Do you try to be a good accepting person? Do you try to avoid judging other people?
In fact, maybe you notice when you are judging other people and you try to get yourself to stop.
And perhaps as you are trying to get yourself to stop, maybe you even judge yourself for judging other people. If that’s something that you deal with, listen to this episode because today we’re going to help you let all of that go, help you become way more relaxed and comfortable with judgments that happen in your mind and ultimately how to use judgment, as something that serves you, maybe even serves the other person and actually helps bring you closer to more self-acceptance and more confidence.
Click below to hear this episode!
Yo, what’s up? Welcome to today’s episode. I’m your host, Dr. Aziz and this is Shrink for the Shy Guy and if you are a gal, you can listen too. I know we have a few ladies out there. So thanks so much for joining me today. If you want to go deeper into anything that you learned on this show, go to shrinkfortheshyguy, all spelled out, shrinkfortheshyguy.com and you can get show notes and other things there. You can also get your free copy of my e-book, “Five steps to Unleash your Inner Confidence.”
It takes a lot of the stuff that you’re learning in this show and systematizes it into a step by step process to help you, as the title would suggest, unleash your confidence so you can become a lot more comfortable in any area; work setting, speaking up, being more bold, approaching people you find attractive and just being generally more confident and badass. Not only that but in addition to the eBook, I also send you video trainings on each of the steps. So it’s a super valuable package, all for free. So, go check it out at shrinkfortheshyguy.com as well as other information about the show.
And speaking of that, if you have been listening for a little while and you’re benefitting from the show and you think it’s awesome, well then you’re right. But go to iTunes and give it a five star review if it warrants a five star review. You think it warrants a four star review, then screw you. No, no just whatever you think but give it a good rating, and that will help me carry out my mission which is to reach more people and specifically to reach that one guy. You know that guy. He’s like alone in his room. Like, “”Oh no I must know that I struggle with this. I’m a loser, I’m a failure,” because that guy was me and my mission is to reach me 14 years ago. It’s like a weird Terminator 2 travel through time sort of thing, I guess. But no, I want to help people that are really stuck and one way to do that is through this podcast so you can help me help them by giving it a great review. Awesome. Thank you in advance for doing that.
And let’s talk about judgments because I had a client … a conversation with a client, here we go. My mouth, my lips are working. I had a conversation with a client the other day about judgments and I thought this is fascinating because she was experiencing it, I know I have gone through this and I was like, “You know I bet most people struggle with this,” especially if you are on the part of social anxiety or shyness or lower confidence can be, we tend to be nicer people, maybe even too nice and that’s my other mission, I’m actually going to write a whole book about not being so nice but maybe you struggle with that. I know I did.
And so part of being a nicer person is that you try not to be a judgmental jerk. You try not to judge people. You certainly don’t want to share your judgments. And what I found though is, we’re trying not to judge people and then we end up having a rule in our head that says, “You shouldn’t judge people,” that’s bad to judge people. And then you end up judging yourself for judging someone else. Have you ever had that experience? I use to have that all the time. I look at someone, I notice something and boom, there’d be a judgment in my head. “I don’t like her voice,” or “Oh, that guy is annoying,” or “Oh, look at his shirt,” or whatever it is, I have some judgment and then, I mean the judgment could have been like three seconds or half a second.
Then I could have three minutes of, “Why am I judging that person? I’m so this, I’m too judgmental, I’m too superficial, I’m not enough of this, I’m too much of that and guess who I’m judging the hell out of? That’s right, me. So, if you have ever been stuck in that trap, stick with me because we’re going to learn how to let that go. And it’s super important because the more relaxed you can be about having judgments about other people, the more loving you can actually be, in kind of a strange paradox sort of way.
