10 Tips for Being Nonjudgmental

We are all judgmental.  It’s just human nature.  Even though it’s in our nature to judge, it’s not always helpful and often turns into a hindrance. There is a definite difference between making judgments and being judgmental. Being judgmental can keep us from building relationships, harm those relationships we already have and keep us isolated.  As Walt Whitman said “Be curious, not judgmental”.

These 10 tips for being nonjudgmental from Sheri Van Dijk can help make the distinction.

  1. Remember that being nonjudgmental isn’t about turning a positive into a negative; it’s about being neutral, neither positive nor negative..
  2. Reducing your negative judgments will reduce your level of anger and other painful emotions.
  3. Keep in mind that judging is like adding fuel to the fire of your emotion; it only increases your painful emotions.
  4. You can often reduce a behavior just by counting how often you’re engaging in that behavior. If you get overwhelmed or discouraged by the thought of stopping your judging, start by counting your judgments first then work your way toward changing them.
  5. Remember that being nonjudgmental will not only help you reduce your emotional pain, but will also have a positive impact on your relationships.
  6. We often respond to a situation as though our judgments were true rather than just labels we’ve stuck on something or someone.
  7. Remember the learning curve: at first, you’ll notice your judgments only after you’ve made them. As you continue practicing, however you’ll notice them as you’re making them – before you say them out loud and as they form in your head – until gradually, you’ll find you’re able to form nonjudgmental statements naturally before a judgment arises within you.
  8. As with any skill, being nonjudgmental will be more difficult when your emotions are high.
  9. Practice observing-your-thoughts exercises to help you become more aware of your judgments.
  10. Don’t judge yourself for judging. It’s human nature!

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