How To Stop Judging Other People’s Lives

Maybe their lifestyles match their needs

A rebellious woman looks jaded after a hard day.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

It’s easy to judge other people’s way of life inadvertently. We see our hopes, values, and problems reflected in what we imagine they experience and whatever we see them do.

We’re likely to assume they share our ethos, even though, if we gave the matter much thought, we’d realize everybody is different. So, for example, when a friend or relative leads a lifestyle that we wouldn’t want for ourselves, we feel sorry for them.

But the individual might be happy. Or, if we apply a spiritual, personal-development leaning to what happens, we may see they are going through life-lessons pertinent to them. Maybe we know their habits or lifestyle choices can lead to sorrow, yet, our knowledge stems from having been through the mill ourselves.

We don’t want our friends and other people we care for to experience suffering, so we advise them to change or chastise them because we believe they’re making mistakes. Ultimately, though, their errors could make them wiser.

It’s also true that others might dislike what we want for ourselves. They see us and imagine we’re in a bad place when actually, we’re fine. Or they want us to change to suit their way of thinking when we dance to a different tune and wouldn’t benefit from altering our lives to fit their values.

It’s hard to step away from someone else’s life if you think they need your help. So often, because you care, you may imagine it’s your job to ‘improve them.’ But realistically, other people’s lives have little to do with us, thank goodness. It can be tough enough to manage our own lives, let alone cope with anyone else’s!

So what can we do when our loved ones make choices we see as unwise? We can express our opinions, yet, it doesn’t help to do so in a big way. Instead, we need to leave room for them to be themselves and do what they want, even if they fall over in the process.

We can, however, be present to help them back up if they stumble. Often, too, we might discover people’s choices, the ones we dislike, don’t harm them after all. Sometimes, we might be amazed to find out their way works for them and ours works for us.

Relationships are tricky if we don’t know when to get involved in other people’s dramas or back off. We want for them what we want for ourselves. However, remembering the two don’t always match can save them and us from grief and worry.

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✨ Bridget E Webber

✨ Bridget E Webber

✔Content writer,✍author, and 👩‍⚕️former counselor exploring how to live well. I write about 🎯self-mastery and occasionally pen stories and poems.