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Judgement

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
At some point in our lives we are all judged negatively by others for our actions, thoughts, beliefs, ways of life. The judgement can come from family, friends, we are even often our own harshest critics. Sometimes the judegement is overtly negative, sometimes it is hidden within the guise of concern, and sometimes it is all in our heads.

Lately I have been feeling judged in my life, by others, and also by myself. It has gotten me thinking about judgement from both sides of the social equation. Why and when do people think it is ok to judge anothers actions/thoughts/feelings? Why and when are we most judgemental of ourselves? How does it feel to be judged?

I know in my own life I have been a judge of others too often. It is something I am trying to work on. Right now I am trying to be accepting of my own limitations as a parent, for example. I also find that when I am feeling most judgemental of myself, I am more judgemental of my husband. Being hard on oneself often means being hard on loved ones. Kindness to oneself can mean kindness to others.

I have also found that when I feel judged by others in a particular social group or context, it sucks all joy out of that social exprience. As humans, we want to belong. To be judged is to be deemed unworthy on one level, threatening that feeling of belonging that is food for our social souls. Feeling that sting of *being judged* makes me more motivated than ever to avoid *being the judge*.

I just felt like waxing poetic on this topic. If anyone else wants to share their own vents about judgement, their own experiences as a judge or as the judged, please share!

I promise I won't judge you ::)
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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56,144
I think that is normal. We all have standards and social/cultural norms we live by. Even if we don't want to admit it, we do judge those who make different choices than we do. Women are really bad about it, too! Career women sometimes judge stay-at-home moms and stay-at-home moms judge those who work fulltime. Natural birth vs. medicated birth....breast vs. bottle feeding....public vs. private vs. homeschooling, etc. etc. etc. We justify our choices and then are critical of those who make different choices.

I used to be really critical but I have mellowed some because so many things just work out in the end and aren't all that important in the overall scheme of things. There are some causes such as moral issues that people will disagree on, and those are harder to resolve because they are based on one's belief system. And I do have very strong opinions on some things! But I think even when we disagree, it is always best to treat people with respect and understand that they are just coming from a different point of view or belief system. And really, we can't control what other people do, so it really doesn't serve much purpose to judge in general (and I am not speaking of legal issues, obviously).

Oh, and as far as judging ourselves goes, I think we all set standards for ourselves at times that are unrealistic. So we may temporarily judge ourselves as failing until we adjust our expectations to be more realistic!
 

Haven

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Messages
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I think we are most judgmental of ourselves and others when we are either feeling insecure about a particular area or aspect of our lives, OR when something is extremely important to us and we perceive others' behavior as being somehow detrimental of the thing that we value so much. This is true for me, at least.

Edited
 

galeteia

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Joined
May 9, 2006
Messages
1,794
I hear you. This topic has been on my mind lately due to some incidents at work. My co-workers and students often assume that I am from a rich, spoiled, private-school background, thanks to the way I speak and the words that I use. I have been openly confronted by a girl who publicly dressed me down for using the word 'amalgamate' when describing the combining of two departments battling redundancy; she accused me of having 'a private school education because I came from a rich family' compared to her own public school education. :confused:

I was raised in a single-mom household without a lick of child support, too poor for TV, 'real' gifts, or pre-packaged foods. (Homemade undies made from old t-shirts for christmas, anyone?) No TV meant my only entertainment was books, which is where my vocabulary comes from. I worked to put myself through university as my mom couldn't afford to help me.

It really, really offends me when people judge me and make assumptions about my 'wealthy background'. Yes, I wear 'nice' clothes every day- clothes I bought at Ross or on ebay for less than $10 and tailored myself to fit better, clothes I cold-wash and hang to dry to keep them nice or even hand wash. So that skirt they're assuming I spent $$$ on was less than the sweatpants they're wearing from walmart. :rolleyes:

It does really bother me when people (mis)judge me but that's human nature and everyone is guilty of it in some form or another.

Edit for clarity.
 

Jennifer W

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I don't think I do too much judging. It's more through apathy than any great intention to be a wonderful human being though. I just don't care all that much.

I'm sure I do some, I mean no one goes through life without forming opinions on the things they see around them, but I am too wrapped up in my own life to care about the decisions other people make. They can do what they want, it doesn't affect me. If someone asks what I think I can tell them, but most of the time, I have to figure out what it is that I think before I can do that, because I don't think all that deeply about other people's stuff. Occasionally, I'll see or hear of something that is very different to my own approach to the situation and I'm a bit horrified, or I have a soap box feeling about a particular topic, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what I think. People will do what they're going to do, whether I approve or not, and while of course I think I'm right, in reality it ain't necessarily so. ;))

I think sometimes, especially online, people will say in response to a topic, "oh, I only ever do X" and it's easy to read that as "I think YOU should only do X and I think less of you because you do Y instead..." when a lot of the time it's not intended to say that at all, just a statement about our personal preferences, for info / interest in response to a question.

