How to be non judgmental

Five Tips for Nonjudgmental Listening

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By Mental Health First Aid USA on August 15, 2019

It’s hard to be nonjudgmental all the time. We automatically make judgments about people from the minute we first see or meet them based on appearance, behavior and what they say. And that’s okay. Nonjudgmental listening isn’t about avoiding those judgments – it’s about making sure that you don’t express those negative judgments because that can get in the way of helping someone in need.

When you’re trying to be there for your friend, neighbor or colleague, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude and open mind to truly be supportive. Use these Mental Health First Aid tips to be an effective nonjudgmental listener for those around you.

  1. Reflect on your own state of mind.
    Before approaching someone with your concerns, it’s important to make sure you are in the right frame of mind to talk and listen without being judgmental. Reflect on your own state of mind to make sure you are feeling calm, open and ready to help your peer in need.
  2. Adopt an attitude of acceptance, genuineness and empathy.
    Adopting an attitude of acceptance means respecting the person’s feelings, personal values and experiences as valid, even if they are different from your own or you disagree with them. Taking time to imagine yourself in the other person’s place can help you be more genuine and empathic.
  3. Use verbal skills to show that you’re listening.
    Simple verbal skills can help you show the person that you’re actively listening. This includes asking questions, listening to tone of voice and nonverbal cues being used, using minimal prompts like “I see” and “ah” and not interrupting the person to give them time to express their thoughts and feelings.
  4. Maintain positive body language.
    Positive body language can show the person that you’re listening and truly care. This includes maintaining comfortable eye contact, sitting down instead of standing, sitting alongside and angled toward the person rather than directly opposite him or her and maintaining an open body position.
  5. Recognize cultural differences.
    If you are helping someone from a cultural background different from your own, you might need to adjust some verbal and nonverbal behaviors, such as the level of eye contact or amount of personal space. Be prepared to discuss what is culturally appropriate and realistic for the person or seek advice from someone from the same cultural background before engaging with him or her.

These tips are just a place to start. You can also get trained in Mental Health First Aid and learn about other ways to listen nonjudgmentally and support those around you. The MHFA Action Plan – ALGEE – will help you approach and talk to a person in distress and respond in a safe and effective way to get them the help they need. Get trained today and #BeTheDifference in the lives of your loved ones.

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A 3 Step Guide To Adopting A Non-judgmental Approach — Simplish - All-in-One Day Planner

One of the great quandaries many of us will face during our lives is learning to be non-judgmental.

And while we may not even realize it, within us all is an innate urge to compare ourselves to others.

It’s only natural and in fact, research has shown that the act of sizing ourselves up against other individuals was a way we built prosperous societies and fundamentally guaranteed our very survival.

However, in this age of self-awareness and collectiveness, not reflecting on or being aware of our own biases towards other people no longer serves us.

And, perhaps it could be argued, judgmental behavior is now somewhat contrary to building strong communities and, at a fundamental level, getting along with one another.

So how do we turn judgmental behavior into tolerance and acceptance?

Well, that’s what we are going to cover here.

Non-Judgmental Behavior

While not always easy, you know with such polarizing political views and such, how do we reframe from judging one another and start accepting other people for the way they are?

Try following the below tips to help you out.

1. Adopt A Non-Judgmental Perspective

Many of us see things in black and white when in reality most things exist in different shades of grey. When we listen to someone else talk or watch something they are doing, it is easy to filter their opinions or actions through our own biases, oftentimes labeling those opinions or actions as good or bad.

This way of thinking can lead us to focus on what’s not really that important. Rather than simply deciding why something is good or why something is bad, instead, we should focus on how and why things are the way they are.

In doing so, we begin to shift our perspective from judging to understanding.

Here are a few ways you can help you adopt a non-judgmental perspective:

  • Be aware of judgments that may appear. Constantly watch your thoughts and be witness to any judgmental thoughts that may arise.

  • Now, recognize these thoughts. Do not cling to them or entertain them, simply recognize that they are there.

  • And lastly, allow these thoughts to dissipate. Once you have brought awareness and recognition around any judgmental thoughts, it is time to allow them to dissipate and not dictate how you perceive others.

2. Use Non-Judgmental Communication

Pointing fingers at someone’s actions or opinions aren’t that helpful to either party. For one, you are making a judgment that they are doing something wrong, a subjective action that may not necessarily be true. And secondly, if they are doing something that isn’t healthy for themselves or others around them, your judgments are likely not going to encourage them to change or improve themselves. 

In fact, it’s likely to have the opposite effect.

Instead, try taking a non-judgmental approach and communicate in a way that isn’t critical or negative. This involves keeping an open mind and rather than being judgmental adopting a curious mindset is a better form of approach.

Here are a few tips to help you adopt a non-judgmental communicative approach:

  • Listen to someone’s points of view in their entirety before coming to a conclusion or opinion on what they had to say.

