Understanding Criticism and Judgement

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Understanding and Insulating from Criticism and Judgments

Learning to insulate ourselves from negative criticism and judgment is a key element in reshaping and guiding our lives towards success.  

In order to do so we first have to understand a few important ideas.  First, it is how our brains operate, you will never win against nature.  Secondly, understanding the difference between positive (with purpose) and negative (without purpose) criticisms.  Finally, the creation of a new mindset driven towards learning, growth, betterment, and greatness.

The Brain

Our brains fundamentally work by categorizing things.  So when were living in our natural state, it was an amazing tool that told us which plants were edible, and what water source was clean.  So this tool is simply processing and assessing the nature of things. Safe or unsafe, good or bad. So your brain, whether you may like it or not, will always and forever judge things.  It is simply how it is made.

So why does this matter when we are talking about criticism and judgement.  Well, if the brain is constantly judging things, then it is our job to uncover and reshape judgments with our conscious mind – Critical Thinking.  The idea of judgement is just an automatic response. It is just a mental flow that is always going on in the background.

When we hear judgments coming from ourselves or coming from others, it is simply their brains working well.  Critical thinking also plays a role, which takes us to needing to understand the role of positive and negative judgments.  

Positive and Negative Judgments

Well, what’s the difference?  Simple, expressed judgments with purpose (positive), and without purpose (negative).  If you are expressing a judgement without a reason, all you are doing is sharing. And that may be fine, but you have to know how that can affect you or someone else.  Now, if you are expressing a judgement for a specific reason, then clarify the reason and share. This is more about guidance, betterment and greatness.

And when we hear others judge negatively by simply sharing their views we can sidestep them by seeing it is not really about us, but more about them sharing.  So what if they feel a certain way? Now, if that person approaches you with caring and attempting to guide you, take a moment to hear what they are saying.          

Example, your friend has bought new furniture for their home.  You may walk in an see it is not your taste. Your brain has automatically assessed the aesthetic and said, ugly – I do not like it.  But for your friend, it may be the most beautiful room they have ever seen. It is not a bad thing that you do not like the furniture, it is a bad thing if you make them feel bad for not liking it (negative judgement).  Now, if you share that is is not your taste and the flow of the room is impacted, in a kind way, you are offering a positive judgement.

We also do this to ourselves.  We constantly judge ourselves so harshly, but you have to be aware of what you are saying to yourself.  Are you engaging in a positive or negative way? I need to eat better. Do you say “You are so gross” (negative judgement – without purpose) or “You have to eat better, and we can start with X, Y, or Z to get the process going” (positive judgement – with purpose).           

Crafting a New Mindset

So we see now that the brain simply judges, and that we can choose how to share those judgments in either a positive (with purpose) or negative (without purpose) way.  We can use the critical thinking part of the brain to reform how we move through the world.

A movement towards greatness is not always about achievement, but how how to choose to use the tools we have.  Seeing how the brain works, and the true role of judgement, can free us from negative patterns and learn to be a positive guiding light for those we love and cherish, and to ourselves.

Always be a better version of yourself and do so with compassion for yourself and other around you.