How To Stop Judging And Have More Peace

March 23, 2017

How to Stop Judging and Have More Peace

Do you want to stop judging others today so that you can have more peace and enjoyment in relationships? Judgments are human nature, but they do cause problems, so join me in being willing to adopt a non-judgmental stance.

Remember it is not about perfection it is about progress…

At first, I have to admit I gasped at the unexpected sight of a grown woman in her bright yellow footy pajamas as she was heading into Wal-Mart. I thought to myself, “Who would go to the store like that?” “Oh my, what was she thinking?” I know young teens head out in all kinds of outfits, but this was a woman close to my age, and I am no teen.

The alarms in my head went off – I was in the judgmental mode.

I quickly decided to alter my thinking. So I sat back and reframed my thoughts. I thought to myself, “Hurray for the woman in the yellow pajamas.” “Good for her!” “She made it out of the house today.” Silently thinking to myself, “I wish I had the gumption to head to the store in that outfit; it must be nice to feel free enough to be yourself.”

I realized I had made some progress with my desire for a non-judgmental attitude. This time I knew right away, that I wasn’t the holder of the truth nor elected to be the fashion police. I had no way of knowing why she was dressed the way she was.

I let my mind wander – “Maybe it was dress up day at work, a dare from someone, or maybe she lives with depression, and it took all of her strength just to rise out of bed and head to the store.” Another thought was, “She may have been up all night with a loved one that was sick and desperately needed to purchase something to alleviate their suffering.”

But the bottom line was, “Maybe she likes to dress in pajamas and who am I to say it is wrong?”

One might ask – did it even matter what I thought or how it was interpreted? Well yes, it does as we discovered last week – judgments are problematic for us. If you missed the post, click here to read it: Why Is Judging Others A Problem For Us?

I decided her reasons for the way she was dressed belonged to her. I went about my day smiling at the lady in the yellow pajamas with a sense of peace that permeated my heart. After all…..

A non-judgmental stance helps us to see the best in others and isn’t that what we want others to see in us?

So how do we go about taking on a nonjudgmental stance?

Well, it takes time and practice. We will never attain perfection but getting close will make a huge difference. Below are steps that will move you closer to become less judgmental.

Taking a Non-Judgmental Stance

Notice the judgment:

The minute you begin to hear yourself judging – STOP and push it away. If you aren’t sure when you are judging look for words like good, bad, right, wrong, unfair, fair, never, always, no one, everyone, should or shouldn’t. If one is using these words most likely, they have dipped into the judging pool.

Pause:

Pause for a moment before letting your mind jump to judgments.   Just observe what is going on.

Describe the facts without adding any interpretations:

Learn to state the facts as you see them by describing what you see without adding an evaluation.   Example: “He ran the stop sign” instead of “Did you see that idiot run the stop sign?”

Give the benefit of the doubt:

What is it going to hurt if you assume that everyone is doing the best they can. It is impossible for someone to know why we do what we do so let us extend the same courtesy to others.

Look for the goodness in others:

Actively look for the goodness in others. We are all flawed so focusing on what is good will bring us more joy.

Let go of Self-Judgment:

We are our own worst enemy when it comes to judgments. As we stop judging ourselves, we will become less judgmental of others.

Accept feelings, thoughts, and emotions:

Learn how to state your feelings, thoughts, and emotions, without judging them. In turn, do the same for others. Just simply name them. “I am afraid,” instead of, “I shouldn’t be afraid to stay alone at night.”

Non-verbal speaks volumes:

Watch your tone and body language. We can judge so quickly with a roll of the eyes or an inflection of the voice that says something different than the words we are speaking.

Leave it to God:

Acknowledge God is the judge, not us. Ask him to help you become aware of where judgments have gotten in the way of your relationships.

Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time;

wait until the Lord comes.

He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and

will expose the motives of the heart.

At that time each will receive their praise from God.

I Corinthians 4:5 NIV

You may be skeptical of adopting a non-judgmental stance, so I encourage you just to give it a try and let the experience speak for itself. Take the steps above and apply them this week.

I am confident that taking on a non-judgmental stance will be worth it. It will bring your more peace in your present day moments and joy in your relationships with others.

I would love to hear how taking on a non-judgmental stance has helped you in your relationships and given you more peace?

I hope you will join our community at Embracing the Unexpected –  sign up today to receive posts straight to your inbox along with a small gift.

Non-Judgmental Stance
Printable – Click the document

 

 

 

54 Comments

  1. Reply

    Lela Cherry (@lelacherry11)

    You made me LOL!😁
    “Hurray for the woman in the yellow pajamas.”

