Believe it or not, passing judgment can be a major source of stress.
We all have judgments about everything, all the time. For example, that people shouldn’t talk in movie theaters, that people shouldn’t cut in line, and people should always be considerate.
We also have judgments about ourselves: I must never embarrass myself in public; I must always appear successful.
Dr. Aaron Beck, the father of cognitive behavioral therapy, called these self-statements “unwritten rules.”
We have judgments about how long we should wait in line at the bank, and we even have judgments about the appropriate colors for our neighbor’s house. (A purple house? That’s ghastly!) And let’s not forget our children. They should always be polite. They should get along with each other and they should never talk back to their parents.
To get over this cognitive hurdle of always passing judgment, you must first become aware of just how frequently you’re doing it. For most people, it’s constant.
Remind yourself, every time you hear yourself judging someone or something, who is experiencing the stress? Not the person or thing you are judging — it’s YOU.
— James Porter, president of StressStop.com