When we judge someone we apply a label to them that is very hard for them to remove. Our judgments are often ill informed—or at least under-informed—and we naturally fill in the gaps in the information we have using our prejudices (‘pre-judgements’) and beliefs to guide us.
It isn’t possible to see in someone else a characteristic or trait we cannot see in ourselves. Of course, we may not currently be aware of some of our traits. Typically, what can happen is that we were criticised in the past for something and, rather than confront whatever it was that caused us to behave or be that way, we repress it. We forget it. But it is still there is our subconscious mind.
So, where we judge somebody at work, for example, what we judge has to be something we have judged in ourselves. If you think your boss is impatient, unreliable, uncaring or just a total idiot then it is important to look at the times where you have seen yourself to be like this and, importantly, if you think “oh, I could never be like that!”, to be curious about whether, in fact, it is only too likely that you could be.
On one hand, if we feel better than someone else, we may draw the conclusion that we will be held back by them in some way. We will certainly believe that they are, in some sense, a ‘bad’ person and we are right to ignore them, or whatever. This will lead us to feel resentful and that we are having to make a sacrifice.
On the other hand, if we place someone above us, we will feel that our own contribution is not valuable. This means our creative input will be lost, our participation will be limited and we will miss the rewards of any success.
Judgment keeps us separate from those we judge. In seeing them as wrong, we lose the learning opportunity and the creative opportunity that the relationship offers.
by Jeremy Marchant . © 2015 Jeremy Marchant Limited . uploaded 29 june 2015 . image: Free images
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