Self-judgment Is Equally Detrimental


I am sure nobody likes to be judged but what about our own judgment, which is continuous and constant?

Did I hurt him/her? Did I say something offending? Did I shirk my responsibility? Where did I go wrong?

Am I right in…there are thousands of such questions, which keep cropping up in our minds every day. We may call it self-reflection but it is self-judgment too.

The difference is just this – the former is positive and the latter is negative.

We all know that negative thoughts are overpowering and intensely pernicious. Yet we let them dwell in our minds.

They are like those moments of pain that never go. No! They are not the old ones. New keep cropping up.

Some moments, which are too personal, too close…so precious that you can’t even share them. You can’t let them go. You have to grieve over them. You make peace with that pain because it is not directly yours, not within your reach yet it is connected with you…in the form of a near one, a very dear person who considers you your confidant.

Can that pain be betrayed? Can you detach from such a situation?

Can you blame yourself?

I have written about detachment, about letting go to move ahead, about the ‘Valley Of Happiness’ that is so easy to imagine but when you try to live in that valley, somebody enters to remind that life never fails to bring up new turbulences even if you try to conquer it’s endeavors.

Those moments of elusive sleep with mind drifting into the forgotten realms return. You wonder where your promise of keeping grief at bay has vanished.

You think for hours and then remind yourself that the only way is to dismiss those despondent thoughts.

When we think for hours, searching for our own role in the whole scenario – that is self-judgment.

When we blame ourselves for something we didn’t do intentionally – that is self-judgment.

When we wallow in the grief of a near or dear one – who doesn’t possess the confidence to move on, searching our own role in the situation or failure to help, that is self-judgment.

You try to respond to a sad story in a positive manner but that lump in the throat wouldn’t let the words flow out, you want to scream yet the voice seems to fail you, you feel throttled, tears well up in your eyes but you try to hold them to show your courage and all these emotions get wedged between the struggle to grieve and let go.

People consider you a sentimental fool!

All that tall talk… ‘Count your blessings’ seems hollow at such a time.

Despite all the feelings of helplessness and anguish, we have to hold the strings of positivity to leap out of those dumps.Self-judgment quote

There is no other way. The choice is ours. Keep lying low and wallow in self-pity or grieve and be done with it.

Self-judgment makes us doubt our own intentions.

It shakes our confidence.

It lowers our self-esteem.

It pulls us back into the dumps of depression.


Train your mind: If you tend to hold yourself responsible for the misfortunes of others who are dear to your heart, you need to train your mind. Like any other training, it would take time. It would take more time than getting a mechanical training because emotions are supple, attachments are deep-rooted and enlightenment may require a full life.

Remind yourself: It is not your problem. You can’t mitigate the pain of others. You can’t change their circumstances. You can only empathize. Don’t drown yourself in their sorrow.

Give positive support: Avoid criticism; it never helps. All we need is reassurance that we are on the right path, that we are putting in our best efforts and our love for those we value would never wane.

Do you judge yourself? Do you hold yourself responsible for the misfortunes of others? I would love to hear your views.

Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.




34 thoughts on “Self-judgment Is Equally Detrimental

  1. Very well put, Balroop. We rear negative thoughts in our minds knowing that they are of no good. Self-reflection helps to improve while self-judgement often brings down the self-esteem making us pretentious and artificial in front of others. The choices you have mentioned are hard to follow, but at least, one can try… 🙂

    1. Hi Mani, I have thought and pondered…more than twice…many times but I could find no other choices. It is better to try than exist in those negative thoughts, which drain away the real energy.
      I wish somebody could suggest better choices. I am all ears. 🙂

    1. Thank you Joe. While we struggle to shun negative thoughts, they keep weaving their vicious web around us unconsciously. I dismiss them everyday, every morning when I open my eyes and every night when I close my book to drift into the world of dreams…sometimes they accompany me there!!

  2. I like the distinction between self-reflection and self-judgement. Self-reflection seems growth-oriented where self-judgement seems to stagnant with regret for the past. Well done 😀

    1. You are so right Diana. Thank you for clarifying the point so well. 🙂 I have always tried to convert the latter into former but after much argument.

  3. A great post, Balroop.

    The choice is ours! So true. Most of us make choices in life and choices come with consequences.

  4. Useful and explanatory analysis of self-reflection and self-judgement, Balroop, as these are traits confused by most people and practised interchangeably. It is always important to maintain appropriate confidence in whatever little capabilities one has, without deviating into arrogance but tempered by humility and surrounding reality.

    1. Thank you for sharing your perspective dear Raj. I agree, very few people care to distinguish between self-reflection and judgment. This confusion leads them into self-inflicted suffering, which continues to haunt.

  5. Another reflective topic from you, Balroop. Self-judgement is something that I think many of us are not conscious of. As you mentioned, it can be cause by others around us – or when our actions impact them – when they say something about us and we feel pained as a result of their perceptions about us. Sometimes we care about these perceptions and self-judge because we feel the need to be accepted. But really, we don’t need to – we just need to be ourselves.

    I think I am guilty of self-judgement and quite a lot of time wonder if what I said hurt someone and ask myself if they take it the wrong way. Lately, I’ve been telling myself I can’t please everyone and those people who are our real friends will be understanding and not take it personally. My psychologist once told me that we cannot change the past – admit that to yourself and focus on something else.

