I wrote a post called Judging Books a while ago about how we make snap decisions about someone based on their appearances; about strangers we sit next to on the bus, or walk past in the street. Lately, however, I have been thinking about how we judge those we know.
Weather it is someone you have just met, an acquaintance, a work colleague, friends or family, we make judgements based on their words, opinions and actions. No matter how much we are told that judging others is not pleasant and shouldn’t be done, we still do it. I think it is a natural reaction. We are judging how compatible others are with our own personality.
Making decisions about our compatibility with others is no bad thing; you’re not going to surround yourself with football players when you yourself are a ballet dancer are you? Making a judgement is deciding if a friendship should or should not be pursued.
It’s when these decisions about someone’s personality are used against them that judgement becomes bitchy and cruel. When you use harsh judgements about someone in a conversation with others in order to sway their decisions, that is just mean. I’m guilty of it, as are others; you’re most likely guilty of it as well. I am also aware that people talk about me in such ways when I am not around. You judge, and are judged. We share our judgements, hoping for others to feel the same way. I actually think some friendships are built on a solid foundation of judging others.
When I become aware that people are making judgements about me and sharing them, I feel very flattered if it was a kind judgement of my personality, but if it was a harsh judgement, I don’t feel bad that people are being mean about me, I just think, “what has my life got to do with you?”, “Do my actions really affect you in any way?”
Making judgements is one thing, but sharing them and being annoyed by someone just makes you seem bitchy, jealous, and bitter. And it is something I know I could work on too. On recent occasions, I have spotted that I am being judgemental in a bad way and just decide to stop it, move the conversation on to another topic. It’s all a part of my process to become a better human being.
It’s only natural to make judgements of others, but deciding that your judgement is just one opinion, and that each person has the right to live the life that they want for themselves, you can stop yourself from crossing over into a mean person.