One of the most important things I’ve learned is letting go of the need to judge people. It’s made me a happier, more positive and better person.
I’m not perfect and sometimes I fall into the trap of judging people every now and then (after all, humans are wired to do so).
However, I’ve got some simple mantras that have helped me along the way which I’ll share below.
To set the context, first watch this short video by Jay Shetty a former monk and motivational philosopher. He shares a brilliant story in less than 2 minutes what will convince you why to think before you judge.
Here are the mantras I keep reminding myself of every day that I hope are helpful to you.
1. Know that everyone has their own story.
Everyone goes through hardships in life and there is always a reason someone acts the way they do.
This is perfectly illustrated in the video by Shetty above. He describes the young man who is seeing parts of nature for the first time. The passengers in the train didn’t know that before this day, the young man was blind.
Everyone has their own story. If you had their story, you would be acting the way they are now.
2. When you strongly disagree with someone, try to understand their point of view.
There are always legitimate reasons for people believing what they do. When you encounter someone with a different perspective to you, it’s an opportunity to get inside their head.
Try to let go of your own perspective even for just a moment and try to understand someone else’s point of view. At worst, you’ll find it easier to empathize with them. At best, you may even learn something and enhance your own perspective.
3. Consciously try to see the good in other people.
If you naturally find something negative, counter it with something positive about that person.
It doesn’t mean you need to agree with their perspective. Rather, it’s about placing your attention on another part of them which will help you to see their goodness.
4. Be present.
Don’t let your mind make up some random story about a person. Just focus on the present moment and keep your heart open.
This makes it much easier to find common ground with someone, and results in treating people around you with much more respect, free from preconceived notions.
5. There are many different roads to happiness and a fulfilling life.
Just because they’re not on your path doesn’t mean they’re lost. We’re all different, with a range of values.
The world would be pretty boring if we were all the same. The fact that someone is on a different path to you is a cause for celebration, as you can celebrate your own uniqueness.
6. Never make someone feel worse than when they met you.
The easiest way to make someone feel worse is to judge them immediately. Rather, if you remain open minded with an open heart, whoever you encounter will feel better for having crossed paths with you.
We don’t need to convince people of the truth of what we believe. Life will be made much richer for ourselves and others around us if we remain open to new ways of seeing the world and seek to connect with each other from a place of respect and understanding.
7. The people you remember the most are the ones who loved you when you weren’t very lovable.
Remember this and return the favor.
There are times in your life when stress has built up and you aren’t so kind to everyone around you. The strongest relationships are usually forged when people have treated you with love and respect even when you weren’t so kind.
You have the opportunity to treat others with a similar level of respect even when they are not treating you in such a lovable way.
8. Consciously remember to be good to the people around you, especially your family.
Sometimes we get stuck in a routine and we don’t think about how we treat our loved ones. But they are our most important relationships in our life, so take the time to be kind.