On Not Judging Others or Trying To Fix Their Lives
I have always embarked on a journey of self development…right from building a positive self-esteem (after wallowing in self pity for years together) to controlling my temper, to having a high joy-to-stuff ratio (not being too materialistic), developing my own individuality, finding courage & happiness after divorce, having a joyful relationship in my second marriage. But one thing remains. My need to Judge others n feel my choices n lifestyle n behavior are superior to others (though at the level of my mind I know this is absolutely wrong to do so, I can’t help indulging in it). I mean I’m not a gossip or a loudmouth, but the fact remains that I judge people in my head n I know this is not good for me. I don’t offer unsolicited advice (okay I do in case of my near ones) but in my mind I always go like…
They are too materialist
They are too stingy
They should chill out more
They are too frivolous
They should be more systematic in their routine
They should do this
They don’t have Style
They are too conventional
They should be doing this
They shouldn’t be doing this
I want to stop it. This need to judge n offer advice is especially true in context of my family n super especially in case of my mom. I feel she doesn’t spend enough money on herself, despite earning a decent salary. She’s acting miserly without any reason. On many occasions I’ve cajoled, coaxed, reprimanded her to make her life a little bit more comfy…to spend money on herself…but everything falls on her deaf ears. Perhaps it is not she but me who needs to learn the lesson. I must learn to mind my own business n not dispense unsolicited advice however well meaning they might be. Offering others advice has many pitfalls for me:
~ When I judge others n try to correct their behavior I’m spending time ‘outside my own business.’ * I might as well be using this time n energy to resolve my issues, in bettering my own life n decisions.
(it’s funny how we always know how others should lead their lives but have no clue how to sort out our own mess)
~People don’t like others interfering in their life however well meaning the other might be (I have nothing but my mother’s welfare in heart…we often want to protect our loved ones from difficulties but we must realize everyone comes on this planet to learn their lessons & everyone must fulfill their karma). Everyone has their own ideas of what’s right, what’s wrong & what’s best for them n what gives them happiness. To have someone criticize it all the times is certainly irritating & not really welcome. I mean even I would not like it if someone told me I need to make major changes to my life in order to make me happy.
~When we are judging others n trying to solve their problems, it’s an additional burden on our shoulders…the one we are not even supposed to carry.
~ Trying to change others (even for their own good) is futile anyways. The only person I can change is me. So why spend precious energy on lost causes??
~When we Judge others we are like the man who is counting Other People’s cows–Buddha used to tell the story of a man who lived outside a village…every morning he used to count the cows belonging to others as they went to graze in the jungle & every evening he used to count them back..& he used to worry…100 went to the jungle in the morning, only 98 have come back…what happened to the other 2?? Were they lost?? Eaten by a lion?? etc…we may laugh at this man but all of us are like this only when we are trying to worry about others’ problems & solve them!!!!
~ Before Judging others let us ask ourselves, are we perfect ourselves??
~Usually the urge to sort other peoples’ lives n problem is a symptom of our denial of our own problems…perhaps a subconscious way of evading our own issues…our unwillingness to face the fact that something might be lacking in our behavior patterns n our lives
In short judging other n offering advices to fix others’ life is not good for our own mental health n not good for our relationships. I hereby make a resolve to stop doing it by n by, however much I’m tempted I won’t try to fix them but spend that energy in furthering my own self n development. “Let my own improvement take so much of my time that I don’t have time to judge others”. AMEN
* As Byron Katie puts it : I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours and God’s. (For me, the word God means “reality.” Reality is God, because it rules. Anything that’s out of my control, your control and everyone else’s control — I call that God’s business.)
Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business. When I think, You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself, I am in your business. When I’m worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God’s business. If I am mentally in your business or in God’s business, the effect is separation. I noticed this early in 1986. When I mentally went into my mother’s business, for example, with a thought like, My mother should understand me, I immediately experienced a feeling of loneliness. And I realized that every time in my life that I had felt hurt or lonely, I had been in someone else’s business.
If you are living your life and I am mentally living your life, who is here living mine? We’re both over there. Being mentally in your business keeps me from being present in my own. I am separate from myself, wondering why my life doesn’t work. To think that I know what’s best for anyone else is to be out of my business. Even in the name of love, it is pure arrogance, and the result is tension, anxiety, and fear. Do I know what’s right for myself? That is my only business. Let me work with that before I try to solve your problems for you.
If you understand the three kinds of business enough to stay in your own business, it could free your life in a way that you can’t even imagine. The next time you’re feeling stress or discomfort, ask yourself whose business you’re in mentally, and you may burst out laughing! That question can bring you back to yourself. And you may come to see that you’ve never really been present, that you’ve been mentally living in other people’s business all your life. Just to notice that you’re in someone else’s business can bring you back to your own wonderful self. And if you practice it for a while, you may come to see that you don’t have any business either and that your life runs perfectly well on its own.
- 10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in My First 30 Years (dumblittleman.com)
- Don’t Judge (gjoez.wordpress.com)
- Are You Happy? (cindyholman.wordpress.com)
- 2 books, 2 awesome authors, 2 enlightening interviews! (positiveprovocations.com)