SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- (Good Things Utah) It is so easy to judge people when we do not know their full story or circumstances. While we would like to think that most of us are not judgmental and do our best not to be, it is human nature to pass judgment on others. Author and empathy activist Rob Volpe shares ways we can stop judging others from information in his book. In addition to being an expert in empathy, Volpe is also the CEO of Ignite 360.

Volpe has five steps in his book ‘Tell Me More About That’. The steps include Dismantling Judgment, Asking Good Questions, Actively Listening, Integrate into Understanding and Using Solution Imagination. The most important step is the first step, Dismantling Judgement. It is the first for this very reason. You cannot obtain the other steps if you do not get through the most important one. It is also the hardest step since many of us have implicit biases.

Volpe, who donned a festive purple button up plaid shirt, shared the differenced between making judgments and being judgmental. Everyone makes judgments which is not necessarily a bad thing. “There’s two different types of judgment[s],” said Volpe. ‘We made a decision. [For example], we made a judgment on what we were going to wear. I made a decision to wear this purple shirt.” Being judgmental differs because we may start to make assumptions of have feelings of disapproval and being overly critical. We may not know other people’s situations and we may never know. No one owes us an explanation which is why it is best to not place judgement.

Volpe recommends two things to put the judgement to rest. First, take a curious breathe before responding to the situation. Initially, you may want to react but you will want to ensure that you are not being judgmental. Secondly, Volpe recommends writing a “judgement journal” where you take notes of the time you are being judgey. The journal can just be a sheet of paper. In the journal, you should include what is going on, your feelings and thoughts, what were the actions, what themes need to be addresses and what you would have liked instead. Destroy the paper and flush it down the toilet or burn it to dispel those negative thoughts and start anew.

More helpful information on how to be better at empathy is available in Volpe’s book, which is available for purchase on Amazon and Audible on audiobook. Signed copies are available at King’s English Bookstore. The book was recently announced as a finalist for a Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publisher’s Association for best self-help book in 2022. Results will be announced on May 5, 2023.