A couple of seconds after meeting a new person, we begin to make judgements. How does that person look? Are they interesting? Do I like them? Is this person someone I would like to see again? Especially when it comes to the world of dating, we're all a part of a huge evaluation process. The ability to make judgements is one of our greatest mental abilities, however, just like any other superpower, it can either be used for good or evil. So if you want to stop judging yourself and the people around you, here's three main things to keep in mind:
1. Don't let appearance deceive you. Appearance is the first thing that can deceive. We often don't realize that when we meet someone, we are seeing that person in a fraction of their life. The way they look - whether it is amazingly dressed up or tired with messy hair - is not representative of their person as a whole.
For example, I find guys in suits very attractive. So now when I meet someone very attractive in a suit, I imagine that person in plain t-shirts and jeans. Sometimes afterwards they lose a part of their charm. It's a good way of checking with yourself whether you really like the other person or you simply like what they represent.
2. Realize that people are complex
This is very closely connected to empathy and it's something that we'll be focusing more on in future videos. Keep in mind that everyone you meet had a life before you. They went through experiences that you might never even imagined, be it good or bad. The truth is, people can surprise you. What about a CEO of a financial company who writes poetry in his free time? Or a kindergarten teacher who once per month puts on a show with her belly dancing group? People are much more complex that we give them credit for. When we make judgments about someone early on we rob ourselves of an opportunity to get to know the person on a deeper level.
3. Realize that everyone knows something that you don't.
Not only that but there is always something you can learn from the other person. That's why the next thing to keep in mind is that everyone knows something you don't. You are not smarter. And neither are you any less smart that people around you. Your knowledge is simply different.
I recently spoke with a 5-year-old girl in German and because her German is much better than mine, I asked her if the gender of the word I used was correct. If I had kept the attitude of I am smarter because I'm an adult, I would not be able to learn anything. And like this I made a new friend in the process too. How to stop judging yourself? The things we judge other people for say a lot more about you than the person being judged. You can actually learn a lot about yourself when you start to notice what exactly triggers judgmental thinking. When you’re happy with yourself and confident in your own skin, you won’t feel the need to put yourself in a position of superiority over someone else to justify your own self-worth.
The first step you can start with is to stop judging yourself. Your mind is the best place to practice whatever new skills you are learning. If you are constantly criticizing yourself for every little thing you don't do perfectly or the way you look, it's going to be very difficult to become accepting towards other people. Try saying this to yourself: I accept myself just the way I am. Including every flaw. Including every mistake, you made in the past. And including every desire you have for yourself in the future.
If there's one thing that you'll take away from this article, keep in mind this every time you catch yourself judging yourself: "I accept myself just the way I am". We are constant works in progress. And right now, in this very moment - you are perfect just the way you are.