We all have been in situations where we have judged someone. You know you’re judging when you come to a conclusion about a person based on his behavior or action.
It’s rather painful to accept that yes I might have judged another person without knowing the facts behind her certain action or behavior. But this acceptance also is the first step to being less judgmental and more compassionate to yourself and others.
How To Know When You’re Judging Someone-
Making assumptions– We look at someone and start making assumptions right away. The assumptions tend to be always negative. For example, someone does her grocery from a Dollar Store so she must be cheap or not doing so well financially.
Jumping to a conclusion– It’s shocking how fast we can jump to a conclusion about another person. We can be super fast to determine the strength of someones’ faith (or lack of it) from the length of her hijab!
Hold to an absurd and volatile standard– You hold others to an absurd standard that changes often without any prior notice. Someone the standard depends on your mood or the weather of the day. A short hijab can lead you to think that someone is neglecting her faith but if someone is wearing a niqab then she must be overdoing her faith. It’s always a lose-lose situation for the other person, no matter what.
I am always better– You know you are judging when you have plenty of excuses for doing the very thing another person is doing. You can find good reasons for yourself, it can be inadvertent on your part but the other person must have done it on purpose. I can look disheveled because I have a busy life but someone else can’t because she obviously doesn’t care for her looks!
I know what’s going on with them– You observe a tiny action and think you know what’s going on in their lives.
How To Avoid The Judgmental Trap–
Make intention and duaa– Make intention that you want to stop this vile habit to please Allah (swt) and ask for His guidance and protection to build this habit.
Take action, bring awareness– The first things you can do to kick the habit of judging someone is to bring awareness to this undesirable habit. Admit to yourself that you are jumping to a conclusion about another person based on your assumptions and you hated how it felt. Remind yourself how disgusting this habit is to you, every time.
No Conclusion, no labeling– Instead of rushing to label someone, be curious about her. If you see a friend is going to Goodwill, don’t think she does all her shopping from there. Instead, start your thought with “I wonder”. You can think instead of judging, I wonder why she is going to Goodwill!
Admit that you don’t know it all– Anytime you are about to assume and judge someone, remind yourself that you do not have all the facts of his life. Tell yourself, I am observing a small action and I do not know whole story. Humility is empowering.
Ask for Allah’s forgiveness– Be repentant and ask for Allah’s forgiveness every time you judge someone. Don’t judge yourself that you are not fast enough or virtuous enough. Just judge one less time every time and soon you will be free of this habit insha Allah.
Now breathe and meet the rest of your day with hope and gratitude.