5 Ways to Release Judgement & Criticism of Others
Have you been able to fully release judgment and criticism of others? Or instead do you still find yourself feeling irritated or bothered by the actions and behaviors of others?
I myself am no saint. While I have definitely moved more into a field of appreciating and accepting others, there are still times when I still find myself getting annoyed. This is especially true if I feel someone is being closed-minded.
Ironically, my irritation with another’s closed-mindedness is just a form of my own closed-mindedness, isn’t it? 😉
Below are a few ways I’ve been learning to help me release judgement and criticism of others.
Some of these ideas have helped me move beyond the need to debate and argue with others, and they have helped me repair a number of challenging relationships in my life. Others are newer ideas I am just now learning to play around with.
I hope you enjoy them!
1. Focus on your heart chakra.
Recently my friend Ross Pittman (of Conscious Life News) offered this suggestion to me: when you get annoyed with others, take a moment just to pause and focus your energy on your heart, which is the love energy center of the body. A simple redirection of focus can help you boost feelings of love over judgement.
I’ve been practicing this idea recently and must admit, it works very well!
2. Play devil’s advocate.
So often we assign negative meaning to another person’s actions. We decide that someone’s behavior is based off of their narrow-mindedness, their hatred, or their inadequacy.
Playing devil’s advocate can turn this around.
To try this strategy, look for a more “positive” excuse for someone’s “negative” behavior. For example, if someone cuts you off in traffic you might run down a list of possible acceptable reasons for their behavior. Maybe he cut you off because he was late for work, or because he is sick and not feeling well. Maybe she cut you off because her kids are distracting her, or she’s dealing with a problem in her life.
Playing devil’s advocate like this turns around negative judgements like “he’s a jerk!” or “she’s a bad driver!” When we play devil’s advocate, we look at others as humans who are trying their best in life, just like us.
3. Find common ground.
When we judge others, we are squarely focused on what makes us different, rather than what unites us. Finding common ground can be an easy way to reunite you in what brings you both together.
You share many characteristics with others, and when you notice these commonalities you naturally feel more bonded. So remind yourself that you are both human, you both have feelings, and you both want the best out of life. Remind yourself that you both make mistakes and you both do things right in the world. Reach for what unites you, rather than what separates you.
4. Ask yourself: what does this person have to teach me?
I think there is a tendency sometimes to look down on others who see things from what appears to be a “lower level” of awareness. I might consider this “spiritual snobbery,” and it’s definitely something I’ve seen rear it’s ugly head in my own life!
Though we might be ascending into higher states of awareness, each person we encounter has something to teach us. Each person we encounter in fact has a level of awareness higher than our own in some capacity. Looking for what can learn from others is a humbling act that reminds us no one of us is better, more evolved or more important than any other.
5. Take a broader perspective.
Sometimes it helps simply to step out of the specifics of the situation and look at the interaction from a more global perspective.
In moments of judgment I might pause and ask: What do I want this life to mean for me in the end? Do I want to be someone who loved or someone who hated? Do I want to be someone who judged or someone who sought to understand?
Sometimes just reminding ourselves of the bigger picture can help us ground back into love for others.
I hope these practices help you to feel compassion and understanding more consistently in your life, as they have for me.
Do you have any other strategies to release judgement and criticism? If so, please comment below and share!
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Can you give us an example on how we can focus on the heart chakra? Do we think about the colour green or red shaped heart ?
I think you could certainly do that NV, as your association colors are accurate. What I’ve been doing is simply focusing my attention on my heart center and trying to “tune in” to how it feels. This usually brings feelings of love into my awareness. My only focus is on how my heart feels, so I am doing this just to tune into my heart center, not to imagine the person I am releasing judgement from.
This may be easier with your eyes closed at first 🙂 Let me know what you think!
Oh my god this is amazing!!!! I just want to highlight my favorite parts..
“A simple redirection of focus can help you boost feelings of love over judgement.” … trying this will help me think to myself, is this really worth it to get mad over?
“Playing devil’s advocate like this turns around negative judgements like “he’s a jerk!” or “she’s a bad driver!” When we play devil’s advocate, we look at others as humans who are trying their best in life, just like us.” … this will allow me to not immediately think what a ‘bitch’ or ‘douchebag’ someone is and rather just not take it personal and understand they are just trying to do their best as am I
Thank you soooo much xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox
I am so glad you have playing devil’s advocate listed. Recently in my hometown, this person killed a lady with their car at the bus stop. They ran up onto the curb, into the brick wall and a lady seating there was killed. The young driver was unconscious when the police pulled him out of the car. The comments in the paper were very horrifying. This person was drunk and should be killed, etc. Many were quick to judge
The toxicology report came out and he was not drunk and no drugs were in his system. In the hospital, they did find a heart problem. The guy had been playing basketball and overly exerted himself. He got in his car, not realizing he had a heart problem that caused him to start feeling woozy. He said he was trying to pull over to the side but did not remember anything else. Medics said he fainted while driving the car.
So glad you liked this one Bobby! I feel you on the immediate “bitch” and “douchebag” thoughts, I used to immediately have these kind of thoughts all of the time for even the smallest of infractions! LOL! <3 <3
Thanks for sharing this story valvacious! It is a sad story but it is the perfect example of the importance of suspending judgement. We all need a little compassion, especially in the face of tragedy <3
I like all of these. Thank you!