  • Adopt non-judgmental phrases and terms like “interesting” or “please, tell me more” instead of words like “good”, “bad”, “right”, or “wrong”.

  • Avoid generalizations. Remind yourself that everybody is different and every circumstance varies from one to another.

  • Instead of offering your opinion on a problem they may be having, how about asking what they think of their own actions or opinions. You might be surprised at how often they’ve come to a similar conclusion as you may have done.

3. Embrace Non-judgmental Listening

The last aspect of taking a non-judgmental approach is to use non-judgmental listening. Non-judgmental listening involves really trying to understand where someone else is coming from. It goes beyond just listening to what someone is saying and involves actually putting yourself in their shoes, an approach to help you fully understand where somebody is coming from.

When someone is talking to you, try putting aside your own views and biases. Your own views will simply distract you and impair how well you are likely to understand where someone is coming from. Your aim here is to not criticize or judge the person you are listening to, it is instead to simply listen and understand where they are coming from.

To help you out, here are a few pointers on non-judgmental listening:

  • Accept that whomever you are listening to may have a different opinion to you. But, instead of rushing to disagree with them and offer a difference of opinion, try instead to respect and accept their point of view.

  • Be genuine in your approach. Your body language and tone of voice can often come across as condescending or judgmental without you even realizing it.

  • Be as empathetic as possible. Endeavor to really listen to what someone is saying to you. If it helps, imagine you are in the other person’s position and are trying to explain to you how exactly things are feeling.

Final Thoughts

Although, not easy, particularly when you fundamentally disagree with someone’s actions or opinion, it is important to your mental health and those around you that you be as non-judgmental as you possibly can be.

Non-judgmental skills are very handy to have up your sleeve and are likely to serve you both in your professional and private life. Non-judgmental skills are a sign of leadership and are sort after in many workplaces. And, people quite prefer non-judgemental friends, so your new skills are likely to help you in that department as well.

You know, a great way to help bolster a non-judgmental approach is to write yourself a list. A simple set of reminders to refer back to whenever you need a refresher on some of the tips within this post.

If this sounds helpful, why not download the Simplish app from either the Apple Store or Google Play Store. That way, whenever you have a difficult conversation or feel yourself being a little judgy you can easily go through your list and see how to brush up on your new set of skills.

Personal GrowthSimplishpositive psychology, difficult people


I want to stop judging | PSYCHOLOGIES


Know Yourself A Man among People

Stop judging and criticizing, look detached and kindly at others, at situations and at yourself... The task of the editors seemed quite achievable to me, and I arranged a meeting with cognitive psychologist Tatyana Yudeeva .

I also have my own opinion about everything and everyone. But I worry long and deeply about how others perceive and evaluate me. I tend to judge people by quickly labeling them. nine0003

I have noticed more than once: when the interlocutor cannot keep up the conversation on a topic that interests me, does not know some names, has not read some books, I instantly have the thought: “He is stupid. Don't do business with him anymore."

“Is it possible to understand this in such a way that sometimes you make assessments too quickly and this prematureness prevents you from understanding a person and continuing communication?” asks Tatyana Yudeeva.

We tend to judge others when we are especially vulnerable and need support ourselves

This is true: I instantly react to gaps in the knowledge of others, but if the interlocutor does not know something that I do not know, this seems quite natural to me.

“It is worth taking into account that the reference points can be different,” reminds the psychologist. Yes, this is true: I remembered how my classmate Lyuda asked me who Akhmatova was at school. I explained, but then for a long time I considered her a fool.

Once we were assigned to make a wall newspaper together, and it turned out that Luda draws beautifully, loves dogs and is generally very nice. That evening, when we laughed at our own poems and caricatures, I seemed to see her - I used to appreciate it, but at that moment I saw it. nine0003

Raise self-esteem

Why do we need to evaluate the people around us, and evaluate them mostly negatively? American psychologist, founder of individual psychology Alfred Adler believed that in this way we put ourselves on a pedestal, increase our self-esteem.

The depreciation of others is like a preemptive strike. We usually do this when we are especially vulnerable, when it is important for us to know that we are loved and accepted for who we are. We often gossip because, judging others, we seem to confirm that we are not like that, and these qualities do not concern us in any way. nine0003

I noticed that the more I judge someone, the more I doubt myself. Well, gossip is a stupid thing to do. “It can be assumed that you are increasingly thinking:“ I am so old, a lot of time is wasted ... ”Tatyana Yudeeva is interested.

How will I feel if I don't gossip around my friends?

Yes, I'm living the second half of my life - not that there's not much time left, but I don't want to waste it on things that I'm no longer interested in. Therefore, ties with friends who still like to discuss others are destroyed. “Now you are thinking about how to fill your communication now?” the psychologist asks. nine0003

“A wise man is unlikely to amuse himself with empty talk,” I explain hesitantly. “He thinks about the world, about himself...”

