An Exercise from My New Book!

HomeBlogAn Exercise from My New Book!

An Exercise from My New Book!In this blog post, I’d like to give you a peek into my new book: “Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook.” Now available!

Practicing Being Nonjudgmental

We tend to judge things as good or bad, worthwhile or worthless, terrible or wonderful. All that judging can have a strong impact on our emotions. It can feed negative emotions, especially anger, guilt, and shame. And that can certainly interfere with our objective to be mindful in order to hear our wise mind.

Think about these statements:

“That idiot driver in front of me clearly didn’t know how to drive! You are taking your life into your hands every time you get in a car. It just isn’t safe to drive anymore because people just drive recklessly and don’t care who they hurt.”

“The person in front of me was driving really fast and pulled abruptly in front of me. I’m okay, but I really felt unsafe at the time.”

Which created more negative emotion? Which was a more factual and accurate description of consequences? The first statement was judgmental; the second statement precisely and unemotionally described the situation and the consequences of the situation.

This exercise is intended to help you ease up on your judgments, aiming to increase your mindful awareness of reality and reduce your negative emotions. Here are the steps for letting go of judgments:

  1. Practice noticing when you are judging something. Once you’re watching for them, you may notice far more judgments than you thought!
  2. When you find yourself passing judgment, ask yourself, “Is judging helping or hurting me?” If it’s not helping, try replacing the judgment with:
  • Statements of fact: accurate descriptions of what really happened
  • Statements of consequences: how the situation could be harmful or helpful
  • Statements of preference: what you prefer or wish things were like

With that in mind, try the following exercise to let go of a judgment of your own. First, identify a judgment you’ve made about yourself, someone else, or a situation.

Why do you want to let go of this judgment?

Replace your judgment with facts, consequences, or preferences. Write the new statement below. For example, replace “He’s a jerk” with “He did something I did not like.”

How have your emotions changed as you have practiced being nonjudgmental?

Try following a similar process the next time you catch yourself making an unhelpful judgment in your day-to-day life.

Excerpted from: “Borderline Personality Disorder Workbook” by Suzette Bray. More info here.