Don’t be Judgmental. Being judgmental – about ourselves and other people – can be a huge mental health issue. This article in The EveryGirl blog offers a helpful explanation of what being judgmental is. “Being judgmental means being overly critical in an unhelpful and harmful way.” MentalHelp.net cites a study in Mindfulness Magazine that found that “The participants who rated highest on nonjudgmental also had lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress related symptoms.” I can tell you from personal experience that allowing myself to freely negatively judge other people brings down my energy level, definitely adds to my anxiety and negatively impacts my relationships. After all, negative judgments of people are usually expressed as facts but are usually based on assumptions and not facts. When we’re expressing them, we usually leave very little to no room for someone else’s opinion. This can create huge amounts of conflict in our relationships with others and honestly, just puts us in a cynical, negative, stressful mindset overall. I highly encourage opinions that can be backed up with facts, but they still need to be recognized and expressed as just that – opinions and not presented as facts.
I also highly encourage being discerning, knowing what our values are and being able to recognize right and wrong for ourselves in situations and being able to act accordingly. But that doesn’t mean that we make judgments about the character of the people involved. In many cases when we judge, we don’t really know the people involved, or if we do, we’re making assumptions about what they’re thinking and feeling and what their motives are, when we usually don’t know those things at all.
If you find yourself constantly judging others, try going a week without doing so and see how you feel. Even after just that short amount of time, I expect that you will feel lighter mentally and that your relationships will start to improve.
For another helpful resource on why being judgmental can harmful to you, check out this this article from Psychology Today.