Change Your Judgmental Attitude

Tool #1:
Make Believe As If It’s All Good

change judgmental attitude

A value judgment is classifying something as either good or bad. Labeling yourself as “good” isn’t terribly problematic, but stick a label of “bad” or “wrong” on yourself and you can really wreak havoc on your psyche. It’s the high octane fuel that sends your self-esteem hurling down into the pits of hell.

A judgmental attitude encourages self-righteousness, intolerance, prejudice, impatience, and criticism. Judgmental people tend to see things as black or white with very little in the grey zone. If you judge something about yourself as bad, you’re implying whether consciously or not, that you have to be a certain way before you can be okay and loved. But what can you do, if it’s bad it’s bad. You’re powerless.

The World of Make-Believe

Nothing in this world is inherently bad or evil independent of your evaluation. If good and bad were built-in qualities (true regardless of human assessment), then the labels would stick no matter what culture, religion, or century you were born into. Actually, you get to decide. In a sense, you are playing make-believe like you did as a kid, but with much more sophisticated ideas. What great news! You are free to challenge and change your judgments.

Bad is Code for “I don’t want this”

There is nothing bad in this world, only things you don’t want. Consequently, there is nothing good in this world, only things you want. Look at the definition of bad, "defective; inadequate; unwelcomed". Of course no one wants defective or inadequate parts and certainly not unwelcomed guests! Every time you hear someone say something is bad, what they really mean is they don’t want it. And when we collectively as a society REALLY don’t want something, we call it evil.

It’s important for you to distinguish the difference between “bad” and “don’t want” because the terminology you use will have an effect on your attitude. When you flip the “bad” into “I don’t want” it becomes less of a global statement of truth where there’s no room for discussion to a personal preference. When you recognize it as something you don’t want, you personalize it into “not your cup of tea”. Doing so puts you into a position of power. You don’t have to give up any of your preferences. You are free to want and not want anything you wish.

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Oh, God, I struggle with low self-esteem all the time! I think everyone does. I have so much wrong with me, it's unbelievable!

- Angelina Jolie

When you form judgments about another person, for instance, “this person looks like a lazy person, or a failure, or has terrible clothes,” you create a message to your subconscious that the world is a place where you had better act in certain ways if you want to be accepted...that you are only going to accept yourself under certain conditions. This leads to an inner dialogue of self-criticism.

- Orin