Our judgment can teach us about ourselves

It  is important to be mindful that when ever we are judging someone about something, we have an issue with that part of ourselves.

Sigmund Freud referred to this human tendency almost 90 years ago with the term projection. Psychoanalysts have been referring to it ever since. Wikipedia summarizes this nicely, “According to Sigmund Freud, projection is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one "projects" one's own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else” (link). An example of this would be if we judge someone for being incompetent at something, it may be that we believe we are incompetent at that same thing.

Another variation of this tendency includes someone being threatening to us at the emotional level. If someone is good at something that we believe we are not good at, we often judge them. We seek to find something wrong with them or tear them down in one form of another. This includes our culture's unfortunate tendency to tear down successful people and destroy beauty.

Once we allow ourselves to become aware that we are doing this, it allows us to change the dynamic from being destructive to beneficial. There are 2 primary benefits  that free you when you become aware of judgment. Firstly, we can learn about that insecure or dark part of ourselves. Carl Jung referred to this as our shadow. Whenever we judge someone, it is an opportunity to learn about something we are unable to accept about ourselves or something that threatens us. Accepting this aspect of ourselves allows us to heal the self-hatred associated with it. It also allows us to work on that perceived deficiency or challenge area.

The other benefit from becoming aware of our judgment is that it allows us to accept the person we are judging. This opens up the possibility of creating a positive relationship with them. If it was something positive about them we took issue with, this may allow us to learn about the things we struggle with from them.

Then we could learn from the beauty and excellence in others rather than trying to destroy it.

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