Probably one of the best compliments to give or receive is that which I heard today. While buying a new computer, the sales lady shared with me that her 2 young kids (1 & 3) go to daycare while she works part-time. Instead of rolling my eyes or just nodding, I told her that was awesome. And I meant it. She replied with appreciation, thanking me for not judging her.
But truthfully, I am usually much more judgmental than that. Thoughts would have crossed my mind like, why isn’t she with her kids? Why is she only working part-time? I would have expected her to spend as much time as possible with her small children. But since I have a child of my own now, I totally understand her struggle.
Yes her kids are still young and yes she enjoys spending time with them, but just doesn’t want to do it all-day-long. I can’t blame her because I don’t like being home with my child all day either. I want a break, something separate, just for me to focus on and do. Yet, only after being a parent myself, did I realize that its not all black or white.
The Truth Behind Judging
Nowadays people can find almost any reason to judge others, whether work choices, lifestyle choices, parenting, personality or friends. This judging might be done in hopes of making oneself feel better or to make someone else feel worse. Judging becomes a defensive mechanism to justify our own decisions. But, no one should have to explain or defend their parenting choices, or any choices for that matter (as long as they’re not illegal or hurting anyone else).
Every woman has certain topics or aspects of her life that are sensitive. So hearing comments or feeling judgment in that area only adds to the insecurity and doubt. Now don’t get me wrong, it is extremely hard not to judge others. Most times we don’t even know we are doing it because the judging goes on in our heads. Even though we may not say anything out loud, our body language, word selection and tone of voice says it all.
First of all, the judging we do is not due to someone else, but comes from our own individual thinking and insecurity. I judge myself harshly hoping to push myself to be better. For whatever reason, the me right now isn’t good enough, so I use judgment and criticism to try and change. However, this only backfires and makes things worse. In reality, the only thing that can cause true change within, is that which is done out of love, not through judgment or criticism or shame.
Secondly, the more harshly I judge myself, the more harshly I will judge others. Since I have such high expectations for myself, I unknowingly place them upon others as well. These standards and judgments create unnecessary, negative pressure, leading to further insecurity. And this vicious cycle of never being good enough continues for both the judger and the judged.
Therefore, if we as individuals want to feel better about ourselves, our lives and our choices, we must start loving. This love starts with ourselves first, then inevitably grows outwards to others. The more love and less judgment we have for ourselves, the more we can pass that on to others. Appreciate the differences around you and remember that most people have a very specific reason for making the choices they do. Its definitely not to be mean, or hurtful, everyone is trying their best. We are not the perfection of God ourselves, so we shouldn’t be expecting others to be either. And since God is not hiring or hosting auditions for a replacement, we need to stop trying to play the part.
When have you judged others or been harshly judged yourself? Share in the comments below!