The religious among us may say that God is their judge. I’m not religious (I know, I always say this!) but for some reason, that was the first example that came to mind. God is an all-seeing, all-knowing being (if you do believe) who looks down on us all. Surely, that isn’t judging though? Do we not mainly judge other people or things when we don’t know about them/it? Ignorance causes judgement.
I am going to surprise you, though, and tell you that I am all for judgement. I think that everyone judges. It is human nature to make snap-judgements and I think we make them unconsciously. Judgemental people are thosewho aren’t willing to change their original prejudices when they know the full story.
Definition: Judge (verb):
‘Form an opinion or conclusion about.’
It doesn’t seem so bad when you read the definition, does it? We do it all the time, we form opinions and conclusions about things; therefore making judgements. Like I said above, if you are willing to change your original judgements when you know more, what’s the problem? For instance, you see a girl walking down the street. You can only see her from theback. She has long, blonde hair and wearing a pink dress with heels. Do you make a snap judgement of what that girl is like? Of course you do! I am not saying that the stereotypes are correct or that we should think these things – but we do. It is human nature. Think, then, if the girl turns around and she has a tattooed face, piercings and dons a scowl. Does your opinion/conclusion change? You have judged again. But then, you may get talking to this girl and realise she speaks three langauges; is friendly to strangers; has a degree in finance; loves the Spice Girls. Your opinion changes again but you know the person a little more then. I think judgement is healthy as it makes us think about people and human behiour – and let’s face it, it can be a lot of fun 😉
Last week, I was waiting for the shops to open and saw some shop workers walking in two minutes before the shop opened. Shock horror, I judged. I thought, ‘How irresponisble to be so late for work!’ Am I a bitch? No. Am I unreasonable? Yes a little- because, let’s face it, a whole mulititude of things could have happebed for thatworker to be late. I didn’t know anything about them. My point is: it doesn’tmatter. I am thinking about how peolple behave and I am secretly judging but noboday got hurt and if I actually spoke to that person later that day and found out the reason they were so late – I would have admitted to myself that I was wrong (not that the worker would give a damn what I thought!). It’s like when I go walking in the early afternoon and see people’s curtains closed (or this weekend, I actually saw a woman getting the post in her dressing-gown) and I instantly judge that they are lazy, sleeping in kind of people. I’m out walking – why aren’t they?! But they could have been on a night shift, had an emergency in the night or be ill. I thought about all that after and realised that we do make these snap, instant judgements automatically. Go on, I know you do 😉
First impressions are important, as they say. I agree. I am always conscious how I come across to someone on the first meeting. If someone says something highly sarcastic or rude to me on a first mneeting, I know I will take a dislike and form certain judgements. That doesn’t mean, I won’t talk to them again and give them the benefit of the doubt. And I would happily change my opinion a few weeks later and think, ‘I was wrong about them, they are actually really nice.’ And I am sure that people do the same with me. Though, I like to think people rarely think I am rude – as I normally plaster a grin on my face…. so they may judge me as being clinically insanse or annoyingly positive! That’s ok, I can get then to change that conclusion 😉
There was a Sex and the City episode that relates to this. Carrie once wrote:
‘I think it’s pretty much agreed that it goes open-minded good, judgemental bad.
But are we being too quick to judge judgement? Perhaps judgement is not so much
a snap decision as an early warning and detection device. If it is instantly
clear that a person, a place, or even a profession is not for you, is it better
to ignore your better judgement and read between the lines? Or, should you judge a book by it’s
You all know I like to think of myself as a ‘Carrie’ at times! I believe this and sometimes our first judgements can be spot on. We have to figure out if we sitck with it or not. Being a huge book lover, though, I always think you should give the text a chance even if the cover is terrible 😉 But do think about this………. and don’t judge people who judge 🙂