Have you ever paused to reflect on the many thoughts you have throughout the course of a given day? You’d probably cringe at the idea of someone else being able to see these ponderings. That’s because most of us are intrinsically judgmental.

When Judgment Becomes Dangerous

Judgment is something we as humans are naturally born with. Judgment is what allows us to make decisions and reach sensible conclusions in environments where many outcomes are possible. But somewhere along the way, our ability to judge became perverted. We’ve started judging others for the decisions they make, even when those decisions don’t involve us. As a result, we live in a judgmental world where everyone is comparing themselves to others.

Are you tired of being a judgmental, cynical individual? Thankfully, there are practical steps you can take to become more compassionate and less judgmental.

1. Be More Self-Aware

“Judgment is a mental habit, as opposed to a physical habit like smoking,” says Patricia Normand, Ph.D., director of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at Rush University Medical Center. “And like any habit, the more you're aware of it, the more you can recognize a judgmental thought and put it aside. It's important to do this, because shame, guilt and blame are self-destructive emotions.”

Make a mental note of every time you judge someone and you’ll start to correct yourself. Pretty soon, you’ll divert away from situations where you know you’re prone to judgment.

2. Work on Yourself

At the heart of judgment is a lack of self-confidence. As author Brene Brown writes in Daring Greatly, “We judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we’re doing. If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance.”

If you want to become less judgmental, you need to become more confident in who you are. Do you roll your eyes at other people’s parenting choices? Focus more on your own parenting style. Do you make fun of someone because they’re overweight? Turn that energy into motivation to improve your own figure.

3. Learn to View Things From a Different Perspective

It’s not always possible to filter your thoughts. Every now and then, you’ll have a judgmental thought cross your mind. In these situations, it can help to reengineer the thought and look at things from the perspective of the judged individual.

For example, let’s say you see a homeless person on the side of the street begging for money. Instead of rolling your eyes and assuming he’s a con artist looking for money to buy booze, rewrite the script. Maybe he’s a decorated war veteran who suffers from PTSD and doesn’t have a loving family to get him the care he needs. He hasn’t had a meal in two days and only needs a dollar more to buy lunch. Suddenly, you feel empathy – not judgment.

4. Ask Someone to Hold You Accountable

Trying to eliminate judgmental thoughts and behavior from your lifestyle is difficult to do on your own. If you’re serious about taking control of this area of your life, ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable. Each time you bring up a judgmental thought, ask them to confront you about it. Chances are, you don’t realize how often you’re coming across as judgmental. Giving someone else permission to hold you accountable will help you conquer this problem much quicker.

Replace Judgment With Compassion

Compassion could be viewed as the opposite of judgment. If nothing else, it’s something practical that you can cling to as you attempt to kick your judgmental tendencies to the curb. Try focusing more on compassion and less on judgment in the coming weeks.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Jessica and I am an independent journalist, freelance blogger, and technology junkie with a passion for music, arts, and the outdoors. One of my greatest passions and joy is assisting communities and business owners. My utmost desire is to help people and business owners to succeed and prosper in their personal and business affairs. I share, comment, write and edit popular news stories.