Don’t wound your family and friends with judgment

That’s what it will feel like to them–a wound. Over and over again in my therapy room people tell stories of being judged by others. Often the judgement is not obvious. It can easily be a tone of voice or a rolling of the eyes, as well as the more obvious impatient criticism that ignores our efforts to do something well.

I should add that you can wound yourself with judgment also and greatly limit and harm yourself.

I once hosted a personal growth group in my home as a way to enrich my own life. I advertised the group on my condo listserve, on Craigslist, and by sending emails to my friends. It was an informal group–I facilitated it but did not act in the role of a professional since I was going to be a member. Twelve people met for the first session, and I posed two introductory questions to the group. I asked each person to tell something they looked forward to in the group, and something they definitely did NOT want to happen in the group. The first person to go was a tall, handsome, friendly fellow who said what he did NOT want to happen in the group was to be judged for the things he shared. The group nodded, and EACH PERSON in the group agreed in turn that being judged would be their greatest fear also. The group was a rich experience that lasted for over a year, and the lack of judgmental attitude in the group contributed to that success.

We all have to identify the difference between actions that are constructive and destructive, but this does not involve blanket judgments about the worth, intelligence, or morality of another person.

Also, you can be sure that if you have a problem judging others you probably judge yourself also. Give both yourself and others a break…lighten up. It will feel good for both you and them.


This entry was posted in General, Relationships, Self Esteem. Bookmark the permalink.

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