But the psychologist asks: “What, fools don't think about it? It seems that when you evaluate yourself and your friends, you are based on certain criteria. It is worth understanding how they arose and why you have set yourself such a high bar.

You can't live up to it and that's why you feel constant dissatisfaction with yourself. Ask yourself: what would I like from life? How will I feel if I don’t gossip around my friends?” nine0003

Automatic thoughts

“But if everyone around me deserves a negative assessment, then the world becomes an unpleasant place where you don’t really want to be,” I reflect. "And if that's the case?" Tatyana Yudeeva smiles.

No, I don't agree with that. “No,” I answer. - It’s not the world itself that is terrible, but the fact that I am constantly evaluated in it, perceived worse than I am. I can see it by intonation, by looks, by the fact that someone is happy when they meet, but not me. nine0003

In early December, we went to the cinema with some friends and met Maxim — I remember well how he smiled at the sight of Katya, how he tightly hugged Oksana... And how he turned in my direction and muttered: “Hello!” I was hurt. It seemed that now they would all go somewhere together, but without me.

“I am separate, I am an outsider,” the psychologist repeats my words. - This is your idea. What do you feel? - "I'm offended." - "And what are you doing?" “I’m leaving,” I say, and I understand that I always leave in such cases. nine0003

You spontaneously choose the same way of thinking. It's hard for you to think differently

But that evening no one went anywhere, everyone went to different subway exits and different streets. “Your forecast was not confirmed, no one considered you superfluous,” sums up Tatyana Yudeeva. “But he was really happy for her, but not for me,” I argue.

“And who said that this man should treat all women equally? - the psychologist stuns me. "Why should he treat you the same way he treats the girl he hugged?" And treat you the same way as with her? And in general, it’s not about how he behaved, but about what you expected from this meeting. nine0003

“Is everyone supposed to adore me and demonstrate it in every possible way?” I ask, a little embarrassed. “And if this does not happen, then you consider yourself superfluous and move away, catapult,” Tatyana Yudeeva responds.

— And now a very important question: why do you have exactly these (the same) thoughts in similar situations? Could they be different?"

To see the situation differently

We are sorting through the options, and I understand that I would hardly have coped with this alone: ​​thoughts do not want to flow in the other direction. nine0003

“Great! the psychologist suddenly rejoices. - This just says that you involuntarily choose the same style of thinking. It's hard for you to think differently. And I can tell you this: if a person says “Goodbye, I’m gone” and quickly leaves, then it can be difficult for another to simply call him, call him back.

Maybe someone you know thinks you have something to do. And some people and the back is very expressive, repulsive. They might think: "Inna doesn't want to go with us, she has her own secrets, she doesn't like us very much. .."

Next we talk about thoughts that prevent you from looking at the situation more broadly. “We each have beliefs about ourselves and other people,” explains the psychologist. - They are not always formulated in words, but we live in accordance with them.

One person has the belief “I am smart”, and he will behave everywhere based on this. The other says, "I'm stupid." Someone is sure: "I am good (caring, loyal, cheerful)." And depending on these ideas about ourselves, certain thoughts appear in us. nine0003

You can get rid of automatic thoughts if you learn to observe them.

It's hard for me to break out of this circle: it's no coincidence that I didn't come up with other options for behavior in Maxim's case. “And you could not leave, but smile at him, come up, hug or say: “Well, hug me, I also want to,” the psychologist suggests and gives me homework. The next time I feel like I'm superfluous again, don't run away, but try to behave differently.

You can get rid of automatic thoughts if you learn to observe them. After all, we, oddly enough, do not notice what exactly we thought at one time or another, we do not see the patterns of our thinking, and as a result we feel longing, constant tension and anxiety.

Therefore, it is so important to be attentive to yourself at the first moment of communication with an unfamiliar interlocutor, the first day of work in a new place: imagine that you open the door before entering the room and say: “Hello!” And “catch” the thought that arises in you at that moment - it may turn out to be unexpected. nine0003

“Try to keep a diary, write down your thoughts,” sums up Tatiana Yudeeva. “Since childhood, we have been dragging a suitcase full of beliefs with us, and such a diary allows us to revise it and throw out the unnecessary.

And when we manage to do this, we achieve the goal of living more consciously, understanding what is happening to us, and ultimately being a friend to ourselves.

“Non-judgment is the key to love”

Patrice Gourier, priest, psychologist

From the heartfelt injunction of the Gospel (“Judge not, lest you be judged”) to Buddhist principles (“Things are neither bad nor good, they (just) is"), from the Qur'an ("Do not slander one another") to the Talmud ("Do not judge your neighbor before you take his place"), non-judgment is a life principle proclaimed by most spiritual traditions. nine0003

First of all, because it is a prerequisite for the social world: not to judge is to agree with difference. And consequently - to live in harmony with others, overcoming fear, to win in tolerance, gratitude, in love. Three basic common spiritual values ​​are also reflected in the Christian tradition.

