be-humanA reader suggested I write about how to handle it when you’ve caught yourself being judge-y (after reading this post last month)

Here’s her comment:

Maybe you could do a follow-up post on how to handle it when you’ve caught yourself being judgey, especially if you’ve said the snarky comment out loud (& maybe hurt someone’s feelings). We all do it….

Is it ok to be human? is her real question. And what do we do about it?   The answer is in the word BE.

Being judge-y is being human. Sure, we’d all like to be evolved and so spiritually oriented that we don’t judge. But hey, we’re human! And don’t I know it, too.

I’ve done things that I regret, that I’m embarrassed about, said things I wish I hadn’t. I’m guilty of being human. So here’s what I do and maybe you’ll find something in that:

  1. If an apology is necessary, I do it. Without any hedging.  We almost always know when we’ve hurt someone and usually we do not intend it. So I apologize. “I’m sorry” is so powerful a sentence.
  2. If clarification is needed, I might say “That didn’t come out right. What I meant to say is…” or “I don’t know what that means, let me try again.” Or, “that was really bitchy and I didn’t mean it to be. What I really mean is…”
  3. Avoid using “but” … as in “I’m sorry but…” or ” I didn’t mean it, but…” The word “but” negates everything that came before it.
  4. Here’s a big one for me. NEVER say “I’m sorry you feel that way.” It is such a hot button when I hear it–because it puts the onus on the other person, not ourselves.  What I really want to hear is ownership:  “I’m sorry I hurt you.”
  5. Did I mention that we should certainly not judge ourselves for being human? That really is the crux of the message Baba Ram Dass brought to us in that quote. We say things to ourselves we would never say to a friend. Being kind to ourselves, not beating ourselves up –no need to do that. Because we are ALL human!
  6. None of us is perfect. Allow yourself to be human, in all its messiness. Don’t beat yourself up.

My father was super-intolerant of mistakes and that’s how I was raised. But as I grew up, I realized this: It’s ok to make mistakes. Just make it right when you can.

So that’s my answer. What do you think?  What do YOU do when you completely step in it


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