Are you judgmental? It’s okay, we all are, even though we don’t want to admit it. The truth is that there is nothing wrong with judgments; they are natural. We learn through pattern recognition, and as a result, we often come to conclusions quickly, even if those conclusions aren’t the right ones. The judgments aren’t the issue. Instead, the problem is whether we are aware of our judgments, specifically, do we understanding how and why we judge. The second is what we do with those judgments. Do we act on them, even subconsciously, perhaps by avoiding certain types of people?
Ultimately judgments are a touchy subject. We don’t like to think that we would be the ones to judge. Yet, if we want to live a life where our snap decisions don’t influence us, we need to understand more about how and why we judge. We also need to identify what we do as a result of those judgments.
How and why we judge is highly subjective and personal. It is also incredibly complex, and we aren’t going to cover this subject at a Ph.D. level in this article. Instead, we will focus on judgments in a limited scope to help us work on our awareness. This lesson may or may not apply to you personally, but understanding the mechanics of judgment will help you be more empathetic.
In our society, people judge others based on their emotional reactions. We have a toxic relationship with emotions. We use the term ‘being emotional’ dismissively or condescendingly to describe when people exhibit different emotions at various intensity levels. We have a cultural expectation that people will restrict their level of emotions, that to a certain extent, they should be emotional robots. In other articles, we will explore why we have these social norms, but for now, we need to know that we are both judged, and we judge others because of emotions, both consciously and unconsciously.
It is okay to judge because we grow up in different environments with different norms. As a result, we are trained to accept certain behaviors and to shun others. We learn this to fit in at school or with our family and friends. As an adult, we become responsible for these norms, and we need to choose whether we want them to influence our behaviors in the form of judgments.
We also judge people based on their emotional reactions from a sense of shame. Think of cringing when you watch someone bomb on stage. When we see someone being emotional, we have the same type of cringe response. This goes back to those norms, we see their behavior as not socially acceptable, and our reaction is to judge to show that we fit in.
The purpose of bringing this concept to your attention is to ask yourself whether you judge other people when they are emotional. Specifically to ask yourself what you think about other people when they exhibit their emotions. To be clear, it isn’t wrong to judge, and it may be unfair to act on those judgments. So, we want to understand what we are judging and why, and by doing this, we will have a greater degree of control over our words and actions.
Suppose you want to gain deeper insights into yourself, improve relationships, and have more control over your behavior. In that case, we suggest signing up for the judgment workshop, which is included in your subscription.