Why Be Judgemental?
As I proofread this post I realized that I am, in fact, passing judgement on judgemental people. Hypocrisy highlighted and duly noted, I’d like to share a few thoughts based on a conversation I had with a friend the other day. We basically agreed that judgment is uncomfortable, and it has a different connotation than constructive criticism.
I did some looking around to find some common reasons people become judgemental in the first place. According to Jarl Forsman, three reasons a person may be judgemental are:
- The individual wouldn’t tolerate the same behavior in themselves.
- Your friend display the same behavior that you do and aren’t aware of it, so they project their disowned behavior onto others and dislike it that way.
- They are envious and resent the feelings that come up so they find things wrong with others who have the things they want.
Sounds good, but here’s a list of things I want judgemental people to know:
1. I Am Not Judgemental
It seems to me that when judgemental people swoop down on others, it serves as a covert ego boost for the judge. I call BS on that! They are being judgemental in the very areas where they feel the weakest. I try to remain objective and helpful whenever someone asks for my advice. However, unless I am asked, I usually don’t lend any. For example, my daughter is a great kid, but I dare not sneer at anyone else’s child and imply that theirs isn’t just as great. I don’t want to ever see the day that I hear of such judgment being passed about mine. As it is also with life in general, I am going to serve you a bit of biblical platitude by reminding you that,
“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
In other words, stop talking about everyone else’s marriage, kids, job, social life, and whatever else I could possibly name here, when your own life is a wreck! Okay? You’re being petty.
2. You Weren’t Riding Shotgun Along My Life’s Path
We all take different a specific path to navigate through life. That path is authentically manufactured by the traveler’s experiences and circumstances. The thing that I find nearly intolerable about judgemental people is, that if you did not travel the exact same path that someone else did to get to their present rendezvous point, then you need to dial back on the judgement. I digress. We all make judgements. It’s the kind that spews hateration and personal attacks that leave the judged feeling dejected that I’m referring to here.
3. I Am Unique and That’s a Good Thing
You are not me, and I am not you. Therefore, you will fail miserably if you try to make me become you in any way. The way I think, the way I stare off into space when in deep thought, the way I walk, the way I laugh, and the way my hair curls and coils are all qualities that God gave specifically to me and me only. I like me. In fact I like myself a lot! The main thing is as long as I like myself more than you do, then nothing else matters.
4. I Couldn’t Give Two Flips
Though I believe the once gaping wounds of bereavement and divorce are healed (for the most part), I’m always keenly aware that I’ve been battle-tested. But hasn’t everybody? It’s sometimes a conscious decision I have to make in order to take the high road, and to let things roll off my back. I handle judgemental people differently now that I’m in my 40s. I couldn’t give a fat baby’s behind about what people have to say about how I am today or where I am at this point in life. As I’m sure you can relate, I have been through the ringer, to hell and back, and I probably have yet to see the worst of it.
Regardless, I’ve done fairly well for myself. I graduated from college and graduate school. I have a good job, my health is in tact, and I don’t have a criminal record. I’ve had a great coaching career, and I’m well-respected in the instructional technology arena. There’s a roof over our heads and the bills are paid, and the dog is happy!
Click for #s 5-8 in A Few Reminders for Judgemental People: Part 2!