Here’s some handy dandy tips for filling in your Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet (JYN).
Judge Someone Else, Not Yourself
If you’re anything like me, most of your negative judgments are about yourself. If asked “who causes the most problems in your life?” it would not be my mom, husband, or friends. It would be me and my stinkin’ thinkin’.
So why then does The Work focus on judging someone else? Simple. Egos suck at self evaluation. Mine can’t see itself. It’s like a mirror facing a mirror – the images are repetition upon repetition. I have tried to write JYNs on myself but when doing The Work on it, my answers are circular, confusing and shallow. I just can’t see myself that clearly. There’s way too many thoughts leading to other thoughts, and some of them are totally contradictory. It’s a confusing mess.
But ask me to identify where someone else is dead wrong and my vision becomes crystal clear. I’m a professional judger. Filling in a JYN is easy for me because I’m so great at judging. And from what I’ve observed, so are most other folks. I know exactly what this other person should do, how they should be and how they should be treating me. It’s amazing how clear my opinions are of others.
If You Spot it, You Got It
Being judgmental is great news. It can give you a point of entry into yourself. It turns out that everything you judge in another, you judge about yourself. If I see you as a game-player in a particular situation; I am a game-player in that situation. If I see you as closed off, I am closed off. Judging someone else is an incredibly effective backdoor into your beliefs about yourself. Don’t believe me. Test it for yourself.
I didn’t think this was the case when I first started doing The Work. For example I really didn’t like people who acted like a victim. I felt disgusted and irritated when I saw someone blaming someone else for how they felt. I wanted to shake them and scream “Wake up dude. Take some responsibility for yourself!” If you had asked me if I see myself as a victim, I would have vehemently denied it. Not me. I take full responsibility for my emotional reactions. 50 worksheets later and I can see every time I’m triggered, I’m convinced this person has done something wrong and that’s why I’m upset.
You would think knowing in advance that you’re actually writing a worksheet on yourself would affect what you write. For some bizarre reason, knowing that doesn’t change anything. Every time there’s a new situation, I’m thoroughly convinced I’m right this time. Yes, yes, I’ve been wrong those other 100 times, but with this one, there’s no way I’m wrong.
Don’t Be Nice.
Our culture encourages us to not be judgmental. My mother’s words ring in my ears, “if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.” What my mom failed to mention, is what I can do about having these judgmental thoughts in the first place. They’re in my head, even if I never let them come out my mouth.
Take the shackles off. Let all that anger and hurt fill in your JYN. This is not the time to be nice, spiritual, kind or soft-hearted. I let myself be free to be as petty, snarky, vindictive and harsh as I am. It’s already in my head, what’s the harm in putting it on paper? If it makes you feel better, you can always burn the worksheet later. Just let it rip! The more worksheets I’ve done, the easier it became.