Our Judgmental Mind

What comes to your mind when looking at this picture?

Our minds are hardwired to judge and categorize in a machine-like fashion. So much so that it has created judgmentalism towards ourselves and the people around us. It can lead to negative self-talk such as: “I am stupid,” “I am ugly,” “I am fat,” “I am weak,” “I am worthless.” It can also disrupt your relationships because of the negative judgments you have of others or those that they have of you.

We oftentimes judge through a dichotomy, or in polar opposites, which allows our mind to come to a comforting black or white conclusion. The primary dichotomy that drives all others is the determination if something is desirable vs. undesirable. But it often shows up as:

We don’t like things we can’t categorize or understand so we try to fit it into a preconceived mold. We collect information from our senses (sight, hearing, etc.), reference it from prior knowledge and then deduce a conclusion. We often do all of this on autopilot, or unconsciously, leading to thoughts and beliefs that are self-reinforcing, self-serving and convenient. Thoughts that also have a lot of power because we often believe them without further reflection.

Although there are many causes for someone's judgmentalism, I believe it has a lot to do with how we learn. In school you had to learn definitions and to differentiate to find the answer so as to get the good grade. Those that memorized, categorized and repeated the right information were held in high-esteem. We have been conditioned to make quick judgements and as a byproduct we have become judgmental in other aspects of life. This can be pointed out towards the world as well as towards ourselves leading to negative thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

What is the solution?

It starts with knowing that it is happening. Once you start to become aware you can start to take yourself off autopilot and choose. You have a choice to go with your negative thoughts and judgments or break free from their hold on you. Doing this on your own is not easy. Roseburg Therapy offers a confidential space to work on the judgmental mind and its actions as well as the judgmental actions of others.

Do you want to become a stronger you OR Do you want your judgmental mind to have control over you? It is your choice.


Robert Josh Lydon, LCSW