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How to judge others (and yourself) less

By SUSIE MOORE | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-10 08:27
[Photo provided to China Daily]

I've secretly despised a life coach who is younger than me for a long time. She pops up in my feed with her smiley face and optimistic quotes, and I quietly judge her. My silent musings include, "She comes from a rich family-she doesn't know real struggle!" and "She must be a fraud. Why can't anyone else see it?"

Until I met her at a party recently and she was ... lovely. Sincere. Honest. Kind. It was an unexpected surprise to have months of my own judgment backfire in my face like that. And it made me think: What else might I be wrong about? And more importantly, where is this judgment coming from?

To get some answers, I started digging into an advanced copy of Gabby Bernstein's latest book, Judgment Detox. Bernstein writes, "When we judge others, we're really judging a disowned part of our own shadow... Often other people trigger our wounds. We judge them when this happens instead of accepting that the discomfort is really about us."

Boom. This got me thinking about the judgments I feel on a daily basis. Here's what I've observed about learning to judge others, and myself, less:

1. Accept that you've suffered... And that this shows up when you judge

Beneath every judgment is some kind of pain we've experienced, but instead of feeling it, we project it onto others.

I have a friend in London-let's call her Tina-who was bullied at school, and now every time she enters a new group of women, her guard is way up. She loves to find something to criticize or condemn; she grabs hold of the first innocent comment she perceives as a slight and holds onto it for dear life.

Like the time she visited me in New York and a friend of mine said to her, "Your accent is so sexy-you sound like Nigella Lawson." Later on, she vented to me, "I'm nothing like Nigella-I'm younger and way thinner!" I knew her reaction wasn't really about the remark.

Tina simply has some feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness, just like the rest of us. What might your trigger straight to judgment be?

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