Advertising
Advertising

You’ll Be Much Happier When You Make Less Judgement

You’ll Be Much Happier When You Make Less Judgement

Think back to when you last felt truly happy. What was the reason for it? Were you full of joy because of something you did? Or perhaps you felt that way because of how you looked? And more importantly: Did the feeling last?

Buddhism teaches that we must attain a satisfying life through awareness and insightful learning. Scientific research suggests we need elements of psychological health to further access lasting happiness.

Advertising

The psychology of happiness

In psychology, there’s a theory called “self-determination theory”. It shows that psychological health is paramount to experience happiness, and that such health stems from a balance between autonomy (feeling in control of our own behavior/goals), competence (becoming a master of a skill), and relatedness (feeling like you belong/relating to other human beings).

The common trap

However, a serious error in our relationships with others is harsh judgment, which ruins our autonomy and relatedness.

Advertising

When we judge, we are really attempting to gain control of things we cannot be in control of, thus weakening our autonomy and causing those we judge to become defensive. For instance a person might not meet your expectations of attendance, and you judge them to be lazy. This only causes a weakening in our own strengths, and in turn makes us far less happy. Moreover, this would ruin our relationships with our loved ones.

Studies have shown that when we are mindful, we can understand that each person is simply on their own path of contentment. This means that although another person might not match our expectations, we should not judge them to be more or less than exactly what they are. We must not view people as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, only as different to ourselves.

Advertising

By saying that another person is wrong, it is adhering to our own insecurities and needs. In a way you are saying “I am more important” or “I am better, and you are worse”. This is unhelpful both to the situation, and to your own self. Practicing self worth will increase your knowledge of psychological health, and better your understanding of why it is so important to understand not who is right and wrong, but what is actually important.

How to refrain from judgement

In Buddhism, they teach that we should start by holding a strawberry. When we can comfortably look at the strawberry without seeing whether or not it looks good to us, without seeing its immediate effects of how it does or does not affect us directly, we can then move on to something larger. Perhaps it will be a meal, and then perhaps something larger, like a book.

Advertising

Finally, when we are comfortable with all of this, we will be ready to try it out with a human! There will be a lack of desire to accept the person (or book, or fruit) for anything but what it is exactly in that moment.

More by this author

25+ Quotes That Bring You Inner Peace To Face With Every Challenge What Is Lactose Intolerance And What To Do If You Have It Nutritionists Say Granola Bars Are Just Dressed Up Junk Food Researchers Explain Why People Often Feel Disappointed In The Dating World 3 Effective Home Remedies For Annoying Eczema

Trending in Communication

1 7 Ways To Deal With Negative People 2 How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward 3 What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships 4 How To Stop Negative Thoughts from Killing Your Confidence 5 This 4-Year Old Girl’s Explanation On the Problem with New Year’s Resolutions Is Everything You Need

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

Advertising

In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

Advertising

But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

Advertising

5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

Advertising

You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

Read Next