How to Stop Judging People (And Leave Your Bitter Self Behind) | Podcast Ep. #5

Let me share with you how to stop judging people.

Do you want to feel happier?

Releasing judgments is one of the changes that made the most difference in my personal growth.

You can also listen to a companion podcast episode:

Judgment

One of the things that rob us of happiness is judgment.

We are wired to want everything to be the way we want it to be.

Otherwise, we don’t feel happy.

Then we struggle to fix these things and become even unhappier.

For example, you think your senior parents are slowly withdrawing from life.

This judgment causes you pain.

And then you try to encourage them to lead a more active lifestyle.

This causes resentment in them.

And you become even unhappier because of all the negativity being exchanged in this situation.

Judgment often means you’re at the first stage of spiritual development.

At this stage, you want to dominate and control others.

Moving up the spiritual development ladder is how you stop judging people and become happier.

How to stop judging people -Making judgments keeps us from being happy

Soccer practice with my son

To illustrate, here is an example from my life.

I love playing soccer with my 9-year-old son Denis.

And I noticed a huge difference about whether I keep my mouth open or closed during a game.

I used to be too critical

See, kids make fundamental errors when they play at this age.

For one, they run to get the ball without any strategic thinking.

So three players might attack an opponent player with the ball and he would pass the ball to another player who is left alone.

And that player scores an easy goal.

It’s a natural tendency for me to want to coach the kids on my team about things like that in the middle of the game.

However, this puts me into the coaching mode rather than the playing mode.

I start instructing the kids too much, trying to coordinate everything they do.

And I pick on each incorrect action.

For sure, they can’t do much of what I expect.

I get frustrated, repeating my instructions again and again.

The kids get frustrated too.

So there is a lot of frustration and negativity on the field.

Instead of being happy playing I kept criticizing the kids

Stopping criticism

I became conscious of the problem.

And the first thing I tried was to simply shut my mouth.

And it felt great.

I then realized that I had been focusing on the problems rather than the process.

Now that my mouth was shut, I was actually enjoying the process.

By getting into this state, I become happier and exude positivity on the field.

I’m more likely to play better and also do outrageous things, crack jokes, and cheer everyone up.

I inspire kids by my example instead of being a dominating, know-it-all coach.

But what about the instructions?

I still need to give them, but not in the process of playing.

I need to find a better time for that.

A time when my kid is more open to this kind of information.

For example, after a long talk where I really opened him up.

I also need a better way to deliver instructions.

Like asking questions so that my son sees the problem and comes up with a solution himself.

Happy when focus is on playing rather than coaching

Judgment makes everyone unhappy

You might not like a lot of things about others.

And you often want to let them know about it immediately.

But that often brings resentment in the other person.

And they fight back.

They feel unhappy and so do you.

Plus, the huge part of the problem that judging things and people prevents you from being present.

You are not enjoying the process of whatever you are engaged in.

A breathwork teacher Ashley Neese explains how judgment feels:

I notice that when I judge myself or another person my body has an immediate and intense reaction. My solar plexus tightens and my stomach turns. Often my throat gets scratchy and I feel immense pressure in my head. When I started paying attention to these signals around judgment, it became crystal clear to me that judging is not supporting my growth and blocking me from being an open and clear channel in the present moment.

How to stop judging people - Ashley Neese on judgment

Judgment equals the first stage of spiritual development

She can’t stand things being imperfect and wants to fix them.

That looks like the ultimate form of judgment.

And I don’t think it makes her happy.

It causes a lot of stress, making it hard for her to relax.

She is in the first stage of spiritual development.

She wants to control others.

There is little happiness at that stage.

If you want to stop judging people, you need to move to the next stage.

4 stages of spiritual development stage 1

Step 1: shut up

Do what I did on that soccer field: stay silent.

It’s okay to have the judgment.

But keep it to yourself.

And just watch yourself feel a little bit happier.

First, because you prevented all the negativity exchange.

Second, because you exercised willpower.

You made a conscious effort to improve your level of happiness.

You stepped up to the plate and you’re growing spiritually.

And it’s a beautiful virtuous cycle: the more you do it, the happier you feel and the more you want to do it again and again.

As you keep your judgments to yourself, you accept everything in life a little bit more.

Things and people start to have a different texture to them.

You enjoy them for what they are.

You get a glimpse of the beauty that’s in them.

The one that judgments prevent you from seeing.

You stop trying hard to mold them into who you want them to be:

A life coach Bruno LoGreco said:

Exploration is a natural human experience, and everyone is entitled to their journey.

Let people experience their journey and make their own choices.

As you do it, you slowly move to the second stage of spiritual development: you want to be loved.

4 stages of spiritual development stage 2

Step 2: shut down your critical thinking

Now, the next step is to release judgment.

Start by catching yourself having judgments.

Be conscious of them.

It’s important not to beat yourself up for them.

Take 30 seconds or a minute to acknowledge them.

Maybe even feel gratitude for having a critical ability to come up with them.

But then you let go off them.

And you feel happier and richer emotionally.

That’s a beautiful feeling that’s so much worth it.

It encourages you to keep acknowledging and letting go off judgments.

A life coach Lisa Jeffs said:

Accepting others for who they are is the first step to accepting yourself. When you can accept yourself and release judgments that make you feel ‘less than’…  you are on the road to a happier, more fulfilling life.

As they fade away, you gradually move to the third stage: wanting to give love.

This is when you stop judging people and become happier.

You now not just accept but actually love everyone.

4 stages of spiritual development stage 3

Actionable tip

Catch yourself judging people.

But keep your mouth shut.

If it’s a person, give them a hug or a warming touch.

Or at least smile at them and hug them in your mind.

Regardless of how you feel about it right now.

You’ll start feeling happier immediately.

How to stop judging people with coaching

As a life coach in Toronto, it’s my mission to help clients stop being judgmental.

Sign up for a clarity session today.

It’s 100% free and will give you an understanding of what exactly I can do for you.

Here’s a short contact form.

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