Do Judgments Reveal Your Inner World?

For the past decade, I have mostly looked at judgments through Marshall Rosenberg’s lens: “Even criticism, judgment, diagnosis, and expression of anger is the tragic expression of an unmet need.” When I receive a criticism or sense I”m being judged, I try to figure out what this person’s unmet need is. When or if the unmet need is identified or felt, understanding may take place and a strategy that might meet more needs may emerge.

More recently, I have noticed criticisms / judgments as a projection of one’s thoughts / behavior on another. Unconsciously, we go around behaving a certain way. When we see this undesirable behavior in others, we point it out to the person who is exhibiting the behavior or complain about the behavior to a friend or loved one. The ironic thing is we may not necessarily see this undesirable behavior in ourselves. What are your thoughts or experience around this?

For me, this quote by Wayner Dyer captures this idea in a much more elegant way: “When you judge another, you do not define them; you define yourself.”  

The awareness of our projections may offer insights into ourselves and into our relationships with others. Our projections can also shine a light on our emotions and beliefs; revealing what is not visible. And when what is revealed is painful, we can turn towards ourselves with kindness and compassion.