Think Twice Before Judging Others
By: Jen Mueller, SparkPeople Blogger
8/18/2011 10:00 AM : 116 comments : 43,751 Views
I'm sure we all know what it's like to feel judged by someone else. Maybe it's because of the way you look, or the way you act, or something you've said. No matter what the reason, it probably didn't feel very good. I've always been sensitive. I remember my mom writing in my baby book that at age two "she has her feelings hurt easily." It's hard for me to feel criticized or misunderstood, and I tend to take things very personally.
We seem to live in a society where it's normal and accepted to judge people for all sorts of things- their choice of clothing, the food in their grocery carts, how they parent, who their friends are- the list goes on and on. I'm certainly not saying I'm perfect and have never been guilty of judging others. But because I'm sensitive to it and because I want to set a good example for my kids, I try my best not to jump to conclusions about others.
In general, I consider myself to be a private person. It's not easy for me to share personal details about my life, especially when I'm blogging. But I feel like my blogs are usually better when I can relate them to my own experiences, so that I'm not just spitting out facts about the latest study or trend. Every time I'm writing a blog, in the back of my mind I'm constantly thinking about how someone is going to interpret something I've said or what kind of opinion they are going to form about me. It makes me choose my topics and my words very carefully. I know other bloggers who can easily let negative or misunderstood comments roll off of their backs. I am willing to accept that not everyone is going to agree with me, and some people might even think I'm totally nuts. When someone disagrees with me, I try my best to learn from it and see their point of view. But I struggle when someone makes assumptions about my life or interprets my words in a way that I never intended. I know I need to develop thicker skin so that these kinds of comments don't get to me.
If you're someone who has struggled with their weight, maybe you can relate. It's so easy to judge a person and say "If they just gave up the junk food and got off the couch, they'd lose weight." Yet you never know if that person has already lost 100 pounds and is halfway to their weight loss goal. You never know if they have medical issues that prevent them from exercising, or have been going through problems in their life that make weight loss feel unimportant right now. Until I am in that other person's shoes, I have no right make those assumptions about someone else's life. I just wish that everyone would take a moment to stop and think about how their comments, expressions and thoughts can have an affect on another person.
Okay, rant over. I'll get off my soapbox now.
What do you think? Are you guilty of judging others? Have you been judged before? How did it make you feel?
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Though I can agree with some aspects of the article, I cannot say I fully agree.
To say we should not judge is a fixed opinion. A fixed opinion is a judgement.
As children we judge the foods we like, and those we don't. They are not always good judgements for we often choose the comfort foods, the addictive sweeties. Judgement is often part of a decision making process.
And so maybe it is all about learning to make good judgements in loving and compassionate ways. To not be unfair about our judgement, for judging someone for something they cannot change are an unfair judgement that leaves them helpless. Judging too quickly is is one dimensional, so we should be slow to judge, and be patient. Being fixed in our judgment is narrow and judgemental, and not judging at all is dangerous. So it is about learning to judge fairly after making sure your own eyes is clean, so that your judgement do not come from your own selfish esteem or ego. It is judging kindly and in love, and not in a condemning way. Where we are sure it can bring change. And to accept what we cannot change, and to ask for the wisdom to know the difference. It is to not judge the person with his deeds, but rather just the deeds, and to encourage the person.
It is dangerous to not have discernment and to not judge the fruits of someone's life (that does not refer to achievements, rather to spiritual fruits of love, patience, kindness, discipline to others).
Though we were all created of equal importance, we are not all alike or act alike. We do not all love our families alike. Some people are mostly lovers of themselves, or pities themselves which causes a form of narcissism and selfishness - which can hardly be called self love.
If the person who has to live or work intimately with this person do not recognise the fruits in time, and place the right correction/ discipline and boundaries in place, it can be hazardous for both parties. We are meant to have a positive and shaping effect on each others lives, and not to be uninvolved. It is called healthy relashionships.
We live in a society where those that lives however they like in selfish and inconsiderate manners hides behind the words: don't judge me. It makes it very hard for those that tries to lives in peace and love, because now they are no longer allowed to confront something for else it is judgement or disturbs the so-called peace. But not being able to confront something (in a loving and compassionate way possible) can lead to total war, for the bullies way must then become everyone's way. The one who are willing to rally power and not play by the rules of love then become the bureaucrat, and don't you dare judge or confront, for it will disturb the peace - this is hardly peace.
I know generally people struggle to change and do not know that they are hurting others. But I have seen where people know they hurt others, but persist, because it benefits them. Of cause this is another form of blindness, but this blindness needs to be healed. And confrontation and healthy judgement is necessary for this. Sure we should try and first get the wrong out of our own eyes and investigate our own hearts in the matter. But one simply cannot ignore wilful harmful behaviour in the name of compassion and make as though all is alike in this matter.
I understand disabilities plays a huge role, I suffer from a few disabilities myself, but also had to learn to really try and still be considerate to people even if I am in terrible pain and frustrated. I don't always succeed, and sometimes I behave like a bitch, but I try my best, and it takes practice.
Sure, someone who committed murder should not be called a murderer. We should not make him his action. But knowing that this was one of his actions I think also have importance. Else we suffer from a naive ignorant society that can cause that those that are more vulnerable (such as children and the sick) becomes victims and those that are oppressing and domineering. We should also be aware of what people are battling with to be able to be helpful and not cause another temptation or stumbling block.
A society that claims nothing is good nor evil, when we know that acting without love can destroy so many, will suffer unnecessarily.
Then, to one of the comments. It is hard to understand how we can say not to judge people, but in the same breath say that we should make negative people part of the dust - I find this even worse. This is like speaking death over them - dust to dust. So we cast them out of the cities? Discipline and boundaries is by far a better tool and I think the form of rejection suggested is worse than a healthy form of judgement. Furthermore being positive is increasingly associated with pretentious smiles opposing to being loving, considerate, peaceful and truthful human beings. And so someone in pain can often be wrongly judged as negative, not considering their afflictions is part of the broken world that we are all baring. That is most certainly a terrible way to judge. Rather discern lie from truth, and love from selfishness.