Judging Others

Are you “Judgey?” (Stop judging others) Learn why you do it.

Are you a “judgey” person? Does it feel like you are always judging others? Even if you have answered “yes” to these two questions, you probably aren’t even aware of how often you judge others.

There are lots of “judging” synonyms. Call it what you want, but at the end of the day it is still judging. Even if you don’t think people are aware that you are judging them, I promise you that your energy is showing them that you are.

If you want to learn how to stop judging other people so much, then you’ll want to keep reading. However, I first need to congratulate you on your willingness to acknowledge your judgment of others.

Self-Awareness in Judging Others

It takes a very self-aware person to recognize his or her “judgey” behaviors or thoughts. You can’t stop judging if you can’t admit that you do it.

Now, you also need to understand that every person under the sun has been judgmental towards others. Sadly, that is human nature.

The problem arises when we are “judgey” in an attempt to make somebody “below” or “beneath” ourselves. Also, we judge people so quickly that we probably aren’t even aware of our split-second judgment of others.

An Example of “Judgey” Stuff

As I mentioned, there are many judging synonyms for judging. I am from the Deep South. Many Southerners have a saying that appears to be sweet, but deep down we all know it is the exact opposite.

That saying is “Bless your/his/her heart.” Southerners aren’t actually wishing good blessings on the person. Instead, it is a passive-aggressive way of being “judgey.”

Here’s how that works. Let’s say that a mom shows up at a soccer game looking like she either just rolled out of bed or like she hasn’t slept in weeks.

When she walks off from the other moms for a minute, they all look at each other and say, “Bless her heart” and smile. They are being “judgey” because they don’t truly care about what is going on with that mom.

Instead, they are putting themselves above her because she doesn’t look “put together” like the rest of them. I’m sure many of you have been the victim of others judging you in similar situations.

Judging Other People Means You Are Judging Yourself

That leaves you wanting to explain why you look the way you do. It also causes you to judge yourself. Nobody needs any more judgment from themselves!

Most people have enough of that negative self-talk without the addition of other people judging them. That negative self-talk is what I call Not Good Enough Stuff. We all have it to some degree.

I won’t go into an explanation of that in this post, but you can click here to learn how to heal that negative self-talk. Don’t we all want to be less judgmental towards ourselves?

Now, let’s dive into why we are “judgey” to begin with. The reason we are judging other people is that we are not happy with ourselves. That’s nothing new and I’m sure you already knew that.

However, it is still true. When I sit and think of people who I wouldn’t consider as “judgey,” I realize that those people are really comfortable with who they are.

Not only that, but they allow others to be just as they are without judging them. Just think about what a beautiful world it would be if we were all like that.

That’s an unattainable goal because our judgment towards others is the result of our own emotional pain with sprinkles of ignorance which I’ll explain later.

I’m not really concerned about changing the world, though. My concern is allowing you to heal your “judgey” ways because that is one of the secrets to creating a happy, peaceful life that you can love.

Judgement of Others Lowers Your Self-Worth

Every time you make a judgment of others, you are chipping away at your own self-worth. Let that sink in for a minute and I’ll explain how that works.

Let’s use the example of the mom at the soccer game. Those “judgey” women have no clue what is going on in that mom’s life.

She could be struggling with depression and isolating herself. It might have taken all of her emotional strength just to get out of bed and watch her child play soccer.

She was probably feeling really proud of herself for even going and, even more so, for joining the other moms in conversation. As I mentioned earlier, when we are judging other people, our energy informs them of that.

So, that mom is fully aware of the thoughts those “judgey” moms were having about her. That might send her right back to bed for many days and ending her feeling of pride for having gone to the game.

Now, how does that chip away at the self-worth of these moms? This is where you’ll really need to dig into your self-awareness.

Pretend that you are one of them because I guarantee you have been at some point in your life. The reason that mom or whoever it is triggers you to be “judgey” like that is that you probably relate to the person in some way.

There was probably a time when you were that person who was struggling to manage your life. However, it may have looked much different than that mom, but the experience and feelings are the same.

I’ll give you an example in case you are struggling to see that in yourself.  Haven’t there been times when you thought there was no way you could get everything done and felt like you were falling apart?

As I mentioned, the result of that may have looked very different for you. Instead of showing up looking like you just rolled out of bed, you may have showed up looking very “put together,” but underneath you felt like that mom at the soccer game.

You probably did everything you could to hide what was truly going on for you. Heaven forbid we show our authentic selves and allow ourselves to be vulnerable with others about our struggles.

Victims of Judgment

This is where I have a lot of respect for the mom that those women were targeting. She chose not to care about her appearance. Instead, she chose to pull herself together just enough to be physically present for her child’s soccer game.

In this example, the “judgey” moms were subconsciously, and possibly consciously, thinking that they hoped nobody ever sees how they are similar to that mom. They, too, have struggles in life, but instead hide them with every bit of power they can muster.

Their judgment of that mom is actually how they secretly judge themselves. They need to voice in subtle, and often not so subtle, ways how they are better than that mom.

