We all judge – evidently its only human nature. She’s dressed in a certain way so must be such a person, once a cheater always a cheater…and so on. Without consciously realising what we’re doing, we review people or situations on a daily basis. It plays such a crucial role in our decision-making but do we give it apt consideration??? Let’s see by putting “judgement” under the spotlight.
I’ve always maintained that you could never swear by someone. By that I mean you could never guarantee that another person would or wouldn’t do a certain thing. No matter how well you think you know your partner, or friend, or sibling or even parent – they could shock you (and maybe themselves!) by doing or saying something that is completely out of character. We, too, do things that amaze us because it seems against our moral code or traditional thinking, yet our minds manage to sometimes miraculously take a quantum leap and defy the very essence of our personality by acting out in strange ways. Why this is the case is for psychologists to answer. My point is; can we really believe that we fully know someone after a lifetime of knowing them, yet not understand why they acted out of character on odd occasions and maybe judged them for that – when we sometimes don’t really know if we know ourselves fully..?
This year, I have amazed myself at some things I have done. A year ago I would never have placed myself where I am in life today. I have said things I never thought I would, done things I would never have contemplated and had thoughts that seemed alien to my mind. Have life experiences over the last few (difficult!) months transformed me so much as a person that I have reacted in ways that even I find hard to believe? Yesterday, I found myself asking a close someone their opinion on something I was contemplating on doing. I was weighing up the pros and cons and before I knew it, she responded with “Raj, it seems that you’ve already made up your mind but you’re trying to convince yourself whether it’s the right thing to do.” That single observation momentarily stunned me. How often have I justified my actions or intentions to others when in actual fact I’m justifying them to myself? I appear to need recognition and approval from loved ones and what they would judge of me, but the reality is that the biggest judge I’m trying to convince is me! Have you ever felt that way? Your heart feels something is right but battles with your brain on whether to initiate it, so what do you do? Justify, make excuses, kid yourself into thinking it IS the right thing to do so the brain could stick it and deal with it!
Maybe approval of others seems so important because we also judge others. We are harsh reviewers when it comes to forming opinions of someone’s dress sense, their behaviour, their appearance, where they work or how they live. We can right off a potential relationship with someone who could be the nicest person we’d ever come across, simply because they’re not that attractive or spoke in a certain way or wore ridiculous clothes…So, when it comes to others putting us under the microscope we have an inherent reaction of going into defence mode. We begin to concoct in our minds why our actions are satisfactory or plausible and how we could convey this to others.
But why do others’ opinions matter? Even the most seemingly confident of people would feel a sense of insecurity deep down inside if they were being perceived in a certain way. But the truth is, someone, somewhere will always be forming a judgement on us. From a single action we’ve taken, they have generated an A-Z reading of our personality…unfair? Of course! But its human nature – we all do it! We judge, generalise, stereotype – all without knowing the full truth. So why should it matter what others think of us??? The most important judge is YOU. Are you happy with what you did? Do you have regrets? Would you do it again or how would you react differently next time? The fact is, nobody’s perfect, life is full of grey areas so what could be right for me could be wrong for you. Does that mean your negative judgement of me is the correct judgement? Most certainly not! I will rate myself and decide the morality of the situation. Regrets? Never! They’re the crucial learning curve of a fabulous phenomenon, otherwise known as LIFE!