When I was in high school, I was hanging around a local pizza parlor when my friend showed up with a beer in hand. I asked him how he got that and he replied that a coworker bought it for him. He paused for a moment and asked, “Are you judging me?” And I said yes, despite the fact that I knew it wasn’t the kind thing to say. But in all honestly I was, I really was judging him.
So I went home that night and thought about why I said that. Why was I judging him? Did I suddenly think he was dangerous? No. I realized that when I told him I was judging him, it wasn’t in a way that he thought I meant.
People judge each other every second of every day. We judge the way people act, dress, and talk. We judge the places we are and the places we go. We judge ourselves. But this isn’t in a sense that we judge people, places, or ourselves as lesser. We simply are judging what is safe and what is wise.
Judgment is a human mechanism used to decide what is best for the individual. It is less about other people and more about what we, as individuals, is best for us to succeed and survive.
Who said that judgments are negative or positive? “Becky is pretty” is a judgment as well as “Stan is loud and annoying.” I could use these opinions to encourage Becky to enter a pageant or Stan to try speech and debate.
And who said that we act off our judgments? All I gathered that night at the pizza parlor was that my friend was interested in alcohol and less interested in age requirements to drink. That doesn’t necessarily mean I was planning on ending my friendship with him. I was merely thinking about the situation and deciding what I thought about it and what was safe and wise for me.
We live in a society that tells us to use our best judgment but don’t be judgmental. What? Forget that! Here’s my judgment, judge people. Use your gut to decide what you want for yourself. Being judgy isn’t really judging. It’s deciding. It’s deciding what you want and whether you want someone, or something in your life. It’s taking in information and understanding the world around you even better then you did before.
Above all, we shouldn’t judge people who judge.