Communication 101 for Daughters and Mothers – #8 Recognize Your Judge

By Val Boyko • September 8th, 2011

angry judge judyIt can be tricky recognizing our own judge.

When we see a situation our mind tends to leap ahead to interpret and evaluate what’s going on. Its part of our human survival mode.

This is really useful when we are facing real danger, but in everyday circumstances instead of survival it often leads to misunderstandings and conflict.

Think of a time when you misinterpreted a message from someone. You assumed one thing and it turned out that the reality was quite different….

One way to recognize our judge is to look out for exaggeration or generalized statements. Can you tell the difference between these judging and observing statements?

“You are always late” rather than “This is the second time I’ve been waiting for 20 minutes.”

“One day you’ll fall and hurt yourself” rather than “I’m fearful that you will fall and hurt yourself.”

“You never do what I want” rather than “On the last 3 occasions we have done what you wanted to do.”

“You work too much” rather than “You’ve been working 12 hour days all week. I’m worried its too much.”

It happens more times than we may even be aware of!

In her book “Getting Real” Susan Campbell talks about this as noticing vs imagining.  Are you noticing or is your mind interpreting and imagining?

When we are able to experience what is happening – without judgment, drama or knee jerk emotions, we stay present.

When we can observe ourselves, we let go of judgment and are open. When we are open we can learn.

The next time you find yourself in an interaction look out for your judging self. Be an observer and ask yourself, what can I learn from this?


Val’s Comment: Susan Campbell calls this an advanced communication skill. Sometimes we can’t tell the difference between what we interpret from a situation and what we actually see. Its similar to distinguishing between how we feel and what we think! If you’d like to explore more, then please get in touch.



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  • COMMUNICATION QUIZ - Can You Make These Statements?

    Ask yourself if you make any of the following 15 statements. Find out if you are expressing yourself fully and are communicating with openness and presence.
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