Have you heard the advice, “Do not judge others?” Did someone call you too judgmental or did you judge someone else as too judgmental? Is judging others a bad thing? Not really!
A part of our mind’s job is to interpret and give meaning to what we observe and experience. This is how we make sense of our reality. Judgment is not necessarily a bad thing. However, this is not the end of discussion.
Every time we interact with someone we decide that this person is such-and-such. It is a valid observation. Next time we see this person our mind retrieves the previous judgment or conclusion of ours and we already expect their behavior to match it. If they behave the same way our previous judgment gets reinforced. Over time we stop paying attention to any changes in their behavior and continue believing that they are such-and-such.
Instead of trying to become non judgmental pay attention to whether your judgment is still valid. Our judgments are a collection of conclusions. Learn to distinguish between what you think about a person and the actual person. Know that your judgment about someone is not reality. It is only a collection of thoughts. As an exercise, occasionally put your judgment about someone aside and interact with them. You may learn something new. Then update your judgment.
This is applicable to things too. As a kid I disliked bitter gourd and avoided eating it. Today it is my favorite vegetable. You may have had similar experiences too. As we grow we are changing. With that our perception of things may change too. Notice them.
This is also applicable to groups and communities too. We believe a particular group or community is like this only. Even after we have an experience with individuals from a group that does not match the description we believe, we fail to update our description or judgment of that group.
Make a list of all your beliefs and judgments about various groups or communities. How many of those are yours? And, how many of them you got from other peoples opinions? We also acquire these beliefs from stereotypes and subliminal messaging. If you could stop believing other peoples judgments as yours you will have a brand new world view. Don’t be surprised if the world is actually a better place!