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      I am so glad I could make you laugh. I love that woman in the yellow pajamas. Have a wonderful day! Maree

  2. Reply

    Lori Schumaker of Seaching for Moments

    Wonderful points and tips to turning away from an attitude of judgement! Thank you so much, Mardee, for joining me at #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Lori,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It encourages me to keep writing. I love #MomentsofHope. Thank you for hosting a great website and linkup.

      Blessings,

      Maree

  3. Reply

    lauradavis2013

    Good advice and so God-ordained as this has been something I’ve been praying about lately. Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Laura,

      Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. I love when you stop by and leave a message.

      Blessings,

      Maree

  4. Reply

    Heather

    Stepping all over my toes but in a good way!! When we take the time to be slow to speak and quick to hear the Spirit’s voice we’ll be well on our way to less judgement. Great practical tips to slow our roll and leave the judging to the ultimate judge. Enjoyed your post and now I’ll think of the lady in the yellow footie pjs every time I’m tempted to judge! Hooray for her!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Heather,

      I agree with you, hooray for the lady in the yellow pjs. I think of her often.

      I am so glad I stepped on your toes in a good way.

      Wishing you a beautiful day,
      Maree

  5. Reply

    Liz Giertz

    This is a question I’ve been wrestling with for some time… Can we use good judgment without being judgmental? I like your tips here and will apply them, especially giving people the benefit of the doubt. Blessings!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Liz,

      It is a difficult question to wrestle with. We are called to discern at times, but overall judging causes problems in relationships. It is a fine line.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Maree

  6. Reply

    Passing the Hope of Easter to Our Children - Crystal Twaddell

    […] I’m excited to announce this week’s Featured Fresh Find is Maree Dee! […]

  7. Reply

    Crystal Twaddell

    I’ve learned to appreciate getting my toes stepped on…Thanks for tackling this subject so well!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Crystal,

      You are so welcome! Thank you for your vote of confidence and sharing me as your featured writer this week. I feel honored.

      Blessings,

      Maree

  8. Reply

    Glenna

    Something we ALL need to be mindful of! I hate that my mind leaps to judgment so quickly.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Glenna,

      I am right there with you I hate it when my mind leaps there too.

      Blessings,

      Maree

  9. Reply

    sarahgirl3

    Awesome tips! We need to be aware of our judgments instead of delving into them and staying there.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sarah,

      Yes, I agree awareness is so critical to stopping the judgments. I know for me it is half the battle.

      Maree

  10. Reply

    thiskathryngirl

    This is such a tough thing to conquer, but you have some great guidance here!!!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Kathryn, I am so glad you stopped by and found the post helpful. Hope you had a great day. Maree

  11. Reply

    Brandi Raae

    Judging seems to happen before I know it’s even happening. GREAT tips! Thank you for encouraging us at Literacy Musing Mondays.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Brandi,

      I agree judging happens so quickly we don’t even realize we are doing it. The good news is the more are we are, the faster we can divert our thoughts into something good. Thanks for stopping by, Maree

      1. Reply

        Brandi Raae

        Choosing your post as my favorite for this week’s Literacy Musing Mondays post. Feel free to grab the featured button!

        1. Reply

          Maree Dee

          Brandi,

          Thank you! I feel so honored.

          Blessings,

          Maree

  12. Reply

    Lisa notes...

    Such a great post! Just shared it on Twitter. I know I am too judgmental, even if only in my head. I judge others too quickly and I judge myself too quickly, too. Great advice here to start nipping it in the bud sooner. Thanks for sharing, Maree.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Lisa,

      Thank you for sharing on Twitter, you made my day. I am glad the blog was helpful. We all have work to do in this area, including me.

      Maree

  13. Reply

    Kristi Woods

    Goodness, I’ve judged more times than I care to offer. It’s truly a temptation that entangles. Maree, I love your honesty here and your gentle turn of our heads toward Jesus. He is the answerer to all our problems, even the judgmental thoughts. I’ll be thinking of yellow jammies now and of Jesus as those thoughts attempt to take root. Good post! #coffeeforyourheart

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Kristi,

      Thank you for your kinds words in the comment section. I agree, Jesus is our answer.

      Blessings,

      Maree

  14. Reply

    Sheila Qualls

    I think I judge myself harsher when I judge others. Great advice. Great post. Great stance for life.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sheila, I don’t know about you, but I find it strange how judging others and myself are intertwined. Blessings, Maree

  15. Reply

    KellyRBaker

    Wow it’s so easy to take a judgmental stance on “little” things. Thanks for sharing this. #TellHisStory

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Kelly – Yes, a little will go a long way in learning to judge less. Thanks for stopping by. Maree

  16. Reply

    Anita Ojeda

    Great advice, Maree Dee! I often struggle with my judgmental attitude. Thank you for the actionable steps to stop that horrible voice in my head! Of course, I have often wanted to wear footy pajamas when I have to travel by airplane…just to see the reaction of the TSA workers…I’m weird that way ;).

