There are many factors that can contribute or alter your happiness. Passing judgment is one common factor that has a negative effect on one’s happiness because it increases emotional suffering.
One mistake that is commonly made is mixing up preference with judgments. So let’s start by looking at the difference. A preference is you thinking that you like ice cream better than chocolate. However, thinking you have a bad taste in desserts, or that you are weird because you don’t like chocolate can be labeled as a judgment. See the difference?
Having preferences is healthy. Preferences are what defines you as a person. So don’t try to get rid of your likes or dislikes, those are okay. It’s the tendency to judge them what you want to avoid. Placing labels as good, bad, poor, idiotic, is passing judgment.
Now let’s move to exploring how judgments can be detrimental to your happiness.
We all pass judgment on different things. Criticism can be constructive, however, judgement is an entirely different story. People tend to be harder on themselves than anyone else.
Unfortunately, judgments cannot be completely wiped out from our minds. I mean, we are only humans and we have a very strong tendency to judge. However, we can retrain the mind and control our urge to judge.
- The first issue with passing judgment is that it increases emotional suffering.
Most people have fears, unpleasant memories and thoughts. But if you judge yourself and label these thoughts as something being wrong with you, or being silly, immature, or weak then, you are simply creating more negative feelings within yourself and increasing depression. The first issue with passing judgment is that it increases emotional suffering. Click To Tweet
- The second issue is that being judgmental can affect your perspective and the way you experience things.
Let’s say you’ve met someone and you didn’t like them. Would you automatically judge the person and label them as unpleasant? What happens the next time around, are you are going to talk to them and be as excited as you were the first time? Probably not, right? This may change your experience and prevent you from really getting to know someone. But if instead, you take each moment as the first time you’ll be more open to engaging with the same person with intensity and you may actually be surprised.
Same happens with everything in life. The more you learn to engage in each moment without judgment or preconceptions the more you’ll be able to observe and experience things.