Judgment – what a word.  I really try to not be judgmental – but it is hard.  And then I am judgmental about how judgmental I am – what a vicious circle.

I have been watching Drew Carey’s latest improv show, in which they play a game they call New Choice.  Two of them will play a scene, and a third one gets to say ‘New Choice’ whenever he wishes.  At that point the person who just said something has to come up with something else to say – sometimes it’s related, sometimes it goes in a whole other direction.   So I have decided to play New Choice when I am feeling judmental.

This is how I am hoping it will work.  When I catch myself with judgmental thoughts, I am going to say (in my mind, if that works, but out loud if I have to) ‘New Choice.’  My intent is that it will trigger my mind to go in a different direction.  For instance, if someone cuts me off in traffic, and I start to get all judgmental about what a jerk the driver is, I will say ‘New Choice’ and try to think a new way.  And I will do it repeatedly if necessary. So – my first thought is ‘you jerk.’  ‘New Choice.’ My next is ‘what a moron’ (I am not proud of the fact that this is how my mind and my thoughts work – but if I were perfect I wouldn’t need New Choice!)  That’s still not what I had in mind, so I will ‘New Choice’ myself again, and maybe come up with a compassionate reason why the driver is in such a hurry he didn’t even notice me there.  But why stop there?  Maybe I will ‘New Choice’ myself once more, and this time go in an entirely different direction and start to think of something like ‘I really have to practice that bassooon concerto I like so much.’ 

Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it?  But it may just be silly enough to work – I am willing to try.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  If you care to join me, let me know how it goes for you.  I think ‘New Choice’ could be used in lots of situations, not just judgment.

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