Posted by: Darlene DeStefano on 07/30/2017



Opinions, attitudes, facts, beliefs, judgment, judgmental are all of the same family yet each has significant or minor differences.


is a personal view, attitude, or appraisal // 

a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty // 

the formal expression of a professional judgment: as in to ask for a second medical opinion // 

a favourable estimate; esteem: as in I haven't much of an opinion of him . . . .  

Opinions are the easiest to change, and simply require more information. 

Attitudes are more difficult to change. You've heard of an attitude adjustment, haven't you? Attitude is the predisposition to act in a particular way towards an object or situation and at times our attitude needs a tune-up.


are something that is believed; an opinion or conviction: as in a belief that the earth is flat // 

confidence; faith; trust: as in a child's belief in his parents // 

a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: as in the Christian belief . . . Beliefs are very difficult to change, and doing so is comparable to removing an eye, an appendage, or even ones life. Beliefs are an integral part of your persona, and not subject to reasoning. It often takes a life-changing event to change beliefs. Some people have opinions about politics and beliefs about religion. Some people have beliefs about politics and opinions about religion. 

Judgment and being judgmental, on the other hand, depends upon what  words you use, how you use them, and how far you go. "Being judgmental" indicates that an action, often punitive, has been taken against an individual. However, you can use your "good judgment" to reach an opinion or a conclusion. 

Being "judgmental" is often construed as passing a sentence on someone, but a judgment can be the result of simply forming an opinion. What is important is the passion and intensity of feeling associated with the decisions you form.

Confusing to be sure, however in my personal and humble opinion, I can think and say what I see to be right for me but when the other person is not on my same wavelength its OK, after all, we are different and think and behave differently. When it becomes judgmental is when we take our opinion one step further and that is to cast blame, shame, to call out or emotionally cripple another.

One of my client’s had shared her with me a story about when she felt she had expressed an opinion and a family member chewed her out in regard to that opinion. Her story went like this. A family member who is now an adult has a drug problem. This person has had a pretty screwed up life and used the heavy drugs whereby the mind is affected after the fact and relapse is often. When growing up by the age of 11, this child was bossy, swore at parents, did as pleased. The parents were not great with disciplinary measures and when they did actually discipline this child, they would relent when the child yelled and screamed and became unmanageable. When the parents tried to instil control and tough love the child ran away after just turning age 14 without a word to either parent and stayed away for 2 days. The parents were frantic calling everywhere, worried like crazy. Finally the teenager showed up at the door. The parents were overjoyed their child was safe and went to hug their teen and bring the teen into the house. At this point the teen held back and stated if coming back in then it would be on the teenager’s terms which was to be without parental control, discipline or the like. The parents relented and the teenager stayed at home. This lasted for about 3 years and then at the early age of 17 the now adolescent took off with a partner, both of them on heavy drugs. Almost 7 years later aged 23 one of the siblings was able to encourage this now young adult to come home - yet again. The young adult was so messed up by now, but agreed to come home and lasted 2 months before being committed to a drug rehab facility. Unfortunately that was 20 years ago and still this person suffers the side effects of the drugs and actually has been back on drugs again for several years now. Sad situation. Now my client tells me that when the subject of that now adult came up at a family gathering and it was asked why and how this person turned out that why, my client stated that in her “opinion” the parents had a role in how this person’s life turned out and they could very much be more at fault than the teen at the time. Not that they were bad parents, not that they didn’t love their child enough, just that for whatever reason they didn’t seem to have strong parenting skills when this willful child was younger, in which if they had, things might have been different. Now, one person at the gathering took offence to the ‘opinion’ of their family member and chewed my client out for her ‘opinion’, to which my client replied, “I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to have an opinion”. And then a little interchange ensued between these two family members. One chastising for what they interpreted as judging those parents and the other still stating it was an opinion and she was not being judgmental. Who was right or wrong, and does it really matter? It clearly depends on how you look at a situation and it depends on where you are in life. Over time we can and do change our opinions, beliefs, attitudes, judgments and being judgmental. After all, every statement involves an opinion. Right or wrong its an opinion, yet one might wonder how an opinion or belief can be wrong. 

Could it be as previously stated that when an opinion about a person indicates that an action, often punitive, has been taken against that person it is then considered being judgmental? 



Both consciously and unconsciously, we judge ourselves unmercifully. When we begin to pay attention to our anxiety, stress, and insecurity, that is when we realize just how much we judge ourself.

