Why We Judge Others
I've been thinking a lot about judgment and how it gets in the way of happiness. It's my decidedly unscientific belief that the time spent making moral (good/bad) judgments about things outside ourselves detracts from our own sense of well-being or happiness. I also believe that when we feel strong judgments - and when we articulate those judgments - what we are feeling is almost always about us and not actually about the person/thing we think we are judging.
Recently, I can think of two instances where I felt, and probably acted, very judgmental. The good news is that I am generally a composed/diplomatic person, so these "situations" weren't as charged or dramatic as they could have been if I were constitutionally more hot-headed. That said, I came away from these encounters feeling yucky and regretful and it took me some time to realize that my thoughts and statements had something to do with others and objective situations, but a whole lot more to do with me. Because I was feeling vulnerable and uncertain (and unconsciously judging myself for feeling these things), I went into let's attack-and-judge others mode. Not ideal.
Anyway, this is part mea culpa, part communicating something interesting I learned (and likely knew all along). If we are feeling super-judgmental of other people's patterns or parenting or decisions, might it be that we are feeling inchoate judgment toward ourselves that we are then projecting out on other people and things? Interesting to think about, right?
Are you quick to judge others? Yourself? Do you think judgment detracts from happiness? Do you think when we are happy with ourselves we are less inclined to judge others?