What Happens When We Judge Others?

· January 31, 2016

Whether we believe it or not, judging others is something incredibly habitual. Something that turns out to be counterintuitive given that we often ask that others please stop judging our actions and behaviors. We judge and are judged constantly, without any way to avoid it.

“The soul tends always to judge others by what it thinks of itself”

-Giacomo Leopardi-

But the damage that judgment causes is something that we must think about and reflect on. We must look inside ourselves, look at ourselves, and stop investing so much time in seeing what others do, how they do it, and why.

Worried Girl on a Bench

How many times have you been wrongly judged? Surely many. This is why you must avoid judging other people. Respect what others do and decide, because maybe what you are critiquing so much, you will end up doing sooner or later as well. Then it will be you who is being judged.

Your perspective is not the only one

Oftentimes, we do not allow ourselves to picture the other person’s situation and put ourselves in their shoes. We think our viewpoint is the only valid one and this stops us from seeing beyond it and understanding other, different perspectives.

What makes you so sure that your way of seeing things is the right one? Allow yourself to doubt, to accept that both positions may be correct, and that this does not make one of them better or worse. You are not always right. You may be wrong and judging the actions of others can turn into a misunderstanding.

It’s impossible to know the whole story that lies behind another person. That’s why we shouldn’t pass judgment on their actions.


Think about yourself. How many people are there who do not know all the struggles that you have gone through that have affected your actions and behavior? 

Do not try to seek better or worse perspectives; they are all valid! That which inspires rejection in you today could seem attractive tomorrow.

Open your mind and allow yourself to discover new perspectives with which you could widen your worldview. Start being an open and tolerant person. This will make you a better person and will allow you to better understand others.

Your actions define you

When you judge someone, you are defining yourself. You can give your opinion, but criticizing or not understanding that person is not going to help them. Are you doing something good for them? What do you really hope to achieve?

When we judge, we really have no reason other than making others see the world as we do. But differences are not something negative; they are something that helps us to open our mind when we are faced with different situations. You cannot hope for someone else to think or act the way that you do. As we already mentioned, there is nothing better or worse.

Judging someone can cause that person great harm. Think about a situation in which others have judged you. Did they help you? Did they make you feel better? Were you happier when you chose to go down the path that they demanded of you?

Judging hurts, and this is why we must be very careful and stop doing it. We believe that we are helping when, in reality, we are causing harm. We believe that we are guiding when, instead, we are disorienting that person whom we think we are doing a favor.

Rainbow Umbrella in a Crowd of Gray

There is more than meets the eye

At this point, it is clear that sometimes what we see is not the whole truth. Each and every person is a world unto him or herself. You yourself, as we already mentioned, have situations and experiences that you have gone through that have caused you suffering and taught you a lesson, but only you know and understand that.

Others also have this. They have a life that may have been good or may have been bad. We do not want to justify their actions; what we want is to judge them. People will have their reasons, and even though we may not agree, we must respect them. Maybe tomorrow, it will be us who are doing the very thing that we questioned.

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road does not mean they are lost.”

Dalai Lama

If you are a person who tends to judge others, think first about how it makes you feel when others judge you.

Throughout our lives, everything that happens to us changes our way of seeing things. What we saw as right a few years ago actually may be now.

Two People Arms Raised towards Birds

Be flexible and never judge. You can give your opinion, but without trying to make people go through and see life in the same way that you do. Especially because yours is not the only valid perspective.

“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path; but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”

-Paulo Coelho-