The concepts of “good” and “bad” judgment are tricky to navigate. Making snap judgments can help us make important survival decisions, but most of us also pass judgment in a way that doesn’t exactly benefit our personal well-being—or others.
So how do we cut down on the unproductive type of judgment? Fostering more empathy and practicing mindfulness is a start. Behavioral scientists generally agree that healthier judgment begins with cultivating self-compassion, rejecting snobbery, and easing up on certain snap decision-making processes.
Read on for expert tips on how to make decisions that are better rooted in fact, while also giving yourself and others a little extra grace.
Taking a moment to pause and really look at the other person can help us all avoid embarrassment and hurt feelings, says youth empowerment activist Quita Christison.
My life-long recovery from snobbery.
BONUS READ: The Science of Snobbery: How We’re Duped Into Thinking Fancy Things Are Better via The Atlantic.
Stuck in a negative self-talk spiral? Here’s what you can do about.
The tendency to judge in favor of people and symbols we like is called the bias from liking or loving, and it affects how we make decisions.
BONUS READ: We All Think We Know The People We Love. We’re All Deluded via NPR.
‘Do-gooders’ are often judged harshly. Why do we resent their acts of altruism or question their motives?
Pushing yourself to listen to contrary opinions is the way to make better judgments.
BONUS READ: Live Like the Ancient Cynics via The Atlantic.
We’d all like to think we’re open to new ideas and curious about how others see the world. But our brains aren’t wired that way—in fact, being open-minded takes some conscious practice.
We tend to think that people can easily tell what we’re thinking and feeling. They can’t. Understanding the illusion of transparency bias can improve relationships, job performance, and more.
BONUS READ: Hanlon’s Razor: Relax, Not Everything is Out to Get You via Farnam Street.
A simple practice to boost intelligence, avoid cognitive bias, and prove your own ideas wrong.
BONUS READ: Changing Your Mind Can Make You Less Anxious via The Atlantic.
Do you use words like: better than, right, wrong, lazy, or unambitious to describe your coworkers or managers? If so, you may be hurting your career progress.
BONUS READ: Want To Be Happier and More Successful? Learn To Like Other People via Fast Company.
Explore this 15-minute guided meditation to open up some space for yourself to sit with what is, rather than what if.
BONUS READ: How to Start Meditating via Pocket Collections.