Borderline Personality Disorder,  DBT

DBT Skill of the Day: Practicing A Nonjudgmental Stance

What are judgments?

  • Describing things as good or bad, valuable or worthless, smart or stupid, terrible or wonderful, beautiful or ugly, etc.
  • Describing how things “should” or “shouldn’t” be
  • Describing by comparing or contrasting

Usefulness of judgments?

  • They allow for quick descriptions by creating simple categories
  • They are fast, short hand for describing preferences and consequences

Problems with judgments?

  • They often distract from reality (judgments may replace facts; when we judge we often stop observing)
  • They tend to feed negative emotions (anger, guilt, shame)
  • Positive judgments are fragile: anything judged “good” can also be judged “bad”

Steps for letting go of judgments

  • Practice noticing judgments. Keep a count of judgments.
  • Ask yourself, “Do I want to be judging?” “Is the judging helping or hurting me?”
  • Replace judgments with:
  1. Statements of preference: “I like…” “I prefer…” or “I wish…”
  2. Statements of consequences: “This is helpful/harmful for…”, “This is effective/ineffective for…”
  3. Statements of fact: “This thing happened in this way, at this time…”
  • Practice accepting what is (facts, preferences, consequences) and letting go of the judgments. Let the judgments drift away.
  • Remember not to judge your judging!


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