The gap between perception and judgement

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Lately I have been struggling a lot. I would find myself thinking about my situation and see no way out. I would talk with people and blame them for their inability to fully listen, to truly understand what I was trying to share with them.

Given this unpleasant situation. I decided to go back into my mind and think about the reasons why I decided to start this blog. I reminded myself that I have made a commitment to find the time to do the things I really love and to fully appreciate life without constantly judging people and situations.

Thinking again about this commitment I started to believe that it was way too much for me. It appeared to be something that I could have been able to achieve only my dreams.

How could I get rid of judgement? How could I manage to avoid judging every given situation? How could I give up expectations on people?

I went back to read my old posts on these topics, but I felt like something was missing.

And then I had a sudden realisation.

The problem is not judgement itself. The problem is that we unconsciously judge.

Most of the times it just goes like this: we see a fat person and we think that this person has no self-respect, that she is a bad person, that we are better than her.

Another example is when we wake up lazy, we have no desire to do anything and so we decide that we are going to have a bad day, that nothing can change it.

The problem here is not in the perception (seeing a fat person, or feeling tired), nor in the judgement itself (it can be fair to have our own ideas on things). The problem is that we believe that the way we judge things is the only possible way. We forget that we share reality with others, that anyone has different perceptions and thus judgements.

As we understand this concept we can finally take action, we can try to get rid of judgement, or at least become aware of it.

Every time you see something, or experience a certain situation, remind yourself that there is a small gap between the perception and the judgement. And there you should act. You have the ability to act in that gap, you can try not to judge everything that happens to you.

It still looks very hard, but it is possible.

At first you should practice awareness: if we don’t understand we are judging we cannot act, we are stuck. But as we become more confident, as we begin to unfold the unconscious process of judgement we can progressively take control of it. We can decide live the situation itself, to appreciate the present moment for what it really is.

As we free ourselves from constant judgement we can live a much more pleasant life.

Your opinion

What do you think about this post? Are you used to judge a lot? What do you think we can do to get rid of this attitude? Please let me know in the comments below!

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15 thoughts on “The gap between perception and judgement

  1. Interesting post! I agree that some of the judging becomes unconscious, and I think it takes a conscious decision to shift that attitude to make it happen; like you say it’s difficult, but you can make a new habit! I try not to judge people so much these days, especially as what we often judge people for doesn’t actually affect our lives in any way! I guess we just have these judgements within us, but I think we can change them πŸ™‚

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  2. Yes, I do judge sometimes. It is because we have some expectations from people but it is not like a harsh judgement . Sometimes It is very hard to understand people and why they act in different ways but the best thing to do is to let go. You are how you are and they are how they are and everyone is responsible only for themselves.

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  3. I remember last year I fell into a deep depression and one I didn’t think I could pull myself out of. Everyday I would wake up and tell myself, “Hmph! Another day of this crap at work.” Or “Dumbass get out of the way!” While driving into work. I would listen to negative music and blast it all the way to my job and back home to my driveway. I pushed every one away cause I blamed everyone for my failures but not myself, and judged everyone on fb that complained about small things. I lost a lot of friendships cause I had to voice my opinion.
    Judging is in human nature but finding solace inside of you is tough. How do you not judge when you’re in a place that you feel is a endless and narrow hallway that has no end or doors? You suffocate in your own self pity and care nothing of anyone else. It’s a tough place to be at and hard to understand anyone around you.
    I can tell you what helps me though, and I’m not going to say look to God, even though I have. I’m going to say this though, every day think positive. When you want to think how crappy your day is at work, think, wow, I’m alive. When you sit in the parking lot waiting to walk in, force yourself to smile, and say, it’s a beautiful day. I have a job and I’m thankful for that. Even the smallest positive gestures like telling someone they look nice and asking them about themselves and listening will help. Keep an open mind, and that fat person you see everyday tell them to keep up the good work. You look great! Cause they maybe busting their but in the gym as you judge them. Definitely a great post to get the mind pumping this morning. Thanks!

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  4. So true, well described, and I completely agree that we all judge without even being conscious of doing so.
    I’m thinking of Rick Hanson, who wrote the excellent Buddha’s Brain. He talks about the two behaviour modes of “reactive” and “responsive”. The difference, essentially, is in awareness. It’s in that gap where we find the opportunity to choose ie to respond consciously rather than react unconsciously.
    For me that’s the difference between living on autopilot (zombie) and living with awareness (becoming the author and hero of our own story)

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      1. I did a Rick Hanson online course on “Taking in the Good” which I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve always found his work inspiring and useful – a great combination!

        Like

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