could behave in a certain way and they are then severely judged. And not only is this one person labelled for what they have done, it goes onto to include all men or all women. Here, one could have been abused in some way by a man or a woman at some point in their life and how they felt as a result of this wasn’t dealt with in any way, it just became stuck in their body.
So when ones see men or a women behave in a way that is abusive or without respect, it triggers these feelings and emotions. And instead of seeing this connection, the other person is seen as being the reason for causing them to feel as they do.
If human beings couldn’t make judgments they wouldn't last for very long on this planet. To be overly judgemental can be a sign that one needs to let go off the conflict that has built up within.
And as one lets go of this inner conflict, their judgement will become more balanced. This process can be assisted through the help of a therapist, healer or a coach.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.