The Lost Art of Denying Judgement

“Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are.”

Wayne Dyer

Do you ever judge others openly? Do you mock people, even in jest? Do you find gossip to be worth your time? If the answer to any of these is a yes, then you my friend might have some inner personal work to do.

I would like to remind you that I do want you to live your best life in the ways you deem most pertinent. Where I put my foot down is when I see someone or a group deliberately putting other people down for their own self-amusement. Have no illusion, making fun of someone is a form of bullying.

Before I sound all high and might you should know I wasn’t always this way.

Time to go back to my college years.

Oh my goodness. Look at college Austin… So awkward…. I love it.

Back in 2013, I was out at a house party. Hey! Don’t judge me; it’s college. 🍻

This wasn’t just any college house party; it was full of dancers! I hope you are ready because here comes a story of me acting like an idiot and learning a lesson.

Since it has a part full of dancers, a bunch of us were dancing.

Someone, I don’t remember who and it’s not important, prompted me and a friend to pretend to dance like each other. Not a problem. We laughed as we watched the other do a loose interpretation of the others “coolest” moves. It became a competition, and, not going to lie, we had one hell of a time.

This is the happy part of the story. It was fun for him. It was fun for me. It was fun for the crowd.

Then, people started calling out for us to dance like them. This, for the most part was okay as well…for the most part. Then someone prompted me to dance like someone in our dance community who couldn’t dance very well, a person who was not invited to the party because he was “uncool.” I mockingly danced as poorly as I could, pretending to be creepy and all the while saying, “Hi, my name is xxxxx.”

I laughed. The crowd laughed. It was a good time…

A few minutes after I danced that way, I felt very ill. I remember telling my girlfriend at the time that I was going to head out and go for a walk. I felt a twinge of a massive headache coming on which was weird because I had barely drank any alcohol.

So, I left the party. My walk took me to an abandoned bench on the side of a park just up the street; I promptly sat down and at 1 in the morning with only the summer night sky and the trees as company, I cried.

I began thinking through what I had done, and, for some reason it made me feel even more ill. Deep down I knew exactly why, but it took me a bit to get some clarity on the situation.

Making fun of others at their expense is not a good thing to do. It is a form of bullying. What I was also experiencing was personal pain. Here’s a hard lesson: making fun of others also felt bad for me as well.

I went back to the party, in a pensive mood, and reassured my girlfriend and my friends that I was okay. I ended up having a deeply rewarding emotional conversation with my girlfriend about my experience. I told her I had come to a conclusion about the type of man I wanted to become.

And after that night, I decided to never make fun of another person’s hard work. Everyone is at a different point in their journey, and I would like to be a person that respects that. I began a journey to find my humor through other means.

If you are making fun of others, you are not doing well.

First, thanks for going down memory lane with me. Second, what I began to realize after that night is that I was unhappy with certain areas of my life.

We can all agree that judgement is a natural experience of being human. We use judgement, and have used judgement, for thousands of years to keep ourselves alive.

Here’s something that will give you a lot of power over your destiny: realize that people will judge you. I have personally taken it upon myself to accept this part of humanity. As a matter of fact I welcome their judgement. This has allowed me to feel a lot more empowered. If you accept your flaws and your shortcomings, when someone throws it in your face as a joke, you can laugh it off and simply not care.

Now, that doesn’t mean that their judgement doesn’t hurt sometimes.

So, if we all judge, and that is a known, where is the line?

Experiencing judgement is inevitable. Passing judgement is a choice.

And, in our ability to choose, we can choose to be a person that values others or a person that tears others down to feel better about ourselves for a brief moment of time. Making fun of others at their expense is a form of passing judgement.

If you are passing judgement on others, then you are most likely in a very negative spot in some area of your life.

Take a moment.

Let that sink in.

Now, realize, this can be a good thing because from this place of self-awareness we can choose to take intentional and dedicated action.

Whenever your level of gossip, making fun of others, or being negative flares up, it means you need to change some aspect of your life.

Misery loves company, and, if you are miserable you are likely to try to tear other people down. I know whenever my complaining starts to increase it means I am ignoring some aspect of life that is important to me. I use my negativity as an indicator for my level of personal happiness.

See! I’m not throwing you under the bus. Well, maybe I am, but I’m down here too with you. The trick is to use this to your betterment.

Once we know that we are in a negative space, we can start the process of working on ourselves to become an even better person. Go after that goal. Starting putting in work at places you want to see improvement. Give yourself permission to be happy again.

Okay, you’ve made fun of people in your past: forgive yourself, apologize if you can, and move forward.

Do not dredge yourself through the mud to make yourself “pay for” your past experiences. No one wins and you lose.

I have messed up in my life… a lot, miserably so, and on easy things that one shouldn’t mess up on. I have also hurt people that I love, and I have been hurt by those who love me.

I cannot change the actions I have done, but I can show, through action, that I want to be a better man, a better human.

Did some of this article strike a chord with you?

If so, I feel for you. We’ve all been there. I’ve been there. You are not alone.

I would encourage you to have a conversation with this about a close friend. Pull out your journal and journal. Heck, you have your phone right there, I know you do, so video process out loud.

We cannot be happy all the time. Constantly chasing happiness is a fool’s errand. Instead, strive for fulfillment and becoming a better person.

Chase experiences that bring you happiness and dedicate to them. And, if there is something you have given up on, rehash that idea in your mind.

Get inspired. Watch a video of someone doing something that you really want to do. Let your imagination go wild. And, if you would be so kind, please don’t make fun of other people.

Much love, as always,
Austin

Austin Hunt

Meet the Author:
Austin Hunt

Austin is the lead writer and creator of Points of Connection. He's been studying dating, relationships, and how to build authentic intimacy for over 9 years now. You can find him sipping away at a cup of coffee at a local shop making friends with the stranger next to him.