2 February 2014
So I've been giving a little thought over the past while about judgement, being judged, judging others. Here's what I think...
It isn't helpful.
This is where my dislike for labels comes into play. They allow us to quickly categorise so we can arrive at a judgement of a person or a thing sooner. So we can work out if they are for us.
It can feel hurtful to be misunderstood. Misjudged. And, especially on the internet, we humans can jump to conclusions and misjudgements rather quickly. We have a lot to learn about this still-so-new method of communicating and sharing thoughts. We get it wrong. Often.
This space here, where I write my observations of my family life and often through my owlets' eyes has, on a few occasions, been seen as judgmental. Perhaps you've felt it too? The mind can play tricks like that. It can make one's exclamation of joy seem like a personal attack on one's own character or choice of lifestyle. It can make us feel defensive. A happy owlet at my house can mean your owlet is somehow deprived. Which we both know isn't really true. Reading about another's happiness or choices can lead to reflection on your own, for sure. But is it a judgement of your situation? Most likely not. Usually it's just me soothing my own soul and remembering to take note of the good things...
A couple of weeks back, I ventured onto a local Facebook chat group. I've been and left before for various reasons; mostly I'm just too busy to have it constantly in my feed. This time it seems I was there to figure out my thoughts on judgement. One member posted a fairly provocative article. It had slightly defensive undertones from an author who had likely been judged for her position. It was an opinion piece on bodily autonomy and kids. I happened to mostly agree with it. It was about hair. Just hair. No life and death thing. Unsurprisingly, many of the comments responding to the post were fairly judgmental and leaping to rather ridiculous conclusions. There was no real person to converse with, so it was all in, in that special one-sided way that happens on the internet... Anyhow, I felt uncomfortable about it. And not because it felt like judgement of me - it could have, given the state of Tiny's hair these days, but this wasn't particularly bothering me. What I felt most uncomfortable about was the assumption and statement that anything on the internet is up for scrutiny and judgement. If you put it out there, you're asking for it. I disagree.
Using one's judgement to figure out the right path forward in life is a helpful thing. Passing judgement on others is often hurtful. Instead of reacting in a defensive way, instead of feeling like the other person's way of life is threatening yours... Instead of feeling like you need to poke a heap of holes in the other person's argument/lifestyle/beliefs, maybe stop and think about it a bit... Sure, let them know it challenges you. Perhaps do some work on that yourself. Listen. Talk it through if you can. Let them know you disagree if you must. Maybe provide some insight on why you might think that and some information on why. Hopefully they'll understand it as helpful rather than judgmental...
But try not to belittle and try not to judge them to be bad people. And most certainly don't expect that they are judging you back. Probably they're just happily doing their own thing, getting on with living. Maybe they're letting you know that they think it's great just incase you might too. The internet can be a wonderful place for learning and communication, especially if we don't let judgement get in the way.
Have you ever felt judged?
Have you ever read a blog and felt self-concious about your life?
Have you ever felt a bit judgmental about something that challenged you?
How'd you move through that?
Happy week, lovely ones. xo