I have been thinking about observation vs judgement, and how this relates to effective communication.
This is a something that is often discussed with my better half, particularly when I am making an observation and he feels that it is inappropriate to pass judgement and rightfully so.
My immediate response is that I am not judging, but merely making an observation. This leads to spirited conversations with him or sometimes with myself as I do believe that there is a fine line between observation and judgement, the differences are huge and this can be seen in our daily lives, yet we can get into dicey territory when we start judging each other…
Before I go any further, I wish to iterate that this phenomenon is not unique to me, it happens to most of us at some point in our lives, some sooner than others.
As we continue to evolve as humans in our journey of life, we strive to be better humans thus choosing to enter a space of even more love and compassion, we then begin to notice subtleties about our thoughts, feelings, and reactions to life unfolding around us. We begin to create our very own balance of peace and harmony with ourselves and others and everything around u operating from a place of observation with love and compassion, regardless of the circumstances.
So, you might wonder what or how do we do this?
So how do we distinguish observation from judgement? How do we shift into a space of a compassionate observer?
-Observation is a neutral act of taking in information by which we base our responses.
-Judgment is rendering an opinion relative value or merit of what is being observed
-We observe something when we become aware of it. We acknowledge “this is so.” We judge when we form an opinion, as in “I think this about that.”
There is nothing wrong with “making judgments”, since our daily decisions are based on our judgments, however it is important to separate observation from assumption and judgement, doing this helps us make better decisions.
The fine line between judgement and observation can sometimes become very blurred, but it not need be – in observer mode, you accept the world as is–without having the need to control it or change it, there is no assignment of right or wrong, good or bad, without attaching feelings to everything that is happening around us, this is when we are operating from our heart, as a consequence, we are able to see the world with even more love and compassion –
A judgement on the other hand is when we attach a feeling to an observation and these feelings are a product of our very own upbringing, past conditioning, specific incidents and life experiences, more often then not, this leads to making people wrong in the theater of our mind and essentially blaming them for our own point of views.
Naturally, feelings are part of our make up however the extent to which we experience positive and negative emotions derive from our own unique experiences. When things happen that stir up trauma or old wounds, we have the tendency to project negative emotions into the world, similarly when we feel good, our experiences seem to be more positive, so the degree to how we see the world is relative to the degree of how good or bad we feel inside, and these very feelings play an important role in how we perceive the world.
Here is the thing…
Being able to state our observations is important to our ability to effectively communicate, influence and lead, however we can choose to see through the lens of compassion and observe that everyone is navigating through life the best way they know how.
The more I meditate and ask my Creator for guidance and live life with intention, the more I enjoy being in the observer mode. This practice strengthens the observer within us. When we connect to the wise part of ourselves, we begin to see the world differently it enables us to observe the word without being as affected by events surrounding us, this in turn makes us less judgmental. Soon this leads us to realize that others around you are also trying the best they know how regardless of how sometimes their actions may cause havoc in our own lives, we can then begin to support their transformation in a way that creates harmony!
Living in an observer mode is a choice. Connecting with our Creator is one such practice that strengthens your observer mode.
Think about this:
“She is wearing an abaya.” – observation
“She is wearing a tight abaya or her abaya should not be tight.”– judgments
“She has honey toned skin.” – observation
“She is ugly.” – judgement
“She is very skilled.” – observation, if based on truly observing the skills being discussed
“She is better than others.” judgement, unless there is factual measurement on a criteria that all agree defines “better.”
While we can find plenty of examples in our personal and professional lives (just focus on this for an hour and you will know what I mean),
So ask yourself “What are You Doing?”