    1. Hi Mabel

      I love your perspective…’we need to be ourselves’…how much of this thought percolates deep within makes all the difference. Only when we have spent many owly nights do we realise what really matters. People around us don’t let us be ourselves.

      As I have already mentioned it is not just the past…new challenges and pains keep cropping up every single day. I appreciate your way of dismissing negative thoughts that our real friends would understand. Thank you for sharing. Stay blessed. 🙂

  6. Another interesting and insightful article, dear Balroop. One aspect of negative self-judging that rarely gets considered is the neurotic self-centricity of it all. It can in fact be an inverted egotism, even though the judgement is negative and the attendant feelings uncomfortable. The subject garners the sense that they’re displaying self-effacement when talking to others about their own perceived failings, when in fact it’s sustaining the focus upon themselves in an unnecessarily neurotic way, sometimes to the point of being solipsistic. Does this sound hard? Maybe, but I believe it to be true nonetheless. With all best wishes to you, Hariod.

    1. Hi Hariod,

      Thank you for such kind words and philosophical thoughts. They have added another dimension to the topic.
      I have never thought in terms of self-judgment being solipsistic…(nice word)
      Yes, it sounds quite hard. A person who is immersed in self criticism and self-doubt can also be self-centred? Especially when he/she is blaming self?
      I am in a self-reflective mood now.
      It could be an endeavour to understand oneself better!
      Many thanks for a thought-provoking perspective. Have a nice week. 🙂

    1. Thank you Lisa, I am glad you could get such a clear view of self-judgment…we can all relate to it! Discussing it calms it down quite a bit.

  7. Sometimes I struggle with not being able to change the circumstances of others or their ways of thinking.. but reading your post is helpful for realigning my commitment to staying positive and understanding that we are all on the same journey in life… ❤

  8. Training one’s mind does take time. My therapist has continually pointed out how I tend to be hard on myself. I guess her words are finally starting to sink in. There’s a method to that woman’s repetitiveness.

  9. Nice post. Regarding this:
    “We all know that negative thoughts are overpowering and intensely pernicious. Yet we let them dwell in our minds.”

    Yes, that’s the strangest thing. I’ve often wondered why it can be so hard to let go of negative thoughts. I know that they can be let go of because I’ve done that.

    By the way, I haven’t heard from you in a while. 😂😭

    1. Thanks Georgia, I am glad you could root out negative thoughts yet new ones keep visiting. 🙂
      Your topics evoke strong reactions and therefore I try to resist talking about them. Sacrificing honesty is not my forte. Please don’t misunderstand me.

  10. Self-judgment can be such a powerful emotion, and one I think is often negative. I cannot count the number of times I have judged first (negatively or at least with a lot of reservations) only to be pleasantly surprised…and this has really taught me to hold back on judging, and often to just keep the positives in mind. These days I am an eternal optimist, and how it does lighten and brighten the world 🙂 Wishing you a great day ahead Balroop 🙂

    1. Thank you Randall…eternal optimism keeps our life brighter even when we tend to drift into negative thoughts. Stay blessed and have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  11. Your post Balroop is an excellent reminder for us all.. I think we are all so guilty of self judgement and oh reading your post I have so often been there in the dead of night staring into the dark abyss of a mind that goes into overdrive reliving conversations and events and trying to detach from them..
    Thankfully these days I am a better master over them
    And I now know all things hold purpose.. So try to look for reasons as to why I needed or another needed that experience..
    Learning to detach from emotions is one of the hardest of lessons.. Sometimes I am able to and others I fail.. But within all of that learning I like you have come to understand this is all part of being Human and our Human experience. And that as you say we have a choice..
    Often I would choose to feel bad ( depression) I fought throughout my life.. Now though I have shifted through this to learn as you say, to train our mind to view things in a different perspective..

    Not easy .. But with practice and turning that Judgement into loving ourselves helps us overcome our obstacles in life

    Many thanks for a beautiful post Balroop.. One that will help all who come to read it xx
    Love Sue xxx

    1. Hi Sue,

      That is a very meaningful journey, a wonderful experience and a lovely perspective…your reflections are truly heartening Sue…as you combine so many thoughts together to make your view so convincing and indeed it is… the way you have put it across. It is very important to have all those experiences to grow and understand what life is all about.
      Emotions are the base of all relationships, that’s why it is so difficult to detach from them. True detachment is not possible, we can only reduce our attachments by involving ourselves in other activities of our interest and learn to forget how much we feel attached.
      Thanks for the visit dear friend. Love and hugs. 🙂

  12. This is a great insight. I know I constantly have to remind myself to not judge myself so harshly. But I’ve found that cultivating an attitude of self-love has been really helpful. I try to give myself the unconditional love that I would give a family member or a close friend.

  13. Ma’am , the poem “Valley of Happiness” is precisely what I needed to read ! Thanks for penning such beautiful and uplifting thoughts . (Unable to comment on that page somehow, so sharing here 🙂 )

    1. Thank you Aish, there are more poems of this kind, (dig the archives) each one with a streak of positivity. I am a robust optimist, inspired by the poetry of Tennyson and Frost 🙂
      Old posts don’t accept comments as they are closed after a month or so.

Comments are closed.