A new year brings us opportunity for self-improvement as our resolutions motivate us for this transformation. Physical resolutions can be extremely hard to follow through on, but emotional resolutions prove to be even more challenging. Let us explore an opportunity for self-improvement for 2017 by examining our personal “judgment of others.”
Examples of judgment seem to be endless and can include another’s physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, disabilities, education, lifestyle, music, income, religion, activities, actions, clothing, food, race, age and so much more.
Judgment can be defined as the ability to make considered decisions or come to conclusions, but this is only part of what we do. Perhaps it begins with condemnation. Condemnation can be defined as expressing complete disapproval of or to pronounce guilt, typically in public.
Why do we judge and condemn others?
The reason we judge and condemn others is based on how we think about ourselves. Self-reflection states that everything in your day-to-day life, whether positive or negative, can serve as a mirror. Examples include:
- Intolerable behavior displayed by someone else that you would not accept in yourself.
- You display the same behavior but aren’t aware of it, so you project your disowned behavior onto others and dislike it.
- You are resentful or envious, so you judge or condemn those who have what you want.
As a counselor and hypnotherapist specializing in the field of metaphysics, I explain to my clients that to judge or condemn another is solely internal and has nothing to do with anyone else. I work with my clients by exploring the fact that their external world, like a mirror, is the reflection of their internal world, and vice versa. Through metaphysical philosophies, I suggest that everything in existence is a reflection, including our thoughts and our behaviors. Our exterior world reflects our interior world, which is a mirror of true self-reflection. Self-reflection is actually mirror therapy.
Let us uncover any judgmental behaviors that you might be displaying by using the examples above. For instance, the reality television show, “The Real,” is overwhelmingly popular. Glitz and glamor, fame, fortune and status, extravagance, travel, designer (everything), competition, scandal, alliances, conflict, drama, deception, manipulation and even cosmetic surgeries. You enjoy your favorite characters and will defend their behavior, but why? It is due to self-reflection!
Perhaps you have condemned a characters’ argumentative behavior because you believe arguing is a waste of time. Or maybe you have shamed a character for gossip about another but do the same in your own life. What about judgment regarding a character’s physical appearance due to cosmetic surgery? Many people seek to alter their appearance to help jump start self-esteem after years of criticism from others.
Beverly Hills Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Mossi Salibian, M.D., F.A.C.S suggests that patients seek his service for various reasons. “The reasons are personalized and could range from functional issues to enhance one’s health to cosmetic reasons such as reversing the appearance of aging. Irrespective of the motives, the desire to actually undergo a plastic surgical procedure is based on one’s understanding of what the change could achieve in their personal lives and how it would enhance their quality of life and sense of self and self-esteem.” www.drsalibian.com
When your resolution calls for personal growth, incorporate understanding and empathy. Ask yourself, “Why might these characters’ style differ from yours or societies?” The underlying answer might surprise you.
Renowned stylist, Alison Jones explains how self-confidence play a significant role in our sense of style. “Lacking empathy, some can be quick to judge others’ but should first understand that age or illness can persuade a specific look using hair color or even wigs for both men and women, so we should be careful not to speculate or criticize.” An inspiration to everyone suffering from condemnation Alison shares her own personal triumph over criticism from others; “I saw my own beauty when I decided to forgive those who said mean things about my looks. I chose to love myself regardless of their thoughts or feelings they had towards me.” Let us not forget that judgement hurts everyone!
Without understanding and empathy, you can become self-righteous, meaning you believe that your actions or beliefs are in some way superior to others. This is an exaggerated assessment of your own good qualities, often reflected in your actions toward or beliefs about others, and lacks empathy.
Empathy is the art of understanding life through another person’s eyes. It deepens human connection and makes much that was previously confusing become clear. You can start to practice empathy by:
- Putting aside your own perspective and validating the other person’s viewpoint. Even before you know why they feel a certain way, you can accept that they do—and that they have their reasons.
- Examining how self-reflection is playing a role. Do you fear those who are different? Do you doubt your talent, goodness, or accomplishment? Do you worry that if they are right, you must be wrong?
- Understanding and sympathizing with the other person at the same time as you understand and sympathize with yourself.
The bottom line is this: self-reflection suggests that when you condemn another, you judge yourself. Follow these tips when viewing life through your mirror and proceed with reflection therapy because it also suggests that when you have compassion and understanding for another, you have it for yourself.
2017 is a year to take a look in the mirror and transform your reflection by releasing judgment of others and yourself! Happy New Year!