I also don't much mind (care) what other people judge me on. Again, it doesn't affect me (and I'm often quite oblivious to it anyway). I just can't work up the energy to care. As long as I'm happy with what I'm doing and DH is happy, we're good. I judge him very gently too, because he's awesome.

As for judging ourselves, I suppose that's inevitable. I personally judge myself very favourably though. I'm fantastic, if only in my own head. ;))

eta as for feeling judged, if a person has standing in my decision making process, then it would be relevant. If they don't, it just has to wash over me as irrelevant / their problem not mine. You don't have my permission to judge me in any meaningful or influential way.
 

Imdanny

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Jan 21, 2008
Messages
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In my experience, people who judge me unfairly are coming from a place of ignorance. They are projecting onto me how they think they would feel if they were me and are completely unaware of what it would mean to have whatever it might be I have they think they want. They are not seeing sacrifice or suffering. They are seeing what they want to see without considering my point of view. Like I said I think this is ignorant. I also think it's rude.

I judge myself and rightly so if I have been unkind to smeome I love. I'm not talking about run of the mill situations. I'm talking about situations when I've hurt someone's feelings. It's the same thing as what one might call guilt to me.

And needless to say I have very little esteem for people who allow their politics or theology to unfairly judge others.
 

JewelFreak

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Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
The best advice comes from AA: Don't compare your inside with someone else's outside. You don't know what's going on.

On the other hand, if we don't make some judgments, we have anarchy. Some behaviors or deeds are not acceptable to everyone. That's okay. If it's about superficial stuff, like clothes or vocabulary, the judger is an idiot -- blow it off. We all have standards, though, and should have -- I do not believe in "relative morality," where everything is all right, there's a reason or excuse for anything. Even Mother Theresa made judgments about people -- anyone who refuses to (as in, "They're blowing up people in a marketplace because they only want to be left alone to tend goats in peace" -- someone said that to me once) is a doormat.
 

Madam Bijoux

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You only need to be concerned about one person's judgment of you: yourself. Other people's opinions of you are meaningless. If you are happy with yourself, that's all you need to know.
 

ksinger

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Jan 30, 2008
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JewelFreak|1318848930|3041890 said:
The best advice comes from AA: Don't compare your inside with someone else's outside. You don't know what's going on.

On the other hand, if we don't make some judgments, we have anarchy. Some behaviors or deeds are not acceptable to everyone. That's okay. If it's about superficial stuff, like clothes or vocabulary, the judger is an idiot -- blow it off. We all have standards, though, and should have -- I do not believe in "relative morality," where everything is all right, there's a reason or excuse for anything. Even Mother Theresa made judgments about people -- anyone who refuses to (as in, "They're blowing up people in a marketplace because they only want to be left alone to tend goats in peace" -- someone said that to me once) is a doormat.

This. Without judgement we do indeed have anarchy. I would ask how exactly, we would organize any society without judgement - without at least some mostly agreed-upon mores, the violation of which, bring down disapproval or social sanction.

Twenty years ago I was much more mellow about stuff - live and let live, it's all good, sort of mentality. But as I've witnessed the splintering and degradation of society in my adult lifetime, I've come to the conclusion that some judgement - the kind that is painful and people don't like - is necessary lest society fall to pieces.
 

iheartscience

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Jan 1, 2007
Messages
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I've found that the older I get, the less I judge others. I guess with more life experience I see more shades of grey? Plus I'm getting much better at only worrying about what's in my hula hoop. :cheeky: There are certain issues I feel very strongly on, though, and I do judge others if they disagree with me. But when it comes to general choices that aren't affecting me or anyone else negatively, I have more of a live and let live attitude.

I also agree with Haven that the more someone judges others, the more insecure they probably are.
 

siamese3

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2007
Messages
722
I think that judging, whether it is self inflicted or turned outward towards others can be a bit like a bad habit. I come from a family of "judgers" and I work hard to try to snap out of it. I think that being judgemental can go hand in hand with focusing in on the negative, which I think can come from your environment as well. I try to flip my thinking around to what's good, right rather than bad, wrong, while still vaidating genuine concerns. So I change the focus. It takes lots of work. Thankfully, I married someone who is great at "live and let live" and acceptance and after eight years, I'm starting to mellow out a bit. It's nice to live in a healthier environment. I think that awareness helps....I think society doesn't really help. I think we are encouraged to measure ourselves againist others and what society deems "good."
 

siamese3

Brilliant_Rock
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Jul 27, 2007
Messages
722
thing2of2.. love the hula hoop reference.
 

siamese3

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
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oops..double post
 

soocool

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Jan 10, 2009
Messages
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When I was younger I felt like I was constantly being judged and it bothered me all the time. Then I hit my 50s and guess what? I don't give a SH*T what others think or say about me. I am very comfortable in my own skin.

