I attended my last DBT group in Little Rock on Tuesday. We talked about observing through mindfulness, but observing without judgment. This is especially hard to master for someone with BPD. It also doesn’t help that our society is so focused on judging others. Not just judging in a negative way, but in a positive way, too. Telling someone they are pretty is a judgement. It’s a good judgment, but it’s still a judgment. Basically, the goal of the DBT exercise was to observe something by only the facts, and to not place any value on the facts.
My doctor put the therapist who was leading the group in the hot seat. The doctor asked us to make statements about the therapist, but to do so without judgment. One comment was that the therapist looked tired. The doctor stopped us, and made us describe exactly WHAT about her looked tired. Just saying someone looked tired was a judgment. One doesn’t know if she is tired or not. What we are reacting to is what we see on her face and in her body language that tells us she is tired. Her droopy eyes, the dark circles, her slouched shoulders.
The next comment was that she is pretty. The doctor told us that was a judgment, and asked us to describe the ways that she is pretty. Her symmetrical features, her long hair, her matching clothes.
This was a very enlightening exercise. It made me realize how hard it is not to judge people, events, my thoughts, my feelings, and everything else in this world. I have a hard time not judging myself. I have a hard time not judging others. I know that negative judgments are just going to lead me to have more and more negative thoughts, which is something I have been trying to stop.
The first step is to NOTICE your judgments. Notice when you have placed value on a thought or situation. When you find yourself judging, don’t then beat yourself up for doing so. Do not judge your judging.
I think that the more I notice my judging, the more I will be able to control it. The more I control it, the less negative I will be. My goal is to live a happy, healthy, productive life. I think DBT has helped me get back on the right track. I know I will miss my Little Rock group. I hope in time I will be able to find that same support in Wild Wonderful West Virginia.