Are you dealing with judgmental people? People who frequently express judgment are usually unaware of how damaging their words and behavior can be to others. Most people do not know the difference between expressing an opinion and rendering a judgment.
Judgment can show up as gossip, criticism, using the word “should”, labeling (i.e. right, wrong, good, bad) and the general practice of stating subjective information as fact.
Every Opinion is Important and Valuable
We all have opinions that are important and valuable. Diversity is what makes this world a beautiful place. The problem enters when one person decides to define truth for everyone else.
An example of this would be someone stating that “Donald Trump is destroying the Republican Party” vs. “I don’t agree with Donald Trump’s politics”.
The people who are used to judging expect you to join them in judgment.
Judgmental people want validation of their position at any cost. If you find yourself surrounded by judgment, read on to learn clever ways to respond without joining the judgment party.
"Because you are women, people will force their thinking on you, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go. Don't live in the shadows of people's judgement. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom." ~Amitabh Bachchan
Watch the video below to learn more about how you can deal with judgmental people in your personal and business life or scroll down to read the highlights.
What To Do When You Come Across Judgmental People
Way #1: Pay them a compliment
A genuine compliment that speaks to someone’s inner beauty can be very effective at derailing negativity.
When you are tempted to react with anger, hurt or arguing it is helpful to be aware of these reactions so you can quickly switch it to something positive.
"Picking a best friend who stands up for what she believes in, is true to herself and allows you to be yourself without judgement of how 'cool' you are? Well, now you're picking a friend for life." ~Renee Olstead
An example would be “I admire your passion and commitment, regardless of which candidate we support!” This type of compliment identifies positive traits and creates unity between two people who may not agree.
Way #2: Share something you are grateful for.
When you can see the positive, despite being inundated with judgment, you are modeling constructive thinking.
An example of this would be “I am grateful to live in a country where we have the freedom to choose, even if we don’t agree!” This is another clever way to unify the conversation and redirect judgment.
Way #3: Understand how bias works.
We are all affected by bias; the way we were raised, the media we consume, the people we spend time with and the beliefs we hold.
Bias by its very nature encourages short-sighted thinking.
- Be mindful by responding from a place of open-mindedness and curiosity.
- Coming from a place of interest and non-bias allows the judgmental individual to feel heard without you needing to validate their position.
An example of this would be “I am so interested in your perspective; how did you develop that belief?”. Now you are learning more about their bias and practicing non-judgment yourself!
Way #4: Practice acceptance.
Know you cannot change someone else AND, it’s not your job to change then.
If we want to successfully respond to someone practicing judgment, we must be aware that bias is at play.
In this case, accepting someone (even when you don’t agree) is an act of love. This is perhaps the cleverest way to deal with someone who is judgmental. When we feel judged, it kicks up feelings of insecurity and anger. The best way you can get rid of insecurity and anger is to not take things personally…this means acceptance.
“You're going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it's always their actions you should judge them by. It's actions, not words, that matter.” ~Nicholas Sparks, The Rescue
An example of this would be “I hear how you feel and accept how important this is to you.” I am not suggesting that you condone or support an idea that does not fit for you, I am suggesting that you allow others to live their lives the way they choose without taking offense. Acceptance equals inner peace.
Way #5: Protect your self-esteem.
There are some folks who are so judgmental they can be difficult to be around.
Stay grounded in your core values and take a step back when you feel threatened or hurt. An example of this would be “This is a lively discussion; I think I need a time out to reflect.”
In many ways, our society holds judgment in high regard.
The media tends to celebrate image, power, and conflict. It uses these things to attract consumers and we fall into an unhealthy tendency to feed negativity in our own minds. I challenge you to be the change you want to see in the world. Evaluate ways you may promote judgment in your own life and commit to creating a positive world for yourself!
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If I have said anything about how to deal with judgmental people that resonates with you, please share your thoughts and comments below.
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