I had an interesting conversation recently. Some business friends and I were talking about the wealthiest people in the world. I said that the list is impressive, especially when it comes to the ages of these billionaires, which included Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, and Bill Gates.

Some, however, started to judge these people. One person said, “I do not like Bill Gates!” I asked, “Do you know him?” I was feeling curious and did not want to assume anything, so I asked questions. That person continued with, “No, just the things I have read and how his ex-wife speaks about him.”

Continuing my curiosity, I asked, “How do you know these things are true?” Privately I thought, “You’re judging someone who has done a lot of great philanthropic work, and this is someone I hope to one day meet!”

How Judging Others Affects Ourselves

When we are judging others from a distance, we have no clue what we are talking about. Judging others is not a good look! We have to stop having opinions about people we do not even know.

I cannot help but think if people judged me by what they read or heard about me. I would have zero friends! Secondhand information is a waste of time and energy. Plus, when we say, “I do not like that person,” we’re putting that energy out into the Universe.

Because this was a group of people I do business with, I did not offer any coaching suggestions. But I will do so here! Why? Because I know many people judge from afar. They have thoughts and judgments about people they don’t even know. Today, lots of people write and say horrible things about others, and it is our job to do the right thing and start calling out this behavior.

If you find yourself judging famous people after reading or hearing something about them, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this information really true? How do I know it’s true?
  • What good have they done? (In a previous blog post called “Best Years,” I wrote that if you are listing all the bad someone has done, then you have to list the good too. We are all humans, and we all have good and bad sides.)
  • Have they done anything to me?
  • Why am I triggered by this person?

Then consider researching more about them before settling on an opinion.

Catching Ourselves Judging Others

Here’s the deal: lately I’ve been hearing a lot of people having opinions about others they do not even know. I know I am guilty of forming an opinion too quickly. But these days, I am extremely careful of blurting out, “I do not like that person,” especially in a social situation. We never know whom we are talking to, so I am very careful. I also take a lot of interest in people, and my heart is centered on changing the way people look at the world.

In the past, in a situation like the one I just had with my business friends, I would have argued with that person and said something like “How can you judge a person you have never met?” or “You know very little about the situation except what you read.” But if I had said those things, I would have been judging that person as well! You cannot help others if you are judging them. One of my primary goals these days is to avoid judging others, so I stick to asking curious questions.

By the way, I feel pretty confident the person I questioned will think twice before blurting out something negative like that again. Why? No one in the group chimed in and agreed with them; I think we were all a bit stunned at how dramatic and judgmental they were being. Whenever we call out judgmental behaviors, we can inadvertently make others feel uncomfortable, where no one really knows what to say or how to respond. This was also probably the case then. On the other hand—and to make sure we’re not judging them—they may have been in a bad mood or had a bad mindset at the time. Sometimes we blurt things out that are completely disconnected from what we really believe.

How to Stop Judging Others

On a deeper level, that is why it is so important to become grounded first thing in the morning. Set your intentions right away. When we set intentions and get clear on how we want our day to go and how we want to feel, we are less likely to become derailed. Do you set an intention right after you wake up? If not, this might be a great time to add this to your daily routine.

To set your intention, either say out loud or write down how you want your day to go. Do you want to be a positive beacon of light spreading love and beautiful messages, or do you want to be judging people you do not even know—which just makes you feel bad because you are carrying that energy? We are human beings on this beautiful planet. We are not always going to get it right, but neither is the person we are judging.

When you have what these billionaires have, do what they do, walk in their shoes, donate millions of dollars, create, build, invent, and so on, then I might just listen to the nonsense that you read about Bill Gates.

So stop judging! Instead, spread love and light. Set your intentions. Work on yourself. I love you. We got this!

Deborah Driggs

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