I was tossing between writing another post about the tiny but powerful word “just” or sharing my thoughts about “judgemental” once again. I know I have written often about my take on judging but as it is something that is present in our lives all the time I find we can address it on multiple occasions as well.
What I find interesting is that we often judge without actually wanting to. It’s like a reaction we can’t control. Suddenly there are those thoughts popping up in our mind, thoughts that paint a picture about someone or make us receive a situation in a certain way.
Without us even wanting to we start seeing something in our own way rather than figuring out what the actual situation is.
As weird as it might sound right now coming from me: What is actually so bad about judging? What is bad about making up a story about someone? About painting this kind of picture? Imagining what the situation might be without knowing?
I guess it wouldn’t be that bad if we would all do it in a kind way, in a positive way. But often we see something else. What takes over is our own insecurities, our fears. Maybe in some cases it’s even the gut feeling. Which of course is not a bad thing. But isn’t it a form of judging as well? Isn’t following our instincts a form of judgement too? It is, right? But it’s necessary to listen to your gut feeling. It’s the instincts that keep you alive.
So I think we simply can’t help ourselves. Judging is part of us. The trick is to keep in check what we actually hang on to. The trick is to not let it get to us and numb us. The trick is to allow the other person to show us that they are actually different than we think they are. That the picture we painted might apply to us and what we perceive but not about what they actually are or want to be.
And this leads me to the other side of the coin. The person that actually gets judged.
Because we are all aware that judgment is happening, that we all do it, if we want to or not, it’s easy to fall into the “wanting to please everyone” trap. Suddenly we are worried about what everyone else might think.
I remember many years ago when I was with a guy and by coincidence bumped into someone who used to know my ex. I started feeling uncomfortable because I was worried that going out with the new guy shortly after the break up would be weird. I was worried about what the person might think about me. It got to me. To the point where I didn’t enjoy the evening anymore. In fact I didn’t want to go out with that guy anymore for a long time because I was worried what everyone else might think. There was nothing wrong with the situation. Nothing done incorrectly. No cheating involved, no ugly breakup. I just suddenly thought, that everyone would think that I would change my boyfriends pretty quickly. Crazy enough nobody really cared. I twas just me. Just in my head.
Judging goes both ways in that sense and while we should not hang on to a picture we paint about a person, we should also not care that much about the picture people paint about us.