We come by it honestly, as the vast majority of us have been conditioned from childhood to judge ourselves and, judge others. We may have learned that, by judging ourselves we try to do better, or work harder to ‘get it right’ so others will love and accept us, or that by judging ourselves we have control over others’ not judging us. Not great beliefs, but beliefs none-the-less about self-judgment.

Self-judgment creates so much inner stress that it actually makes it harder not easier, to do well. There is a great deal of truth in the saying that ‘people treat you the way you treat yourself’ or ‘you teach people how to treat you’, so the more you judge yourself, the more others judge you.

Just because one is successful does not mean they feel good about themselves and are free from self-doubt and insecurities. I’ve worked with many clients whose personal achievements, reputation, rank, or resume provide them deep respect and admiration. However, often they can be absolutely brutal with negative self-talk. Regardless of such a poor opinion of themselves, they’ve managed to create lives that many would envy. With some changes they could be led to greater achievements, fulfillment and peace of mind, if they were not so disconnected between their inner feelings about themselves and their outer success. Unfortunately they will continue this way until change is thrust upon them, feeling overwhelmed by any crises that occurs.

Negative self-judgment is powerfully destructive. Regardless of how well off, happy, accomplished we are, we all tend to hold onto negative self-judgments, and they hold on to us, preventing us from discovering our power to change. 

While preparing for this show I was reminded of yet another one of my clients who came to see me because she was so judgmental of herself she was becoming ill and was ruining her relationship with her husband. She was stunningly beautiful with warm blonde hair, high-cheekbones, green blue eyes like the seashore, perfectly shaped lips and flawless skin. She dressed well, carried herself well, and had an enviable figure. This woman was someone you would expect to see in the movies, in Hollywood. Seeing her for real sitting in front of me, her beauty was beyond words. She was in her early 40’s at the top of her career as Vice President of a well known major corporation. Sadly, she felt she was just average looking. She said her eyes were too green, her hair lacked lustre, her cheekbones were to high and she wished her lips were larger, that she needed to loose weight, and worst of all she worried that her husband would leave her for someone younger and prettier. What a terrible case of self judgment. She could not she her beauty and hounded her husband relentlessly to sooth her frail emotions in this regard. 

Her and I had a time of it, switching to more positive thought patterns, helping her to tune into her inner resources and passions, and to work at letting go of resistance so she could move forward fearlessly, confidently.

According to a recent Dove survey only 4% of women consider themselves beautiful. An informal survey appeared on YouTube interviewing women of all ages about their beauty. Much like the Dove survey, each reaction indicated that women do not consider themselves to be beautiful. That was the response 100% of the time!

Cultural influences have preoccupied women throughout the ages with model images of tall, blonde, YOUNG, thin, thin, thin. The media continually overwhelms us with images of "perfection", influencing our self-opinion to the lowest levels. We continue to accept others' standards as the only acceptable model of attractiveness and beauty. This narrow definition excludes 95% of women in the world. For too many years the media has highlighted the idea that being thin is a good and desirable thing to be. It's shameful, and harmful. According to the website, "For someone genetically predisposed to an eating disorder, dieting caused by a negative body image, could actually trigger an eating disorder for some women. In more recents years this has also applied to men. What’s worse, a poor body image can contribute to depression, anxiety, relationship problems, workplace issues, the development of substance abuse problems, and consequently various health problems”.

There are a number of ways to gain a new perspective of your body. Rather than perceiving your physical self as a separate entity, acknowledge your body as the lifetime partner he or she is…to be accepted, respected and loved. Instead of resenting, loathing, or ignoring your body, it's time to change those negative feelings into positive ones.

So what can you do?

Go on a "visual diet". This means paying more attention to different body types, shapes, and facial characteristics you see around you in real life, not the movies or the magazines. Notice the way REAL people are differently shaped. Take notice of their figures and how they move with their bodies such as gracefully, sultry, or motoring along. Allow your body to be who she or he is - an expression of your own unique self.

Do some mirror gazing and positive self talk. In other words gaze into the mirror at home and spend some time looking at yourself. Begin with your face and each attribute. Really look at each feature and see the beauty that is there. Say out loud to the mirror looking at yourself “I am beautiful. I am really beautiful. I love and accept my beauty inside and out”. Now begin to move back from the mirror and observe your body. Sway in front of the mirror enticing it and say “I am beautiful. I am really beautiful. I love and accept my body inside and out”. Practice this ritual every single day until you can see your beauty and can love and accept all of you.

Positive thinking regarding oneself is extremely powerful, so long as one doesn’t hold themselves to unrealistic standards and expect quick transformation from lifelong thinking habits. 

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