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Stop Judging


Techniques Happiness > Stop Judging

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Do you find yourself judging others? Deciding whether they are good or bad? Figuring out whether they are superior or inferior?

Try stopping this for a while. Or, if you find it difficult, cut down on evaluation. Think of people as just people, trying to make their way through life with whatever capabilities and resources they have, which of course is always limited.

Do the same for yourself. If you find you are considering yourself bad or good, superior or inferior, then pull back and just consider yourself as a normal person, with the same limitations and doing what you can.


Most of us are brought up in a hierarchical society where culture is often about status, deciding who is superior and who is inferior. Good and bad, better and worse, we constantly compare ourselves with others or against some otherwise-defined gold standard.

This can lead to a lot of tension and unhappiness. Few want to be inferior, and those that do have often given up trying climb the tree and just wallow in their low social position.

Judging is a comparative exercise. We compare ourselves against others and others against one another. There is a lot of bias in this activity and we generally seek to make ourselves look good, even though we secretly believe we are inferior.

This creates a false happiness, where our judgemental thoughts seem to make us feel superior. Yet there is always an inner tension as we realize the gap between reality and our assumed position. Even if we do climb to the top of a social tree and are lords of all we survey, we worry about others trying to knock us off the peak.

Judging ourselves and others is at the root of this sorry affair. If we can stop or reduce the judging we do of others and of ourselves, then we can only be happier. If status is less important, then we will worry about it less. If we can be comfortable in our own skins, wherever we are and whatever we and others think, then sustained happiness is within reach. And all we need to do is stop judging.

Paradoxically, this is one of the keys to being 'cool'. Those who try to be cool judge themselves and others and, in doing so, become uncool. To be cool is to be comfortable with who you are and wherever you are. And in doing so, others will judge you as cool and afford you the status that you no longer need.

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