Judgement and Resistance


Image courtesy of Nick Youngson

Judgement is deciding something or someone is wrong or bad. Resistance is deciding it shouldn’t be this way and fighting against it. Judgement and resistance work to keep us stuck where we are – a place we’ve judged as wrong or bad and we are resisting. In other words, they reinforce the very things we don’t want.


When we judge someone or their behavior as wrong, when we communicate with them, they perceive our judgment in the message – even if we don’t intend to. Instead of a kind, supportive message they can take in and use, the judgment is a harsh, condemning message. As a result they must resist the message.

If we want to encourage someone to bring their best, it’s a lot like starting and fanning a fire. If we rebuke the wood that’s not catching fire, is like tossing water on it. This is what judgement is like. It douses excitement and deadens the spirit. Motivation to change decreases. We get more of the behavior we don’t like.

If we instead, look for the good and encourage more of that, is like gently blowing air into the flame that’s already started. That flame then spreads to other areas. Similarly, when people build on strength, it spreads to other area of their life. We get more of what we want.

Note that I’m not talking about people who may be harming you. If you are in an abusive relationship, you need to get away from that person before you can get perspective. Don’t resist them, don’t fight them, just leave.


Resistance can look a lot of different ways. It can be overt, or it can be subtle. Either way it causes the thing we are resisting to be reinforced.

For example, if someone makes a comment we disagree with and we then argue against it for the next hour, the idea from the comment continues be the topic of conversation for as long as we are arguing. We are giving the idea strength just by arguing against it so strongly. Alternatively, if we just let it drop, conversation can move on to other things.

Another example is in resisting a project by procrastinating on it. The more we put off the work, the longer the project occupies mental and emotional energy. It sits visibly on our todo list for days, bringing up displeasure, angst or resentment each time we see it. Alternatively, if we would just navigate through the work, it will be done and gone.


Acceptance is the first step to getting out of judgment and resistance. When we just accept, “it is what it is,” without it being wrong, and without thinking it shouldn’t be that way, then we can be in a resourceful state. We can be more observant and see more of the truth. And we can be in an open creative state where we can initiate change if we decide change would be helpful.

When we don’t make someone wrong, we can encourage from a place of love.

When we don’t make a situation wrong, we can navigate it with more ease and grace.

Are you struggling with a situation and you are in resistance? Are you struggling with someone and in your mind they are wrong or bad? Try dropping judgement and resistance. Just accept. Then see what happens in you.

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