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Anita,

      I would love to see you on the plane in footy pajamas.I wouldn’t think you to be weird I would consider you fun.

      Maree

  17. Reply

    Sarah Koontz (@sarahekoontz)

    The first step is always learning to recognize the behavior, isn’t it? It is amazing how lazy we can get in our thought life and how much judgement and sin can fill our hearts without us even taking note of it. Thanks for the great tips!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sarah — Yes, it is amazing how quickly it happens. I find when I am worn down it happens even faster. Thank you for stopping by. Maree

  18. Reply

    Becky Hastings

    I love your posts about this silent issue. It’s so easy to judge someone else. It takes the focus off of our flaws. When we’re pointing everyone to look at how ________(silly, stupid, ridiculous, wrong) that other person is, we think we are protecting ourselves from that same scrutiny.

    But God sees. He sees all of us. All the time. And if he can love me in all of my imperfection, he can certainly love the person I am quick to judge.

    Thank you for the wise reminders today!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Becky – I couldn’t agree with you more about God loving us with all of our imperfections and how much God loves the person we are about to judge. Thank you for stopping by I love it when you do. Maree

  19. Reply

    Laura Thomas

    Goodness, I totally would have been judgemental about the yellow pyjamas! It’s sobering to consider how we (umm, I) judge so easily—I love your practical steps to combat that ugly trait! How I long to see others through the loving eyes of Jesus! Thanks for sharing—stopping by from #FreshMarket Friday 🙂

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Thank you for stopping by here. Yes, we all judge so easily. I was just glad I noticed it right away and was able to change it. That is not always the case, but with practice, I am getting better at being less judgmental.

  20. Reply

    leslie

    Maree this is excellent! I really needed these perspectives. I’m putting that printable in my prayer notebook so I can remind myself of these things. I will be sharing this article on social. Thank you!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Leslie,

      I am so glad you found this helpful. Thank you so much for sharing. Hope you are having an amazing weekend.

      Maree

  21. Reply

    jerralea

    I love the idea, “assume everyone is doing the best they can.” Why not? It definitely could be true!

    Thanks for sharing about the woman in the yellow footie pajamas … It made my day.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      “You are so right it could be true that everyone is doing they best they can.” Thank you for adding that. Maree

  22. Reply

    Brenda

    Love the mental picture of the woman in the yellow footie pajamas. 🙂 This is such a good post, Maree. Love this phrase of yours: “Assume that everyone is doing the best they can.” — What a beautiful way for us to live. I hope I can be that kind of person, too. You’re so right, taking away the judgment helps us see the best in others. Great tips, Maree. Thanks for sharing! ((hug))

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Brenda,

      Thank you for stopping by, I love it when you do.

      Just to clarify, I too am working on being non-judgmental and assuming that everyone is doing the best they can. I have not arrived. I do know when I apply it, my interactions with others go so much better.

      Hope you have an amazing day!!

      Maree

  23. Reply

    Julie

    Love these tips! The example of the yellow footed pajamas made me laugh because I would have totally judged it.
    I need to work this character flaw… I’m too judgementa even to myself.
    I’m going to print this off and hang it up!
    #HeartEncouragement

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Julie,

      I am so glad you loved the tips and the printout.

      I too am judgmental on myself. I am trying hard to let go of perfection in myself. I never attain it so I am always thinking I should have done this to make it better instead of just being happy with what it is.

      I guess we are all works in progress.

      Thanks for stopping by, I love chatting with you on the blog.

      Maree

  24. Reply

    Christine Duncan

    Downloaded that printable with all the steps for a non-judgmental attitude. I fall into this trap all too often, and before I know it, these thoughts can even cause me to be ungracious in my actions too, spilling over into everything. Lately it seems that the theme in my life keeps swinging back around to “more grace, more grace”… a much better place to be! Visiting from #HeartEncouragement Thursday with Crystal 🙂

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Christine, I am so glad you found the printable helpful. I am big on having a mantra, and I like your idea of “more grace, more grace.” I am going to borrow that phrase today and have it at the front of my mind. Thank you for the tip.

      Blessings,

      Maree

  25. Reply

    Barbie

    Sometimes when I’m riding with someone who complains and is stressed about other drivers, I’ll make up stories to help relieve the stress… “She just got her permit today and it’s her first time making a left turn” or whatever. It helps to give the benefit of the doubt! Thanks for your encouragement. 🙂

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Barbie – I love that you make up stories to help relieve the stress. What a great idea. I am going to give that a try. It seems like that would lighten the stress and be kind of fun. Maree

  26. Reply

    George

    Good article

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Thank you!!

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