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I recently asked some people to explain the difference between being judgmental and being selective. I received dozens of different answers.
Some people said that being selective is milder, more logical, less emotional, or more practical than being judgmental. Others felt they were just different words to describe the same thing. And still others had their own unique takes on the differences.
However you differentiate these labels, they’re variations on the underlying theme of observing and evaluating.
Once you make an evaluation, whether you prefer to call it judging or selecting or something else, you can make decisions based on your evaluations. This allows you to choose between different options, which is especially helpful when you can’t explore every option available to you.
Observe What Arises… or Give Rise to Something New
Another approach, especially when it comes to social interactions, is creating. This gives you more flexibility to experience what you desire, especially if your desired choices aren’t showing up very often yet.
For instance, if you decide to create a day that includes joking and laughter, and you interact on that basis, the people you interact with may or may not join you in that vibe. Some will be in the mood for it, some will be willing to get in the mood, and some won’t want to go there with you.
If you get a mismatch, it’s not a rejection. Just keep holding that vibe, and as you do, you’ll naturally attract more playful people who are delighted to share in such experiences with you. What is repulsive to some is deliciously attractive to others.
The same goes for creating financial abundance. Once you assume the posture of creating abundance in your life, you will quickly see your scarcity-minded friends, family, and co-workers fall out of alignment with you. Some may become critical of your new direction. Others will excuse themselves from your reality.
This doesn’t require controlling people, merely inviting them into shared experiences with you. Then let them accept or decline your invitation as they see fit.
In other words, instead of observing and evaluating others, you can assume a more creative posture, and then let others observe and evaluate you.
Finding Matches vs. Creating Matches
Now there’s nothing wrong with observing and evaluating. We can’t help but do this, and in certain situations, it works very well.
However, sometimes when we observe and evaluate, we notice that our preferred matches just aren’t showing up with the level of frequency we’d like. That’s when creating can often deliver faster results. By broadcasting a certain vibe or desire more openly, we allow others to observe and evaluate us. If we’re a good match, they’ll be drawn to us. If not, we’ll repel them, which will create more space for the matches to notice and approach us.
Letting the mismatches move away from us also makes it easier to keep holding the new creative vibe. It’s tough to create abundance while scarcity-minded folks are clinging to you (or while you’re clinging to them).
How do you know which mode is best? Let me suggest a good rule of thumb for that.
If you feel like you’re already swimming in a sea of delightful and accessible options, and it’s just a matter of choosing between good, better, and best, then observing and evaluating makes sense. You’ll probably get very good results simply by choosing from what’s showing up. This is like ordering from a restaurant menu that’s filled with dishes you love.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling bored, frustrated, apathetic, angry, depressed, checked out, or stressed about your options in some area, frequently evaluating your options as dull, dreadful, or uninspired, then it’s time to take matters into your own hands. Create a clearer picture of what you desire, and feel your way into being there. Behave as you would if you already had it. Access the creator mind within yourself, and command your reality to fulfill this desire. Then let people observe and evaluate you and respond according to their evaluations.
Yes, this may take some courage, but it’s worth it. What’s the alternative anyway? To remain stuck? You mostly just need courage to get moving. Once you’ve built up a certain level of momentum and start seeing results on the positive side, sustaining your momentum is much easier.
Using Both Modes
Overall this has been a year of abundant happiness for me. I love the options that have been showing up, and I’ve been saying yes a lot. The options that present themselves seem to be a great match for my interests and desires. Consequently, I’ve spent most of my time this year in observing and evaluating mode. That’s been working well for me.
But whenever I want to make a bigger shift, or if I simply want to speed things along, then I move into creator mode. That’s a fun and exciting place to be. I enjoy seeing the energetic ripples that happen as people observe and evaluate the shift I’m creating.
Usually what happens first is that the people who are not a match for what I’m creating will balk at my new direction. Some will complain loudly. Others will quickly excuse themselves from my reality. I just sit back, let them update their evaluations, and respond however they feel is best. I’m not attached to whether they want to be a part of my reality or not. I understand and accept that some people won’t be a match for my new choices.
