Being non-judgmental implies not seeing things as ‘good’ or ‘bad,’ ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’
Instead, you simply witness or experience it; you are not obligated to make sense of a situation, your own ideas, feelings, or behaviours, or the behaviour of others. It is difficult to remain non-judgmental all of the time.
We make snap judgments about people based on their look, conduct, and words from the moment we first see or meet them.
And that is perfectly fine.
Perhaps you see a person dressed in a way that makes you feel insecure, or they have a voice or look which is different to you, making you uncomfortable.
There is the well-known saying to ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ and if this is applied when you feel that you are being judgemental of someone, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that nothing is as it seems.
Non-judgmental listening is not about avoiding those judgments; it is about ensuring that you do not communicate those negative judgments, which can obstruct your ability to aid someone in need.
When you are trying to be there for a friend, neighbour, or colleague, it is critical to keep a positive attitude and keep an open mind.
So, here are some suggestions on how to be non-judgemental of people:
Reflect on your own state of mind.
It is crucial to make sure you are in the correct frame of mind to discuss and listen without being judgmental before approaching someone with your problems.
Examine your own mental state to ensure that you are calm, open, and ready to assist your peer in need.
Adopt an attitude of acceptance, genuineness and empathy.
Accepting a person’s sentiments, personal beliefs, and experiences as valid, even if they differ from your own or you disagree with them, is a sign of acceptance.
Imagining oneself in the shoes of the other person can help you be more sincere and compassionate.
Use verbal skills to show that you are listening.
Simple linguistic skills might assist you in demonstrating that you are actively listening to the other person.
Asking questions, listening to tone of voice and nonverbal clues, using minimum prompts like “I see” and “ah,” and not interrupting the individual to allow them to communicate their thoughts and feelings are all examples of this.
Maintain positive body language.
Positive body language can show the person that you are listening and truly care. Maintaining comfortable eye contact, sitting rather than standing, sitting alongside and slanted toward the person rather than directly across from him or her, and maintaining an open body position are all examples of this.
Recognize cultural differences.
If you are assisting someone from a different cultural background than you, you may need to alter some verbal and nonverbal actions, such as eye contact and personal space. Before dealing with the person, be prepared to address what is culturally suitable and feasible for him or her or seek assistance from someone from the same cultural background.