Judgments: What You Judge, You Become

I‘ve heard an old saying, “What you judge, you become.” I’ve elaborated on this with my own twist. “What you judge harshly in others, you may eventually become; what you judge compassionately in yourself through value judgments, you may eventually overcome.”

Toxic Judgments are Hard Work

NonViolent Communication (NVC) has revealed many insights to me. One is that the psychological labor of making toxic judgments and criticisms takes a lot of brain power. The toil of judging stirs intense “e-motions” which are, after all, e=energy in motion. The toxic feelings get stored in our subconscious mind as energy to be accessed down the road. These painfully toxic emotions pop up into the conscious mind when we’re under great stress or in dire situations.

Harsh, toxic judgments of others tend to be moralistic in nature. They imply that we’re somehow better than the people we are judging.

When we judge ourselves (or others) with compassion, we are making value judgments instead of moral toxic judgments.  We might see some behaviors that are not in harmony with our deeper values. So we make a value judgment to help us find other ways to respond to situations. NVC helps us find new strategies more in harmony with our values.

Toxic Judgments Come in All Sizes

When we make toxic judgments of others for small negative deeds, we might actually do some of those deeds before long. This is because the unconscious mind stores those as ideas to use when we’re in a pickle.

When we indulge in toxic judgments of others for major negative deeds, it may take decades before we become that.  Age changes or weakens us. Our unconscious mind slips those undesirable ideas into our consciousness. This tends to happen when we find ourselves in extraordinary or desperate circumstances. For instance, we may be feeling deeply hurt, lonely, angry, fed up, afraid, etc.

Toxic Judgments are not Sustainable

There is tremendous benefit in retraining ourselves to simply observe others without slipping into toxic judgments. This applies even when we see others do things we find reprehensible or unthinkable.  Even when their belief system, religion or politically extreme views are totally opposed to our own. If we don’t want to eventually become that, then why make a moral and toxic judgment of it? It may be far more wise to focus instead on making value judgments for ourselves. This refocuses our attention compassionately on feelings and needs. It helps us to find creative new strategies that work.

NVC Shifts Us to Value Judgments

We can teach ourselves a more positive and peaceful way of responding to that which we don’t like or want. This is especially true when we see our own thoughts, words and deeds that aren’t in harmony with our values. Why perpetuate the painful habit of issuing harsh, toxic judgments of ourselves for what we don’t like about us? Why keep beating ourselves up emotionally? Instead, we can be supportive by noting we’re doing something that doesn’t serve us. Something that doesn’t serve our values. We can make note of the kinds of situations where we’re triggered to think or act in that unwanted way. Then we’re in a position to brainstorm creatively to find new strategies. That’s what can enable us to respond in a way more in harmony with our values.

About swpollack

I’m an independent mediator and collaborative communication coach who can help you to co-create greater ease, connection and mutual understanding in your personal and professional relationships. As a non-traditional specialist, my aim is to get concrete results for my clients in a fraction of the time usually required by traditional therapy and counseling. Please visit my business website: www.mediation-usa.net . The emotion-based coaching work I do is deeply therapeutic, yet I am neither a psychologist nor a psychotherapist. Instead I work with a holistic, empathic process called compassionate, nonviolent communication. I also facilitate ongoing support groups for people who want to learn this organic process of nonjudgmental communication to help build bridges of connection, harmony, collaboration and understanding. For more about my Build Compassionate Relationships meetup group, visit: www.nvccoachmiami.com . I’ve been offering these services to the public since 2000 in the greater Miami and Fort Lauderdale area, as well as by phone and through Skype conferencing. . Nonviolent Communication is a process developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. It’s based on a very pure, nonjudgmental language of feelings, needs and requests. I’ve found this to be a powerful tool in my mediation work which involves bringing two or more people together despite a painful history of conflict.
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