“I don’t judge.”
The moment I hear someone say those three words (four if you break down the contraction), I won’t believe you.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that we all judge or at least 99.9% of us do. It’s innate, it’s a survival instead. We see that the sky is gray, we make the judgement that it may be cold outside or it may rain.
Judgement helps us make decisions about every day life. If you don’t judge then how do you make every day decisions?
judg·ment – [juhj-muhnt]
the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
Most people refer to the “I don’t judge” sentiment in terms of their judgments of other people. People say they don’t judge a woman for going back to her abusive or cheating boyfriend. Some say they don’t judge an overweight person if they get thirds. Others say they don’t judge the person who has their first alcoholic beverage at 10:00 a.m.–hey it has to be noon somewhere, right?
If you truly don’t judge–cheers to you. But if you step outside your door every day, watch TV, read a magazine or interact with people then you may have a hard time selling me on that.
People’s judgments may be right, wrong, well or ill-informed–our judgments are based on our upbringing and societal norms. It’s what we choose to do after that initial judgment that matters.
If I see someone drinking or eating on the metro, I usually think that the person has no manners or respect. Looking back on that judgment, I realize that I think that because I know there is a rule that there is no eating or drinking on metro. I know that I wish I had the balls to take my drink out and start drinking without a care. I also worry about metro security tapping me on the shoulder and hauling me to jail. My fears and knowledge of the rules lead to my assumption that other people know the rules and have blatant disregard to the law and the rules. When in reality, that person may not know the rules, that person may be diabetic… there are several reasons aside from lacking manners or respect.
It’s hard to look at someone as a blank slate and not attune it to our own experiences, but it’s important to keep an open mind. Give a person the opportunity to show you who they are (when possible) before you categorize them based on YOUR experiences within society.
In a nutshell:
- Judge (don’t deny it!)
- Realize your judging
- Assess where your judgment is coming from
- Try to create new realities, get rid of your boxes, and open up your world to new people and opportunity.