Why Not Judge?

A central goal in DBT is to cultivate a non-judgmental stance towards our lives and ourselves.  However, when you experience intense emotions and have stress and significant obstacles in your life, it’s difficult to refrain from passing judgment.

Judgments are spontaneous and often inaccurate interpretations of our environment that influence our thinking and behavior.  Social psychology research shows that our motives and expectations slant our judgments.  When we are motivated to avoid painful emotions, we are likely to judge those who hurt us, conflict with us or remind us of our shortcomings.  Often we’ve internalized the judgments of others and save our harshest judgments for ourselves.  As a result, when we face an obstacle, don’t get our way or don’t succeed in our efforts, we are likely to attribute our problems to the personality defects of those around us and ourselves.  They are lazy and stupid.  We are incompetent, needy or a failure.  Continue reading “Why Not Judge?” »

Leading a Life That Makes You Proud

It can be so easy to compromise ourselves.  It happens in just a moment, with the smallest action.

You skip a class because you know you can get away with it.  You claim sickness and avoid a tough day, even though you know you could have made it.  You turn a blind eye towards someone’s self destructive behavior because you don’t want the conflict if you tell them you think they’re wrong.  You give in to a friend’s request, even though you are tired and really need to take care of yourself.  You don’t stand up for yourself because you’re afraid the other person will belittle you.

Sometimes we do things that get us what we want or need, like lying or acting helpless, or giving in to someone else so we don’t create an argument.  In the short run lies and giving in work to avoid problems or get us what we need, but in the long run, they make us feel worse about ourselves.  Continue reading “Leading a Life That Makes You Proud” »