Judgments, Criticisms and Blame – An Opportunity for Deeper Self Awareness

How to Transform Judgments, Criticisms and Blame

We all have judgments of ourselves, our partners, our children, our parents, bosses, teachers, but none are stronger than those we have of our former partners, lovers and spouses.

Why is it that we waste so much energy and time thinking about, worrying about, criticizing and judging the person we most want to get away from? It’s ironic, don’t you think?

Judging, criticizing and blaming your former partner or spouse is a waste of time because it will not change him/her. If you had no luck getting her/him to change when you were in relationship with her/him, you most certainly will not have any luck now.

In addition, judging, criticizing and blaming is actually bad for your own health – so you are both wasting your time and causing yourself harm.

But simply telling yourself you “shouldn’t” judge someone or worse yet, judging yourself for judging someone doesn’t help at all!

So, I want to share with you a process for transforming your judgments so you can uncover inner wisdom and insight and transform your judgments into something you actually have the power to do something about AND that will contribute to your well-being!

This insight will empower you to speak your truth, ask for what you want, and do what you can to meet your needs rather than wait for someone else to change.

Are you ready? Hold on to your hats (and get out a pen and piece of paper!). . .

1. Write down a judgment, criticism you have of someone or something you blame them for (yes, it can be a self-judgment).

2. Write down what that person said or did that leads you to have that judgment, etc.

3. Ask yourself, when I think that about that person, how do I feel? (To see a short list of feelings, click here)

4. Then ask yourself, when I feel that feeling what is it that I am needing? (to see a list of needs, click here)

5. Take a deep breath or two and just sit with that feeling and need.

6. Repeat steps 2 – 4 again two more times (for a total of 3 times).

You have uncovered the needs underlying your judgment. For now, just be with the feelings and needs you’ve identified and let yourself fully embrace them. Often this leads to a place of deeper self awareness and can often give rise to a need to simply mourn and grieve, or can create greater clarity of how you can meet your own needs. Do not rush this – just be present with whatever you uncover.

Please share your process and comments below.







Cat J. Zavis is an Attorney, Mediator and Coach for Divorced and Divorcing Parents. She has conducted workshops and trainings in Nonviolent CommunicationSM for hundreds of parents, lawyers, teachers, students, spiritual centers and professionals. In 2009, she was awarded a Peace Builder Award for her business. Her passion is helping parents learn how to communicate and work with their former partner or spouse so they and their children not just survive divorce, but thrive.

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