You always hear DO NOT JUDGE OTHERS, but I think it is a part of human nature. No matter how subtle, most of the time we judge unconsciously or by intuition. I judge others all the time, and you do, too. You are judging this article right now, and that is okay. From the moment you meet someone, you are judging their clothes, hair, makeup, and so on. You don’t even notice it, but we do it all day long.
Judgment is nothing but evaluation of evidence or facts to help us decide. It is that little voice inside our heads that tells us to ask that sweet looking woman for directions instead of that young teenager because you judged him that he wouldn’t know. Or when you decide to not pick the checkout line with the young chatty girl because you assume she will be too slow. We judge or evaluate life experiences, situations, things, opinions, thoughts, and people based on the values, emotions and logic we were taught. As human beings, we are blessed with touch, speech, hearing, taste, smell, common sense (most of us-lol) and intuition. These senses help us to evaluate every person or situation-in other words, judge.
Accept your urge to judge, it will help you make good decisions. Assume everyone else judges everyone else (because they do). Ask others to share their judgements of you. Listen with an open heart and mind. Embrace your judgements and be willing to learn from others judgements of you. Every person you meet has something special to give you—that is, if you are open to receiving it.
Merriam-Webster defines “judgment” as “An opinion or decision that is based on careful thought. The act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought. The act of judging something or someone. The ability to make good decisions about what should be done.” Many people don’t use the “careful thought” part of the definition and that is where I think good judgment and bad judgment come into play.
Judge when it is right to judge, and know how to judge. That’s imperative. There’s a thin line between judgment and ignorance, which leads to injustice. Knowing when to judge is also very important. Discretion and calculation in judgment is strength, for it shows wisdom and maturity. Gossiping, ridiculing, or wanting to cause harm to someone by judging shows only your immaturity and ignorance.
People fear being judged because they fear being evaluated. Don’t fear it, instead embrace it! We must recognize that we are all imperfect and it is okay. People are going to judge you regardless of what you are or are not doing, so just do whatever makes you happy. And when you choose to step out and walk into the things you have been called to do, you can and should except judgement. Prepare for it and it will not come as a surprise. We cannot always help what happens to us, but we can help how we react to these things.
“If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~Pema Chodron
My wish for you is to Live Courageously!
Mary Beth Iannarella
Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation