How to avoid jumping on the judgement train

I like to think that I’m not judgemental. In fact I have testimonials from clients saying how they never felt judged despite x, y or z. But despite that I can catch myself jumping on the judgement train. Usually it’s to do with someone’s behaviour which I judge to be inconsiderate in some way. The driver overtaking the cyclist dangerously; a fellow coffee drinker who took up so much space they practically sat on my lap. Small things in the great scheme of life but when expanded they have the potential to cause damage both to myself and to others.

Damage? How so? Well let’s dive in and have a closer look at the possible physical knock-on. Think about how you feel when you have negative thoughts. Do you notice that somehow you begin to feel narrower, tighter – a sense of shrinking? It’s like putting on a pair of dark glasses. Suddenly the world and our view of it gets darker.

Having jumped on the judgement train with a single thought, it then takes off at bullet speed and isn’t stopping anytime soon. That one thought leads to another, and then another until our whole world starts to shrivel. Other previous judgements join in about ourselves as well as other people, and the destination becomes resentment.

Believing that an attack of some kind is imminent, our body starts galvanising the inner troops needed to fight back, which over time is definitely bad news for our health and well-being. Ultimately we could become someone that others want to avoid being around (they seem to have such a jaundiced view of the world that I don’t want to be yet another target!)

It was Mother Teresa who said ‘If we judge others, we have no time to love them’. It’s so true that if we focus on the negatives we lose the ability to see the beauty in people and life. So I devised a technique that I have used and shared over the years. The 3 C’s is a simple and effective formula:

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Catch it: Notice what you are thinking
Challenge it: Ask yourself ‘Is it helpful to be thinking this?’
Change it: Either drop it or change it to something more uplifting, positive or constructive.

Not always easy but definitely one way of making sure you stay off the judgement train!


Tell us, are you a judgemental person? How do you stop yourself from judging?