Coping Skills: Ditch Value judgments

What are Value judgments?

We place value judgments on our emotions, our bodies, the food we eat, or what movies we relax with. This is built into the way we talk and think about our lives. It’s generally based around word connotation or the way we are taught to view everything in our see things.

A few examples of value judgment languages:

  1. We act as though it’s “bad” to be angry or sad and “good” to be happy or calm as  “good”.
  2. Eating Oreos is somehow a “cheat food”, “unclean” or that it’s somehow a personal falling that you didn’t choose carrots.
  3. Calling part of our bodies “problem parts”
  4. Saying when we watch the notebook or watch reality TV it’s a “guilty pleasure”.
  5. These value judgements seep into the way we describe our whole self. Framing our sleeves as “disgusting”, “horrible”,“lazy”, “bad” etc.

Why is this harmful? 

This language affects us so much. It changes how we view our choices and actions. Attaches shame to things that aren’t shameful, causes fear around being who we are and it reinforces negativity and sets unattainable goals This is especially harmful because it throws the whole way you interact with yourself and the world out of focus and can cause you to stagnate. It becomes if I am “a gross person” then integral to you instead of a passing thought your having. Now it’s “I can’t feel better, I’ll always be this way”.

So how do we break out from this?

When you find yourself using value-based language switch it up.

  • Instead of  “Don’t to be angry” try and reframe it “I’m angry and that’s my emotion and it’s valid, now let me find a way to deal with it”
  • Instead of “I cheated and ate the cake god how could I make that mistake” reframe it as “I ate cake today that’s fine.”
  • Instead of “I didn’t do X so I’m just a lazy person” can become “I was tired today and I didn’t get it done, that’s okay I can rest and mak a plan tomorrow”
  • Instead of “I’m a disgusting person because X thing happened”  replace it with “That happened and it was upsetting but it doesn’t change my worth”

Placing value judgments may feel right in the moments either were upset with ourselves or we’ve been trained to see things as good or bad. When we stop judging everything and learn to view things with acceptance it improves our self-perception and makes it easier to move forward and even improve when we need to.


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