So first let’s look at, is there something that you deal with. Do you think to yourself, I shouldn’t judge other people and if so, the first question I want to ask you is, well why not? It’s different for everyone. Maybe for you, it might have been well, you know. I was raised with a certain religious background; I was raised as a Catholic or as a whatever. Any religion could have had that tenant right but maybe certain particular religion, where did you learn that it was not okay to judge people. You know for me, I actually didn’t grow up learning that. I mean when I was in middle school, I learned to be very judgmental, because that’s what I did to kind of not get made fun of and then it carried with me to high school where I was like, “Well, Cobra Kai style from the Karate Kid right like strike hard, strike fast, no mercy.”
You judge people first before they can judge you. That’s what I learned in middle school, that’s what I did in high school. And I was a pretty cool guy so I carried it forward into college. Stick with what works, and underneath that I was very insecure. I was judging other people a bunch because I felt terrible at myself but I didn’t really have any idea that it was bad or wrong. I really enjoyed it actually. I get together with my best friend Chris and we spent hours making fun of people. It was good times. It wasn’t until I started to really work on myself and I started to read self-help books and I started to work on my own confidence and then I kind of got into like, “I don’t know self-help-y, new age-y, spiritual kind of stuff and then it’s like, “Oh. Judgment is bad,” and you don’t want to — judging people is you know if you are judging someone it’s only because you are secretly judging yourself.”
Right and I learned all this stuff and somewhere I got, I should be totally loving, totally accepting, totally non-judgmental of anyone. That’s where I learned that rule. Where do you learn that rule? Is it from family, is it from religion, was it from community, was it later on, was it from some self-help book? Who told you that? I’m not saying whether you’d agree with it or not. Maybe you think, “Hey, it’s actually a really good thing. I don’t want to judge people.” Great but just stick with me because we might find a way to kind of soften that. But first question is where did you learn it.
And that’s one my mission is to help you not beat yourself up so much. So that’s why I’d like to shed light on this topic because it’s an area that we sneak, we can beat ourselves up for. So what happens when you judge someone? Because you are doing it all the time. I mean, come on, be honest with yourself, right. We’re doing it all the time. We just maybe learned not to say it but we do it a lot. So, what happens when you do? Do you beat yourself up for it? Do you try to get yourself not to? How do you try to get yourself? What do you do?
You know this client that I was talking to, the first thing she tells herself is, “Well haste, don’t be so judgmental and you don’t know all about their perspective and you know if you’re judging them, it’s secretly because you’re judging yourself for this. You don’t like the same thing inside of you.” So, how do you do it? Do you just kind of feel like you’re a bad person? Is this general? You are bad, you’re bad, you’re bad. So you want to uncover what it is for you. And then let’s look at this. Let’s like shed the light of our awareness on judgments.
So first of all, what is a judgment of someone or something? You’re perceiving some aspect of that person, maybe a physical attribute or a personality quality or whatever and then there’s a sense of a version inside of you like, “I don’t like that,” right? I don’t like this, so think of something that annoys you right now or that sometimes does things that annoy you. Look at what’s annoying you and pay attention to okay, it’s a specific thing and then it’s a sense of I don’t like that. Good, so that’s what a judgment is. And here’s the thing. What if judgment wasn’t bad? I know blasphemy.
Doesn’t he write self-help books? How dare he say that but what if i wasn’t bad? What if it was information? So you notice a judgment, and then it’s providing you information. This actually really transformed for me when I started to see it that way. So, the person that really helped me with this is actually, initially was my wife. So I remember she taught workshops in this community here in Portland, Oregon and they were called Salsero workshops, they were about authenticity and honesty and taught people how to really communicate and connect with others. It was really good for me, really help me breakthrough even to the next level of confidence, really shedding social anxiety at some of the deeper layers that I’d really been working on, about fully, fully being relaxed in myself, it was really good stuff.