When I was younger I tried my best to get my in-laws to like me (forget about love) and all it did was stress me out to the point I got very sick. Now people can say anything they want and my response to them is "I do what I want to do! Got a problem with that?". They get the message very quickly. Nobody dare bother a menopausal woman ready to jump down your throat.
 

Imdanny

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Jan 21, 2008
Messages
6,186
Doesn't the Bible say don't judge least ye be judged? I'm not saying the Bible is more or less than the holy book of one of the world's religions, but this tells me that "don't be judgmental" and "don't judge" aren't new ideas. I'd also like to note that I qualified my use of the word "judge" with "unfairly." I get kind of nervous when people say things like "we have to judge or society will unravel." There are things I think we all can agree on in terms of judging. Does anyone here support being deceitful in a business transaction and stealing someone's money? Does anyone here support crimes against another's person? Does anyone here not believe that empathy is an essential principle? Yet I still believe in individual rights (the Bill of Rights is about the rights of individuals, afterall- this doesnt mean it's anti-social) and in freedom of conscience. I think of being judgmental more in terms of making judgments about people when you don't know the inside of someone as Laurie said.
 

somethingshiny

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Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
The Bible's reference to judging, I believe, is not to judge one to heaven or hell. For example: He lied so he's going to hell. She is awesome and she's going to heaven. Those aren't decisions we have any part in so don't try.

Judging that is described here is more along the lines of evaluating facts to make a decision. You may approve or disapprove of another's decision, but you are taking some sort of evidence into consideration. You judge someone to be a good parent so you allow them to babysit your child. You judge someone to have a poor work ethic so you don't hire them. These are judgements that need to occur for us to have a functional society. Misjudgement is a naturally occurring error in human thinking.
 

iLander

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Messages
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I have always told this to my children, and I believe it myself

"Don't worry what other people think of you, they don't do it very much."


I think it says that other people are way more worried about themselves then they are about you. So don't look to them for approval, or validation or anything else. Otherwise, they will control you with their opinions.

Which is stupid. You live with your decisions every day, they might just check in once in a while. Who's life is it?

I'm saying this as a blunt form of encouragement to those that feel hampered by the judgement of others; the heck with those judgemental twonks!

If they don't know how fabulous you are, that's their problem.
 

JewelFreak

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Messages
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I've found that the older I get, the less I judge others.
in my adult lifetime, I've come to the conclusion that some judgement - the kind that is painful and people don't like - is necessary lest society fall to pieces.
Both of these. Depends on what's at issue. As we gain wisdom we realize the surface stuff isn't worth bothering about: someone's weight, clothes, where they live, how they spend their time. But we've seen the consequences of really bad deeds or attitudes: refusing to rent to someone of another race, destroying property, robbery & killing. Not to have opinions on those render us moral jellyfish.

DH comes from a judgmental family too -- my MIL never liked me; I never cared at all because her objections were so silly: I am American, my biggest fault of all. I felt pity & exasperation, understood I made her insecure by being foreign (in all senses of the word) & enticing No. 1 Son away from home & hearth. Not once was I unpleasant to her but couldn't bring myself to curry favor either -- the problem was hers to deal with, not mine. DH inherited some of those attitudes -- if he disagrees w/somebody's politics, thinks they spend money in crazy ways, etc., he throws out the whole person. I can enjoy lots of people for their positive parts -- maybe they have a good sense of humor or are kind to their dog. Not wanting to marry someone doesn't mean you can't spend a couple of fun hours together.

On the basics, we must make judgments: respect for all creatures, honesty, murder, theft, hypocrisy, blah blah. We have brains for that reason. On the rest...shrug. The world is crammed with people who contribute in ways I'd never think of, or do, if I did think of them. Thank goodness!

--- Laurie
 

Lottie

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Jul 28, 2008
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I find that as I get older I care less what people think of me and as a result I and am less judgemental of others - I am more likely to give people the benefit of the doubt. I know its a really overused saying but I do remind myself not to sweat the small stuff.

I have however really struggled with being judged as a stay at home mum. I am surprised and occasionally disheartened by how often this happpens, the assumption that I do nothing all day but drink coffee and gossip I can shake off, its when people say "so what do you do?" and I reply "I am currently at home looking after the children" and I see their eyes glaze over as mentally they automatically dismiss me.

