Can You Truly Be Judgement Free? 5 Ways to Stop Judging Yourself and Others

We’re constantly judging others and ourselves, but imagine how much more positive our lives would be if we just stopped?

Kelsey Hickey
4 min readMay 11, 2020
Photo by Charlein Gracia on Unsplash

“Be curious, not judgmental” — Walt Whitman

Somewhere in our brains, we’ve been wired to judge ourselves and others.

It’s simply human nature.

We judge other people’s appearance, clothing, actions, or words. We judge people we know and people we don’t even know yet.

We even harshly judge ourselves every single day.

What do we get out of passing judgment? Usually, judgment creates negative feelings of ourselves or other people around us.

The thing about judgment is that we do it without even thinking. Being judgemental of ourselves and others is a bad habit that we need to practice breaking.

I will admit that I’m not perfect when it comes to not passing judgment.

No one is.

Here are some tips that I like to use to keep a positive attitude about not judging myself or others.

1. Observe Yourself

You might be reading this article and wondering just how often you judge yourself or other people.

The best way to find out is to observe your own thoughts.

When you’re consciously thinking about what you think about it becomes more apparent. Otherwise, you might go all day making judgments about people or yourself without realizing it.

You’re sitting in traffic and someone cuts you off. You might immediately think, “He’s an asshole.” You have no idea why he cut you off but you’ve already judged him.

You also might not realize you’re judging yourself throughout the day. Say you don’t get a promotion that you’ve really been hoping for. You might feel worthless but in reality, it just may not have been the right time for you.

Go through an entire day and just observe your thoughts.

A great way to stop passing judgment is to stop those thoughts in their tracks. Once you realize that you’re being judgmental, it will be much easier to ask yourself why you’re thinking this way.

It is easier said than done and will take time and practice.

2. Be More Understanding

Now that you’ve started to recognize when and how you judge people and yourself, you can be more understanding.

Being understanding makes us realize that nobody is perfect.

Have you ever been to a restaurant where you’re seated next to a family with children who just won’t sit still? Instead of passing judgment, you can understand that raising kids is tough.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned and the family might just be trying to get through dinner together.

If it’s someone that you know, then talk with the person and see what’s going on in their lives. Everyone has a story and most people are willing to share.

If they’re not, then try to put yourself in their shoes instead of judging them. You never truly know what someone else is going through.

3. Acceptance

Everything leads to acceptance.

Once you see the error of your ways and understand the situation, then you should try to accept it.

It may not be easy at first, but it’s something that you have to do.

You’ll start to feel more positive once you accept things for the way that they are.

After all, the world is how it is. We can change a few minimal things around us, but that’s about it.

No one is perfect. No one needs to be perfect. No one is going to be perfect.

You’re just going to have to deal with each situation that comes to you and accept it for what it is. Making the best of it is all that we can do.

4. Learn to Forgive

Sometimes when we judge the people who are the closest to us it’s because we’re holding a grudge.

Hanging onto resentment is just more negativity in your life which no one needs.

Learn to forgive yourself and others.

Did you know that you can hold a grudge against yourself?

If there’s something that you’ve been beating yourself up about for a while, then you need to forgive yourself for it. Whether it’s a test that you failed or something that just didn’t go your way, then forgive yourself.

You’ll feel much better moving on from the past and starting fresh.

5. Love

As cliché as it might sound, love is the answer.

When we look at ourselves and others with love, then we know that we’re all human. We can put our differences aside and see things for the core of what they are.

We all know that it doesn’t feel good when we are judged. So why would we want others to feel that way?

Love can mean something different to everyone. Whether it is kindness, acceptance, fondness, or respect we should show it as much as we can.

Even if you don’t know someone you can still show love to them.

You and everyone around you are worthy of love.

“It’s not what you look at that matters.
It’s what you see.”

— Henry David Thoreau

Practice Being Judgement Free

Judgment and negativity rarely do any good. There’s a difference between constructive criticism and just being negative.

Make sure to think before you make that comment or have that thought about a person you’ve yet to meet. Remember those negative thoughts about yourself can hurt your self-image too!

Focus on the positives in your life and try not to dwell on the negatives in your life or others.