They have a huge and deep fear that others might see how they really feel about themselves. So, in an effort to prevent that from happening, they have to put others down in order to convince themselves and others that they are doing well in life.

We all want to feel like we are “winning” in life, but we don’t have to judge others to do so. Again, when we judge people, that is simply a sign of our own insecurities.

So, when you feel your “judgey” thoughts or behaviors creeping in, you can use that as a guide for your own healing. Think about the ways that you are similar to the person you are judging.

This will require some deep thinking. You will also need to be vulnerable with yourself to acknowledge your own Not Good Enough Stuff.

Looking at Yourself in the Mirror

As a psychotherapist, I often do mirror work. Are you wondering what I mean by that? I have a wall in my office covered with a giant mirror. It is typically covered with curtains.

When I have a client who is really ready to do some deep inner work, the curtains are opened as they sit in front of the mirror. Doing so allows them to literally see what they don’t like about themselves.

This is where the self-judgment comes into play. They not only see the physical aspects of themselves that they don’t like. Their minds also start spinning with their negative self-talk.

Yes, that is hard. However, it also allows that vulnerability I mentioned. Until you are able to be vulnerable with yourself to acknowledge how you judge yourself, you cannot stop judging other people.

If you want to try some mirror work on your own, make sure you have a licensed therapist who feels that you are ready to do so. If you don’t have a licensed therapist, click here to read my post 5 Steps to Finding a Good Therapist.

The reason mirror work actually works is that it forces us to see all of the parts of ourselves that we don’t like. That then allows us to see where our work needs to be in our healing journey.

You might be really surprised at some of the subconscious thoughts that become conscious when doing mirror work. Those subconscious thoughts are what drive us to judge others.

Judging Others is Ignorant

Our “judgey” thoughts or behaviors are simply our subconscious insecurities we are working so hard to ignore or cover up from ourselves and the world. That is why I said that “our judgment of other people is the result of our own emotional pain with sprinkles of ignorance.”

We are ignorant because we are unaware of our own judgments towards ourselves that are driving our judgmental thoughts and behaviors. In order to stop judging people, we have to do our own healing work.

History’s Most Notorious Judgmental Person

I’ll give you an extreme example to help you understand this a little more. Unfortunately, Hitler supplied the world with his judgment of others in the most horrific way our world has ever seen.

Hitler thrust his judgment of others on to people who did not look like him or practice his religion. He had to prove to the world that those people were horribly inferior and a danger to others.

Now, most would say that Hitler portrayed an insane amount of confidence. This is where “most” would be wrong. Again, “judgy” behaviors stem from our own insecurities.

Oh, how I wish I could’ve been Hitler’s therapist! If I were, then I would’ve been able to see that underneath that disgusting display of arrogance that he was actually covering up some very deeply-seated insecurities and self-hatred.

As I mentioned with the soccer moms, Hitler felt he had to cover that up in the grandest way he could possibly think of. There was no way he was going to allow anybody to see those insecurities. That resulted in millions of tragic and very unnecessary deaths.

Please don’t think that I am comparing the soccer moms or you to Hitler. I am not! What I am doing, like I said, is giving you an extreme example.

Often, we need an extreme example to really understand the point. Hopefully, that gives you a little insight into what you might be covering up with your own “judgey” thoughts and/or behaviors.

How to Stop Judging

If you really want to stop judging other people, you will need to do your own healing work. When you do that, you will decrease your own judgments towards yourself.

If you learn to accept and love yourself, then you can do the same for others. Don’t think that I don’t understand how difficult that whole “self-love” stuff can be!

Unfortunately, I knew that feeling all too well for about thirty years of my life. My absence of self-love resulted in my being an incredibly judgmental person.

Still today, I have to consciously work on the ways my judgmental stuff shows up. When you’ve been doing something for the majority of your life, it is hard to stop.

So, I have deep empathy for those of you who choose the path of healing to stop judging others. It is incredibly hard to do, but, as with all healing work, it is absolutely worth it.

Are you willing to admit that you struggle with your own “judgey” stuff? If so, are you willing to do the work to heal? If you are willing to work to stop being judgmental towards others and yourself, please comment below.

The NGES Community can benefit from your experiences AND your willingness to be vulnerable. So, test out a little vulnerability now that you’ve read this post. Post a comment on your thoughts about this post or your own struggle to stop judging others.

As I always mention, this work is hard, and I recommend finding a licensed therapist to guide you through your healing journey. Healing is hard but can be much easier if you have guidance from a licensed professional.


This site is only intended for people who are truly willing to look at themselves with an open mind and have the ability to truly be vulnerable with themselves and others. Please understand that this site is in NO WAY THERAPEUTIC ADVICE. However, this site can be very beneficial in learning the causes of your Not Good Enough Stuff. This site is not intended to provide or replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Mary Beth HIGHLY RECOMMENDS finding a licensed therapist to help you process the information from this site and all that you learn about yourself. Visit Psychology Today to find a licensed therapist in your area.

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