It’s funny, because as a woman, it feels like we are constantly being judged whether we like it or not. We’re judged if we work, we’re judged if we don’t. We’re judged by the way we look, by the decisions we make, by the car we drive, by the ring (or lack of) on our finger.
No judgment. That’s all anyone could ask for, right? To go through life without being judged almost seems impossible. I really started to think about the idea of “no judgment” almost fifteen years ago when I went shopping for a dress for a college formal, and the owner of the boutique flat out judged me.
“You’ve got such a pretty face. Why don’t you try Weight Watchers?” she said, trying to smile through judgmental eyes.
Huh? Weight Watchers? The truth was I had tried Weight Watchers, and Lean Line, and Deal-a-Meal, and Atkins, and The Carbohydrate Addicts Diets, and Suzanne Somers, and Nutri-System- the list went on. If someone said that to me now, I would politely ask them why they were recommending an eating plan for me? But, being a sensitive college girl with low self-esteem as it was, I couldn’t think of a response. Emotions took over and tears welled up as I left the store thinking I would never find a formal dress to fit my pretty face and ugly body.
After that experience, I started to pay attention to my thoughts, to see if I judged people the way this woman (and countless others) judged me. Of course, I was amazed to see that I, too, judged people. I judged women that were thin, thinking they were vain, or afraid to eat. Clearly, untrue!! Noticing my own judgments allowed me to stop judging people.
I decided this was a much better way to live. But, I realized the only way to truly live this way, is to stop judging myself first. The only time I felt judgment was when I was placing unnecessary burdens on myself, and then I looked for counter-qualities in others and judged them. I think the answer to ceasing judgment, is to stop judging ourselves. Can it really be that easy?
Well, let’s see. When you look for something you will always find it. So, if you’re judging yourself because you gained ten pounds, you will take offense if someone offers you a salad. And, the next skinny girl that walks by will instantly be thought of as starving herself. If you’re judging yourself because you’re single, anyone who wants to fix you up thinks you’re pathetic. And married people stink, and are just settling. You get my drift.
Of course, even when you don’t judge yourself or others, there may be people who (unknowingly) make rude remarks. In which case, I suggest, in a polite, heartfelt way (maybe even with a smile on your face- remember, “no-judgment”), ask them why they made the comment, and tell them what they said was hurtful. Perhaps they honestly didn’t know that their remarks had that kind of effect, and just maybe they will look inside themselves, and stop judgment, too!