And I remember I was connecting more with the community, going to these workshops, I started to become an assistant at these workshops. So I was around, partly because I had a crush on the teacher but anyway, she’s my wife now. I won, I won, Take that life but she was teaching these workshops, I was showing up more and more. And I remember there was … like any community, there’s some people that I really liked and wanted to hang out with more. Some people I was kind of neutral on and some people I was like, “I don’t really like that person,” or something about them annoys me. Now I say that if it’s totally normal but back then like I felt so bad about it, it felt like it was, “Oh I shouldn’t, oh I should like everyone, oh what’s wrong with me?”
And I remember I was having a conversation with her and I’d mentioned something about, to that effect. And she’s kind of like, “Oh. Like who? Who bothers you?” And I remember thinking like, “How dare you ask me that?” It’s bad enough to have the judgments but I can’t share them. That’s just me. That’s a … I’ll be a bad person. But she encouraged me and I could tell that she was just curious and that’s what I love about her. She’s just wants to know the truth. She’s just really curious. So I picked a particular person. We’ll call her Barbara although it wasn’t her name.
And it was like, “Well, tell me what bothers you about Barbara.” I was like, “Man…” It was a lot of like filters to work through but eventually, I just said it and I was like, “Well, it seems like she’ll be sharing something and she just goes on and on and on. Like she uses way too many words and doesn’t actually say anything that honest or vulnerable. It’s just kind of annoying. But I just had to sit. I don’t to interrupt because I don’t want to be rude, So I just kind of sit there listening and I feel trapped.” There’s the judgment.
But remember what if judgment isn’t bad? So, let’s look at that for a second. Well and that’s what she did with me. And she’s like, “Oh yes, yes, I have seen that.” I was like, “What? It’s not terrible for me to have that thought,” and what it helped me realize is that we can be annoyed or judged for all kinds of reasons. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s some thing that you don’t like about yourself or that you’re judging about yourself, that’s just one reason, there could be dozens of reasons why you judge someone. In fact, the judgment is giving you information.
So what information was that judgment giving me about this woman, Barbara? No, and you could say, well, that she’s annoying or something like that. Well, that’s kind of but let’s dig a little deeper. What information is it giving me? It’s giving me information about her and it’s giving me information about me. So, what information is it giving me about her? Well, it could be all kinds of things. Maybe she is reluctant to be vulnerable and so she kind of shields herself. Right? So, that could be a very accurate perception that is coming out of my judgment, right, that sense of annoyance like, “Uh, I don’t like what she’s doing right now,” is giving me valuable information that she is doing something that’s like blocking her from other people.
It also reveals something about me. What does it reveal about me? No, not that I’m a judgmental prick. Stop that. No. No, what it reveals about me is that I value being real, being authentic, being direct, being honest. And when someone’s not doing that, it agitates me. That’s probably why do the work that I do. And when I coach people one on one, and really people find that out quick. It’s like let cut through the top layer, dig way deep and help you faster, more, better.
And the only way we’re going to do that is by getting really just honest and authentic and real and really looking at it. So I value that and when someone’s not doing that, especially in a setting where that’s where we’re ostensibly there to do, it was agitating to me. So the question I have for you is how can you use judgments as information. What information can they give you? How can you give yourself more permission to actually just have the judgmental thought and then not turn away from it but actually go into it. In fact, we’re going to get more into how to do that and where to do that and when to use that and when you use that in your life, right after this.
So I remember I said that judgment is something that’s an aspect of someone or some situation and then a feeling of a version like, “No, is it super important to know when you don’t like something?” Absolutely. So, let’s say you are having a conversation with someone and you feel this judgment, this sense of aversion. Instead of immediately saying, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I argh, I shouldn’t be this way.” Just breathe and actually notice it. Is it telling you something? Are you done talking to that person? Or is their story boring you? Are you not really that interested in the topic at hand and would you prefer, maybe you don’t want to stop talking to them, but maybe you want to talk about something else with them?
