The Trap of Judgment and Superiority

Are You Stuck In The Trap?

Today I want to talk about one of those traps that so many of us find ourselves stuck in – the trap of superiority. Judging people. Listen – I’m not pointing my finger at anyone out there, because I’d be pointing it back at myself as well. But I want to bring some light to this subject nonetheless.

Here’s my back story. Just a couple weeks ago, I was down in Florida with my family, and we did a LOT of people watching. I got to thinking – people watching by itself is not a bad thing. But when you start judging people, that’s when it flips the switch. We all do this quite often without even realizing it. Whether it’s at the gym, at school, in the pickup line, in the neighborhood, at work; if we’re not careful, we’re doing a lot of judging.

I Was Judging!

So there was one particular thing that happened to me in Florida. We were out to lunch one day, and the table behind us had just one child with them. There were signs all over saying not to throw food over the railing. This particular child kept throwing food over, and he was probably about 10 – old enough to know better. His mom and dad kept correcting him, but he would do it again and again. It went on and on.

You moms out there probably know what I was thinking to myself. I am in no way saying I deserve a parent of the year award, but I found myself thinking, “If this child doesn’t quit throwing food, I’m going to get up and tell him to stop myself!” I was totally taking this air of superiority like I had it all together. It wasn’t very long into this that I thought…I don’t know the back story. I don’t know what’s going on with this child or his parents. I didn’t know anything except what I was hearing. I was JUDGING!

That’s where the inspiration for this post comes from. If I struggle at times with this, there has got to be so many of you who also do the same thing.

Judgment Does Not Elevate Us

Sometimes tearing other people down makes us feel better. Let’s just call it like it is. If they have problems, it means we’re doing better than they are. But when we judge others, we are really addressing our own insecurities. We tear others down to mask what we’re struggling with. We inadvertently deem those people as unacceptable and we’re acceptable. Right? Does anyone else find themselves doing that?

The truth of the matter is, bringing others down does not elevate us at all. In fact it does the opposite. We really need to give others the benefit of the doubt. Instead of taking our surface level assumptions about what’s going on in their world, let’s try instead to make connections with them. So many times we don’t even know what they’ve been going through!

Along with placing judgment, if we’re not careful we will also start to compare ourselves to others. Women especially are notorious for comparison and competition. We do it silently often, but we women also commonly compete internally with each other. Comparison is the thief of joy, though! If we aren’t careful, we will find ourselves judging others and acting superior and compare ourselves to them.

So now that I’ve shared what happened to me, what do you do with that? Instead of just saying we shouldn’t judge anymore, what should we do? I came up with some tools to help us prevent casting judgment.

Three Tools To Prevent Judgment

First, we can simply admit it…that yes – we do judge! We do fall into the trap of superiority. And here’s the deal, no one is immune to that. It doesn’t matter how elevated you are, you are going to be judged.

I listened to the radio today and there was a story about a nun who was arrested for hiding drugs in her heels. The first thing I did was judge her – and it is a pretty crazy story – but again, I’m doing my judging and my superiority in my mind, and I don’t know the real story. I need to check myself and reserve judgment.

Number two is to recognize that we all have different brains and beliefs and backgrounds, and we’re always going to be different from one another. We all have gifts and talents that are different. We’ve never even walked an inch in another person’s shoes. We must recognize and appreciate our differences instead of judging one another for them.

Even the Bible says, if you are without sin then go ahead and cast the first stone. But none of us can cast that stone! We are not perfect, so our air of superiority must be stopped. We should instead be showing others grace.

And the last thing we can do…we can ask people to hold us accountable. Please help me not to fall into the trap of superiority because I am not superior to anybody. Help me compliment people. Help me see their world. Help me see the positive instead of the negative. Ask and you shall receive, but it takes practice and recognition and conscious decisions to do so.

Judgment Defines Us, Not Them

I heard a quote recently that sums up this notion of reserving judgment perfectly.

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

I used to hear this in elementary school all the time…when you point a finger at someone there are 3 fingers pointing back at you. It’s so true!

Anyway, as always, if you got any value out of this, please share it! I love paying it forward and sharing things that I learn and grow from.

Social media can be a great platform if we use it in a positive way…so let’s help each other stop the judgment and superiority!

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