If I’m blogging about what I’m doing, then it usually takes a few posts for these ripples to play out.
At the same time, but sometimes with a bit of a delay, different people soon recognize that I just became a stronger match for their interests and desires, and they move closer. Sometimes they’re very direct in expressing their enthusiastic support, including offers of help and resources. Other times they’re less direct, but it’s clear they’re moving closer to me. Perhaps I also notice these people because I’m moving closer to them too.
This happens with pretty much any kind of change that involves a shift into creator mode. Examples include starting my own business, going vegan, changing careers, moving to Las Vegas, getting into public speaking, exploring D/s play and threesomes, learning music, and traveling more frequently.
Sometimes these shifts are pretty mild, like when I began learning about music. Other times they can be rather explosive, such as when my wife and I separated in 2009. How this plays out depends on the nature of the shift and how the people around me are evaluating that shift.
Embracing Your Judgmental Side
There are a number of teachers in the personal development and spirituality fields that demonize judgment as if it’s some ego-based monster we need to shed. I think that’s just silly (and yes, this is a judgment). I can also tell you that of the ones I’ve met who teach this, I’ve never seen any who seem to practice this notion congruently behind the scenes. My evaluation is that it’s more showmanship than substance. I think it mainly stems from a lack of acceptance of the judgmental part of ourselves.
What if instead of condemning judgment, we could assume a more flexible posture? Judging is simply part of decision making. It’s a useful skill to develop. It has its place.
I think that when people shared their thoughts on the difference between being judgmental and being selective, they’re really talking about the degree of attachment in an evaluation. The relaxed version of an evaluation is free from attachment. When we perceive a mismatch, we simply let it go. When we get very attached, however, we resist our evaluations, as if to say, “I can see that we’re a mismatch, but this feels wrong to me. It shouldn’t be that way.”
And when we’re being judged… or evaluated… or selected or unselected… we can simply allow that to play out too. Let those who are not a match for our desires self-select themselves out of our realities. If we get attached to other people’s evaluations, that can create a good bit of stress too.
Fear of Abandonment
There’s this underlying fear that if we start seeing people move away from us, then we’re going to lose a lot of love, friendship, camaraderie, etc., and there won’t be anything to replace it. We fear that if we lose the status quo, our lives will get worse.
Please let me reassure you based on my own experience. This has never happened to me. Whenever I create a shift, there are always better matches on the other side. They always show up. I never feel deserted or abandoned.
When someone determines they are no longer a match for you, it’s not a personal rejection. They’re simply declining to join you in co-creating what you desire. But someone else will be delighted to co-create that with you.
When I share certain interests, I know that some people won’t be a match for those interests. Some of them will tell me of their disinterest quite loudly. You might feel that it’s tough to handle this, especially if there’s a lot of negative criticism. But it turns out that it gets a lot easier with practice. Once you go through several rounds of seeing all the wonderful new matches showing up, and it’s very motivating to look forward to that each time.
Presently I’m very much enjoying riding the shifts that I initiated a while back. I love seeing how fresh matches keep showing up. For instance, the more I talk about travel, the more I keep meeting new travel lovers, receiving travel invitations, and so on. I especially love swapping travel stories with other frequent travelers.
One benefit of observing and evaluating is that it helps you determine when it’s time to shift back into creator mode. If you find yourself making lots of negative evaluations with respect to your current reality, or if you seem to keep casting judgments, then take it as a sign that it’s time to shift out of passive mode. Take charge, grab the reins, and make some changes.
Once you get clear about a new intention, broadcast it loudly. Let everyone know about it. Then let the ripples play out. Let your boss fire you. Let your partner dump you. Let your Mom complain to your Dad about your behavior. This will all pass.
Then let the new work opportunity show up. Let the new partner(s) come into your life. Watch a new best friend arrive so quickly that it makes your head spin. Enjoy this part!