Maybe you are picking up on something subtle that they do that is off-putting to others. If you kind of think of yourself maybe as dealing with social anxiety or you tend to be more sensitive in that way, here’s the thing, you could actually be, you might think that you have lesser social skills or abilities, actually what I found across the board is I work with people of social anxiety is they have higher perception than most people. They’re more socially aware. They pick up on stuff, they’re more sensitive, they’re more intuitive, they feel more, they get people more, there just happens to be a lot of fear that you can work through and let go but you’re actually perceiving stuff that a lot of people might not perceive.
So for example, I remember there was this one person that I know who was dating a friend. My wife and I have a friend and he was dating this woman who’s our friend and the guy just judged the guy. I had so much like, “Uhh, I don’t like this guy.” And it wasn’t like, “Oh I hate him, he’s a bad guy.” It was just like, “Uh, go out to dinner with them? Can we just go out to dinner with her? Do we have to go out with both of them?” And I had to pay attention to why that was, what is it? So instead of judging myself for judging, which I would have done in the past, here’s what I have done in the past. I would have judged the hell out of myself for it, force myself to have dinner with them, not really enjoyed it, and then beat myself up afterwards for not enjoying it.
Is that something that you can relate to do? Isn’t that just fucking insanity? This is like, let that go, pay attention to the judgment. So what I did is I got curious and said what is it? I was like well you know I noticed that in conversations, he is very self-promoting. He talks a lot about what he’s got going on, how great it is, it’s the next big thing, this is really awesome, which is not entirely bad but then there’d be very little focus on other people like my wife or myself and then when it did, it was very kind of superficial and short like, “Yes, that sounds really interesting.”
So anyway back to my next project, right and I was like wow, he’s very focused on establishing his value and his significance in the conversation. I actually have a term for it, he’s dealing in significance and that’s what some people do. That’s a whole another topic. I could probably have a whole another episode about that because it’s super important to get but being able to perceive that then gave me information. And I was like, “Well, I’m not really that into that so I don’t know if I really want to hang out with him that much.”
And so when you feel that judgment, it might be telling you to move away. Now either from a person entirely or maybe there’s certain behaviors that someone does that you need to move away from when they do those behaviors. And this is where it gets super important. A lot of nice people who try not to judge people end up staying in relationships that are not healthy, tolerating behavior that is not healthy or abusive. And they sort of say, “Well I shouldn’t judge and so on and so forth.” They always all these reasons they try to force themselves into it. So, you actually want to use the judgment as information like, “Hey, I don’t like this. And that’s kind of good for me to notice that and maybe good for me to not like it because then I can set a boundary and I can go take care of myself. So what we want to do is we want to start paying attention to your judgment. In fact, let’s turn this into an action step.
Your action step for this week is to turn your focus on to judgments, notice when you’re judging other people and stop judging yourself for it. Stop assuming that a judgment is bad. Just become really curious about it. Sometimes you might find, “Oh I’m judging them because I’m actually envious.” Yes and that happens and make that okay too. Like then you don’t want to start judging yourself for being envious, “Oh, I’m such a bad person for being…” It’s like fucking … that’s normal. Everyone does that, it’s okay, it’s part of being human.
So you want to not judge yourself for what you notice but maybe it’s something about you but maybe often it’s not, maybe it’s just giving you valuable information about how to behave, who you want to move closer to, who you want to move away from, what behaviors you are going to tolerate, what’s important to you, what you value. So, start paying attention to your judgments and using those as information. That’s your action step for this week. Go forth, put it into action. Let me know how it goes. You can go to shrinkfortheshyguy.com, send a message though that site and until we speak again, may you have the courage to be who you are and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome. I’ll talk to you soon.
All music is licensed or royalty free.
DeepSound – Rain Clouds
(Licensed through Pond5.com)
Ask The Shrink:
(Licensed through Pond5.com)
Justin Crosby – Skrillit
(Licensed through Pond5.com)
Lokfield – Terra’s Theme Dubstep
(Creative Commons License)