I worked very hard until N was born and when N and H start school I will return to work, together as a couple we made a decision that I would be the main carer of our children until then. I feel lucky that we can afford for me to do this and I really do love it but I am disappointed that some (not all) people assume I am only able to talk about things relating to children. I read, I have a good social circle, I exercise, I am up to date on world events and I have opinions on them! Why do some people assume that as a SAHM all I can talk about is teething, weaning and the naughty step? :rolleyes:
 

NewEnglandLady

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I think some level of judgement is healthy. We all have standards, right? Standards for ourselves, our spouses, our families. Standards as to how we expect ourselves and others to be treated. It's probably why we only have a handful of friends.

I am guilty of being judgemental about some things. Usually, if somebody is making (what I feel to be a bad decision) in their lives, but nobody is affected but themselves, I let it go easily. But when I feel somebody is being hurt by another's actions, I tend to get judgemental. Most recent example: my sister told me that her new boyfriend hit a goose with a golf ball (on a dare) and killed it. Is it that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things? Probably not. But it just really irks me and now I won't give him a chance. I don't even know him, but after that story I have no interest in getting him to know him at all.

I agree that judgement can be tied to insecurity, and I think the SAHM debate is a classic example of it. I'm in the midst of deciding whether or not I want to go back to work or stay home right now and I can tell you that it's one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. Either way I feel guilt: either I'll feel guilty for letting somebody else watch my daughter during the day OR I'm going to feel guilty about making my husband carry the financial burden of raising our family. I can understand why women feel defensive of their decisions about what to do once the child is born because I can imagine a lot of women feel guilt one way or another. But I don't understand why women can't be more supportive and open about how difficult it is to navigate these choices because ultimately we're all trying to do what is best for our families.

Sorry for the long winded half-vent. I guess my ultimate point is that I don't think that being judgemental is bad when it comes to setting healthy boundaries, but it very easily becomes a symptom of insecurity and that's when it can become unhealthy.
 

packrat

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What I've noticed in my experience, is the worst judgers (yes I know that's not a word) are the ones who've been thru the situation before or not at all. Either they're judgers or they're understanders. I'm an understander. Mostly what I experience are the judgers. The people I get the most guff from for being home w/my kids as much as I can, are former SAHM's who now work full time since the kids are gone. One of my coworkers has become the weight/eating/exercise police...and um, she lost 300 pounds by having her stomach banded, not by the clean eating/exercise program my brother the bodybuilder uses so thanks for pointing out the extra 40 pounds I have to lose but please stop telling me "the best way you've found to do it right", I think I'll listen to my brother. I don't need judgement on how my parents do or don't meet someone's standards from someone whose parent hands them everything and does everything for them. And I don't need judgement on how my marriage works from someone who used to regularly tell her husband she wanted a divorce for whatever random reason. I don't need money advice from someone who never has had to worry about it b/c it's been taken care of for them, and I don't need to pass along "advice" to my husband for dealing w/his super stressful ulcer-anxiety ridden-gray hair making job from someone who has never worked a real full time job or only done piddly make work jobs in the family business.
 

Arkteia

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I try to not judge because I know I "have not been there". And I do not like people who judge. Often they simply do not know what they are talking about, especially if they pass political or moral judgment.

In my life, I have always been judged, since childhood. Part of was because I never belonged. People also thought I was standoffish (I was not, but I liked to show off). Also, I think, people felt I got it all too easy, good grades, prettiness, several languages, very loving parents, a very well-off family, even being the only child. Jealousy and judgment spoiled my childhood.

And then I came here, and my friends back home also felt I drew a lucky number. In real life, I had to separate from my child and husband, earned peanuts and finally got very ill at the time I felt I achieved. I feel people still think it is all too easy for me.

The best advise I ever got was from my father. He said, "it never hurts to be kind and helpful". I try.

One thing that I consider a big sin is to knowingly alter someone's path of life. I did it to someone, egotistically and knowingly (what I did was a big thing), and since our paths of life were connected, I feel that mine changed, too. (I hope this person is happy; from what I know, he/she is incredibly successful professionally and financially. Good.)

I also seriously judge myself for not being with my mother when she died. Not hugging her enough when she was dying.
 

Tacori E-ring

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20,039
People judge. Not sure I trust someone who says they are 100% not judgmental. I think the difference is listening and keeping an open mind while treating the other person with respect vs. using that information against them, to shame them, or isolate them. It is MUCH easier for people to focus on outside people than themselves. That's why I remind myself when I am pointing the finger at someone, there are three fingers pointed at me. I also believe a lot of time we train/teach people how to treat us. As I mature I am much more careful of the people I trust, who I let into my life, and what information I share. I have been burned in the past and even though I know that is more about them than me, it hurts to have someone use your secrets against you. I am blessed I do have a network of people that KNOW me. Know my core and love me anyways.
 
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