The millenials are an interesting generation. We want to share our lives with the public, and we want everyone to love us. We seek approval quite compulsively, because we rarely have any real assurance that we’re doing ok. And this sharing and desire for approval comes with its shares of disasters. When you share your lives with the world, someone is bound to disapprove. And then all the troubles begin.
I’ve been seeing a spate of images like this, making rounds on facebook.
and it seems almost everyone is feeling this way.
What is ‘being judgmental’?
When someone starts to decide who or what someone else should be, we can say they are being judgmental. People are judgmental all the time – people are either too fat or too skinny, too dark or too pale, their hair is not right, they don’t raise their kids right, they don’t have kids, or don’t get married in time, the list is endless.
Why do they do it?
Yes. Why do WE do it? Have you ever met a non-judgmental person? That person is probably enlightened. And even they might have judgmental thoughts that they’re not paying heed to.
Why do we judge? We judge when our identity is threatened. We judge because in some way, the other has caused us pain. And if we chose to admit that we are all the same and there is no difference, then that would undermine the pain they are causing us.
Look at the images above, for instance. They are completely judgmental statements about judgmental people. By telling another not to judge, we are telling them they cannot be exactly who they are. Which is exactly what we are telling them not to do. And why are we doing it? Because when they judge us, it hurts us, and we feel a tiny bit smaller. One more person who doesn’t think we’re good enough. Who needs that kind of negativity in their lives?
We want people to accept us as we are. And we refuse to accept others as they are until they stop judging us.
We’re all doing the same thing
We all judge. Some are more open and verbal about it, and others are more sophisticated and quiet about it. We judge when we meet someone who challenges our description of what the world should be like. Everyone’s description varies, and that’s what makes things interesting.
We even judge ourselves, and sometimes we go one step further and judge ourselves for judging others.
How do we deal with it?
We start by recognising that judgment is a reaction coming from pain. Why would we ask a person in pain to change themselves? They’re in pain. And if they are projecting their pain onto us through their judgment, we take a metaphorical step back, and witness our pain. Yes, I feel hurt, yes I feel judged, and it is ok for this person to judge me. This is who they are, and I am what I am and we are both ok.
A beautiful woman had once told me, ‘lead by example’, and those words rung so true. Lead by example. Embrace the other along with all their flaws, even the ones that seem to hurt you. And bring just a little more love, and a little more joy into the world.