Friday, September 16, 2011

I'll Judge You and You Judge Me.

My previous blog got me thinking about how we judge others. This isn’t directly tied to health, fitness, or my journey to become healthy, but it has had me reflecting on ways to become a better person.

So. Judging. We do it all the time. ALL OF US. If there is a person in this world who says that he/she does not judge, I’d feel that he/she is a liar… Or can walk on water, which I’d love to see.
We judge based on…

Physical appearance. Looks. Sexual orientation. Taste in music. Television preferences. Movie preferences. Career. Financial status. Social status…. Both of which tie in with other things like what kind of car someone drives, where they shop, the jewelry that they wear, what kind of cell phone/laptop/MP3 player or other technological stuff that they own. We judge based on education. Level of intelligence. Wit. Charm. We judge others based on ourselves. We judge ex’s new significant others; and think “what in the world can he/she possibly see in THAT?” Or we judge current significant others’ ex’s… “Wow… You went from that thing to me? That’s not just an upgrade. That’s like an upgrade and a half!” “Okay, so we dated. Now he’s dating HER? What the hell is wrong with ME?” Or “that’s his/her ex? Wow… Am I less than what I believe I am? Because, really, how could we even be in the same category, or be someone else’s type? There’s no way. I’m not like that nasty thing.” "Dude. YOU'RE the guy dating my ex? Damn, she downgraded." Basically? We judge based on anything… Probably things that we either don’t agree with or out of feelings of insecurity (I’ve noticed this is often in relationship situations) or jealousy. For example because I was a fairly spoiled only child and wore clothing from “the right” stores and because I was very quiet and shy, I was a snob to many; rich to some.

I think that there are different levels of judging others…

I think that just about every day I judge others in that I THINK things about them. I may think that they just said the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I may think about how they seem to be fairly incompetent. Or arrogant. Or oblivious to the rest of the world. Whatever the thought, I KNOW I do it. This type of judgement is thinking negative thoughts about someone based on their actions. A person can do something as simple as walk out into traffic and I might become annoyed and make the judgement that they’re clearly…. An idiot. Not concerned about traffic and feel that they have some right to just plow off of the curb into oncoming traffic. Or something else. We’re constantly judging others. The small thoughts that don’t escape our heads are fairly harmless. How does someone know what I’m thinking unless I do or say something that makes it obvious? They don’t.

Then there’s the type of judging that we project onto others… Or maybe we just share those judgements (or opinions!) of others. In this situation, we’re probably talking about someone. Sometimes we just need to vent our frustrations. In the process of rattling off what is so insanely obnoxious about someone else that it’s disruptive to our daily routine, we more than likely make statements in judgement of said annoying individual. I don’t know that I do this daily, but I’d say at least a few times a week.

Then there is the harsh judgement that we throw in the faces of others. Here is where we decide what’s “wrong” with them and tell them all about it. We insult, and maybe even hurt, them because of what we think. We use our opinions to make judgements about others. Sometimes we may not even know them. I think that this is less rare. However, associated with this are the non-verbal actions that demonstrate that we might have a particular judgement of someone. These are more frequent than actually telling someone (it’s much easier to cast an evil stare than it is to be so bold as to tell someone what we think).

Judging others is normal. However, the extent to which it is done is a problem. If you’re walking around telling someone how much they suck on a daily basis, you’re kind of an a-hole (yup, I just judged YOU too, guy!).

In thinking about all of this judgeyness, I’ve come to realize that I judge A LOT. Generally it’s the not-so-nice thoughts about others. I can identify that my judgements on others are based on my own insecurities and fears. I think that identifying this is a good thing. Admitting to it? Even better. A lot of people seem to hide that they judge others. After all, it’s terrible to judge! How could anyone dare admit something as atrocious as that?

Oh yeah… Did I mention we judge ourselves? And that typically we’re our own worst critics?

My new plan is to try to not be so judgemental. It’s a normal thing, however, I am pretty good about turning it off (or at least not showing  it) when I’m in certain situations. For example, in my professional life, I cannot be effective in my job judge others in an outright way. I may think things, yes, but I cannot let those thoughts interrupt my work. If I really couldn’t handle something, the responsible and ethical thing is to….Baaaack away!!! I’d refer this person on to someone who would be better able to work with them. Awareness is such a major thing in my career, but also should be in our personal lives!

If I can change my judgemental nature in a professional setting, I should be able to in my personal life too. I can’t change that I’ll judge. It. Just. Happens. However, I can change the degree of my judgements. I can learn from the negative thoughts about others; I can teach myself that it really isn’t so nice to think certain ways. I can cut down the nasty chatter about others in conversations. To do so I must… Let go of some of my insecurities and fears.

For example…Relationships. No two guys that I’ve dated have been the same. Why have I always made some judgement based on an ex or a new girl? I don’t expect to be the same as someone else. I certainly cannot be the only person in the world who doesn’t really have a “type.” It is unfair of me to think… “WTF is he thinking…Dating me, a social worker who could work with abused and neglected kids… And then dumping me for some loser who can’t even take care of hers? I’M NOT LIKE THAT!” I know I’m not like that. Not even close. My friends and family know I’m not like that. I couldn’t imagine ever hurting a child. Just because someone dated me then someone totally unlike me doesn’t mean that we’re anything alike.
It’s unfair to think “OMG… He dated that? (or now he’s with that?) Look at her and look at me. There’s no comparison! Wait...Am I ugly like her, and just don’t know it?”

I don’t like to be judged.

I don’t like to hear that the guy I’m in a relationship with doesn’t like certain things, and seems annoyed when I mention them, because his ex liked them. Guess what! I’m not her. I may have some of the same interests, but he shouldn’t judge me based on those similarities.

I don’t like someone to think certain things about me because of how I look.

But I judge?

I think this happens a lot. It’s often okay for us to judge but the minute we’re judged, we’re angry. I think we all need to learn to be okay with being judged. The chances of not judging others are very slim… We do it. Others do it. We need to get used to the idea that someone is judging us. We need to learn to deal.

My journey for health has changed somewhat. I’m still striving for better physical health….Weight loss, better running times, whatever it might be… But NOW I’m going to work on the me inside too.

Life is a constant process of change. We can all always work on something about ourselves. Anyone who thinks they have nothing to work on is, in my opinion, a liar. Lie to the world, fine, whatever…. No one else HAS to tolerate it. Lie to yourself… Well, that’s sad. I wonder if maybe you would find more enjoyment if you just admitted to your “faults.” We all have them. Don’t be afraid.

XOXO

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