Judgement is defined as “the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, from circumstances presented to the mind”. I know, why would I be thankful for “judgements”, right? First because I am learning when I am judging someone else, I better look at myself in that particular area. Second, I am learning to turn Judgement into Curiosity…..
Think about how many times you have judged or been judged by someone – no matter what the reason? I know we try our best NOT to judge but isn’t it human nature to judge others. I will admit since being in recovery, I realize how often I judge people and I don’t like it. I usually find the reason I am judging them is because something is missing in me – a relationship with my Higher Power or a case of envy or jealousy.
Isn’t it natural to form an opinion about information we receive? The problem arises when we proclaim our opinion as the truth, even when we don’t have enough information to come to a definite conclusion. How often have you done this? I know I am not alone, right?
We judge people for the way they look, for the way they dress, where they live, what we “think” their life is like, what they eat, how they act……….you get the picture, right? Social media doesn’t help either because we only see the image people want to project which is usually positive with all of the struggles. As a result, we determine what their life is like based on just a few pictures. I have found I do the same thing in my direct sales business as well as my small business. I judge who may be potential customers or be interested in certain products. I have already decided they may or may not buy based on what we think or what we perceive. BUT have we talked to them? Have we asked them any questions?
The first step in wanting to change this habit is to be aware AND admit you are doing it. When you stop judging others, you will notice yourself connecting with people more authentically and learning valuable information about them. When others feel like they are being heard, they are more open to hearing you.
I challenge you to try this: The next time you are tempted to be judgmental, instead, be curious. Instead of deciding you know their motives, intentions or backstory, withhold those judgments and listen. The only way to build bridges is to refuse to jump to conclusions, and instead be curious.
1. Be curious by asking questions of yourself.
- Why do you suppose they did/said/feel that?
- How does it affect me, if at all?
- Why does it bother me?
- What could I learn from this person or situation?
2. Be curious by asking questions of others.
What if we asked them to tell us more about (fill in the blank)? Or maybe you have been in their shoes, so you can share with them, or ask how they are feeling. Better yet, say nothing at all. Let them talk and just listen. Listening can be tough when we have already “judged” someone but force yourself to LISTEN!
We can learn so much about people by turning away from judgment and towards curiosity. When you ask those two questions – of yourself and others – you will gain a new unexpected perspective or a new piece of information providing insight you might not have had before. It will help you build trust which will open the door to greater connection.
Who have you been (tempted to be) judgmental towards recently? At work? On social media? With a friend or family member?
Maybe in your business…. Have you hesitated because you had already decided they wouldn’t be interested or couldn’t afford the products? Have you missed an opportunity to connect with someone new? Maybe you have missed out on giving or receiving a blessing because you pre-judged them and their situation.
What would happen if you were curious instead of judgemental? Share your AHA moment with us.