When I judge others, I get a defensive response. When someone judges me, I get defensive. It’s a natural thing that happens.
Sometimes when I feel hurt, rather than share my feelings from my heart, I can go into judgement mode to protect myself. The thing is: making people feel judged has never worked for me, it only creates more separation, not closeness. It’s a knee jerk protective mechanism that triggers so fast. In those moments, I do my best to take a few deep breaths, slow down, and then cop to my judgement as fast as possible by apologizing and then sit with it and ask myself where it’s coming from. It’s ok to say sorry for judging the other, even if you feel hurt by them “first”.
That always creates an opening for a deeper conversation and understanding. My judgements usually come from a place of feeling a lack of safety. When I feel unsafe with someone or something, my natural tendency is to protect myself, and sometimes that comes out as a judgement. Now, when I feel unsafe, I do my best to slow down and sit with the person and explain from my heart what I am feeling, and usually the response is really positive, which only makes me want to keep going with that method.
It’s not perfect every time and we all make mistakes and can use the mess up to further deepen and connect with the other. Eventually the knee-jerk protective judgment response will be replaced with a slower, more thoughtful, heart-felt teaching moment where both parties can learn from. It’s a re-wiring in the brain that takes time but gets there if we all set our minds to it. I not only feel great when I share my feelings from my heart but I feel almost a sense of accomplishment for the override of the old tendency of protective judgement.
We are who we practice to be so I’ll just keep practicing.