How To Judge People Thoughtfully

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You know when someone is harshly judging you, even if they don’t say it to your face. Their eyes narrow, their lips part, their faces float. They usually don’t shake their heads if they don’t want to provoke a reaction. Even if someone has trouble controlling their body language, you can feel their disapproval.

We hate it when others judge us, either directly or in a passive-aggressive way, and we all behave the same way.

We are humans and it is part of our DNA. Avoiding the judgment of others requires a lot of self-discipline and mental discipline that many people in the world lack. However, while we have no choice but to participate in this human tradition, with conscious effort and some thoughtful strategies, we can judge others in a way that shows compassion, understanding, and acceptance of their beliefs and lives, even if we put it there. disagree. with them. Options.

Many people use heuristics to evaluate people – a mental shortcut for making decisions and judgments when faced with incomplete information.

This is how it works.

You could walk down the city street. It’s late at night and a woman in a suit walks past you, talking on the phone. Do you consider him a threat? I do not think so. But let’s say you walk past an old man wearing a ski mask in the middle of summer. Do you see it as a threat?

In either case, we have no information to evaluate other than appearance. You could be right in saying that the person in the ski mask is a potential threat. But he could also be wearing a ski mask because he has a skin condition and the woman in the suit is a secret hit man.

Heuristics are useful when we have no other information to evaluate, but they can lead to lazy thinking when we avoid seeking additional information through conversation or research when practical.

If we put in too much effort, we make people carefully evaluate while updating our heuristics with new information when our mental shortcuts lead to wrong decisions.

Examining your heuristics and finding information to confirm or disprove them is the first of five strategies you can use to judge people.

Assess values instead of beliefs.

I’m old enough to remember a time when adults avoided talking about ideology and religion. Before the internet and social media upended social norms, it was considered wrong for the average person to reveal someone’s political views or religious beliefs.

My beautiful world of the early 90s no longer exists. Today, former high school friends who knew nothing about each other’s politics now call themselves fascists and baby killers.

We can’t go back to the old world, but we can stop judging ourselves by our beliefs and judge ourselves by the values we hold.

They are not the same.

Ideally, we should all define our values, adopt beliefs that support those values, and then use factual evidence to prove or disprove whether those beliefs actually align with our values. The practice takes a lot of effort and effort. People today rarely use their critical thinking skills and hold false beliefs, even in situations of conflicting information.

This happens because we engage in beliefs that are part of our tribal identity, so we defend it even when the evidence shows it isn’t true.

When talking to people who disagree with you and who seem to have strange positions, try to understand the values that support their beliefs.

They often find it worthless and have to work. Explain how your beliefs support your values and that new facts may change your mind if you need to update your beliefs.

I have found this practice to help others reflect on their values. It won’t change your mind, but planting a seed and at least explaining why you feel that way can lead to mutual understanding, and sometimes that’s better.

Understand their journey

Suppose you are arguing with your neighbor about the merits of the school voucher program. The debate is strengthened by the parties based on their own views. But before you argue or talk about virtue, try to understand their background – the life experiences that led them to a certain worldview.

Their background can also reveal what they value, allowing you to understand why they are in their position before you even start a discussion. You may decide it’s not worth talking about. In some cases, you can share your experiences and how they have shaped your values, which may encourage them to be open to new ideas.

When you understand the hurdles and obstacles someone faces in reaching their vision, you understand why they believe in it, even if you don’t agree.

Resist equating outcomes with intent.

If your partner slept last night unwashed, he should sleep too, right? Or they forgot. When you’re angry or upset, it’s tempting to base the solution on the outcome. We often let our emotions shape the opinions of others without reason for making such a decision. We think that we are the worst of people because our highest emotional state requires satisfaction.

He was an hour late because he was a Donkey!He canceled the date because he wanted to embarrass me in front of my friends!

We make these decisions based on emotions rather than facts. In this situation, avoid jumping to conclusions when dealing with the cause of the bad behavior. It sounds simple, but when it comes to heartbreak, it’s a challenge. Take a page from the criminal justice system – be innocent until found guilty

Acknowledge the universal bias.

When you and I see an apple tree, we agree on what we see. We interpret the truth in the same way. But when it comes to judgment and abstraction, we see the world through the lens of our own reality. George Carlin expressed this sentiment well when he asked, “Do you know that anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot and anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot?” harder to drive?”

It’s funny how we find ourselves walking at the right pace and others walking too fast or too slow. We all look crazy or crazy and like ourselves.

From their perspective, they will see you as crazy or crazy, and immediately. I call it the tool of life: we see it too fast or too slow, too loud or too quiet, one way or the other.

A simple reminder that they are better for you than you are for them can help curb the urge to judge. Ask yourself, “How would they see this situation from their perspective?”

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