Psychologies: The gospel is replete with calls for non-judgment - how are they to be understood?

Patrice Gourier: They must be taken as a necessary consequence of the second commandment, "Love your neighbor as yourself. " It's about not judging others, and not judging yourself. Judgment always springs from fear. But it is impossible to live in fear and in love at the same time, and the whole meaning of the gospel is contained in these words: "Love one another." Non-judgment is the key to learning to love others and ourselves better. nine0003

How do you personally achieve this?

P.G. I do mindfulness meditation. As we return through our body and our senses to the present moment, we experience a sense of the oneness of life. Psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan argued that our spirit always hovers between the real, the imaginary and the ideal. More often than not, we turn our backs on reality in order to live in an ideal and imaginary world. Returning to our body, we return to reality, as we feel it from the inside, we part with stereotypes, a priori judgments, and fear. In the gospel, Jesus says, "Judge not." He invites us to inner silence so that others and God can access us. This is nonjudgment. nine0003

Text: Inna Fikhtengolts, Eleonora Kachanova Photo Source: Getty Images, OPALE AGENCY/FOTOLINK

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6 ways to stop judging others and focus on your life us. We divide everything into “right” and “wrong”, but in fact, what will be right for one person, another will call wrong. So, instead of focusing on the actions and words of others, it will be useful for you to focus on your own life. Here are some powerful ways to help you stop judging people. nine0003

1. Put yourself in the place of another

This is the most elementary way to subdue your desire to judge others. Yes, they may not behave the way you would like, and say things that you would be ashamed of, but this does not give you a reason to judge them. Before you open your mouth and intervene, try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Perhaps he does not want to chip in to congratulate another colleague, not because he is a miser, but because all his salary goes to the treatment of a seriously ill mother. Perhaps he never goes for a beer after work, not because he considers himself superior to it, but because he has to run to work. nine0003

In the life of every person there is something that determines his actions. When you understand what drives people and imagine how you would behave in such a situation, you will stop judging others.

2. Try to understand what a person really needs

Often people begin to judge other people and give unnecessary advice, while accompanying them with a share of condemnation. For example, if someone in the company of acquaintances says: “Last night I didn’t sleep well again,” dozens of proposals with an “ideal” solution to the problem will fly to him. Here are some of them:

- "You need to give up your phone";
- "You work too hard";
- "You don't do anything to relax";
- "Don't drink coffee during the day", etc.

The list goes on and on. But people are rarely right. In most cases, they do not even bother to ask if the person is taking any medication and if everything is fine in his life. Nevertheless, these people try to help, although not always correctly. Yet, when you understand this, you can change your view of the world and those around you. nine0003

So, before prying into a person with unsolicited advice or judging him for his actions or words, try to understand what he really needs now. Perhaps he needs your support or understanding, and not instructions at all. Maintain your judgmental tone.

What to do despite everyone's condemnation

3. Understand that each person perceives the same problem differently

Judge what you would do based on your perception of the problem That's just funny. Silence the voice in you that wants to say, “If this happened to me, I would have acted differently.” Luckily for you, you don't know exactly how the person is feeling and how they are trying to deal with the problem, because you won't have to go through the same ordeal (and if you do, you have a completely different perception). The same problem can be a trifle for one person, and the end of the world for another. And this does not mean that one of them exaggerates or downplays the problem. It all depends on many factors: character stock, susceptibility, environment, personal experience, etc. So, if your main argument sounds like "I would have done it differently," it's best to keep your advice to yourself. nine0003

4. Try to look beyond the obvious

We can see the person's profile on social networks, their photos, their statuses and posts, but we cannot see what they eat for breakfast, what shoes they wear, how much money they keep on their bank card .

For example, you see that your colleague arrived at work in a new car. Who knows, maybe now he is deep in debt and forced to deny himself almost everything. Or here's another: you saw your friend in dirty clothes - perhaps two works hang on him, and sometimes he does not even have time to eat. Or maybe you admire your friend who always finds time for you, no matter how busy he is. And he is simply afraid to refuse help to loved ones and therefore tries his best to please others. That's why you shouldn't judge people. nine0003

5. Change your views on cause and effect

You must see that the people around you do not share the same experience, so your views do not match. Try to imagine that the person in front of you is not at all a brake or an idiot, despite the very slow movement - he just got behind the wheel for the first time after a serious accident. Or someone who drives too fast is taking a child or a pregnant girl to the hospital. And the birthday cake, about which you constantly want to joke about because of inept design or strange taste, was prepared by a loving parent for the anniversary of his only son.

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