What does it mean to be judgmental?
Being judgmental means to hold specific thinking or belief based on what we commonly observe in a person or a community. “How could they…” “How could he”..“Why on earth would someone” are some examples of judgmental statements that we often make. A person is called judgmental when he stereotypes certain behaviors which he personally thinks are not appropriate or in accordance with a norm.
Who are judgmental?
While there is no specific set of characteristics by which we can identify who among us is a judgmental person but there are some obvious signs of this trait that we can watch out for.
If you have a friend who does a lot of negative evaluations of others or if you find yourself doing this often, be careful, we can smell a judgmental person in your friend or in you. Judgmental people very often create their own rating system which is more than often is to suit their convenience. These are the people who often ignore the contexts of a situation and jump into conclusions. Be aware of them!
Being judgmental is often forming an opinion and concluding about someone or something based on one quality or act. For example, saying that “Devyani has done a mistake by yelling at Vishal for no reason” is an expression of one’s opinion, but saying “Devyani has shouted at Vishal for no reason, she is a bad girl” is being downright judgmental.
Are You Observing or Judging?
One should be very careful about the difference between observing and judging. Especially if you are in a position to give feedback to a lot of people (like a teacher or a business leader), you should know the thin line between the two. When giving feedback, if you try to pass judgment as fact, you stand to lose the respect and confidence of the people around you.
With a simple example, we can understand the difference clearly. If you see a man around you with an unusual hair style (which you particularly don’t like much), your observation ends at the point of noticing him but if you are judgmental you will think or say that the man should cut his hair in a proper manner (which according to you is proper). When you see a girl smoking and you are not used to see girls smoking, unless she blows smoke on your face, it should be none of your concern. You can advise if you know her but you have to no right to judge.
Indians are often judgmental
India is high on "Community" values where the people of from a community are expected to adhere to an unwritten moral code. This includes practices and rule permitted by the communities on what should and should. This, of course, is not the case only with the Indians but there are many countries in the world where people act in similar or worse manners but we as Indians can’t help but notice where we are going wrong, collectively.
Another disadvantage of living in a country of so many religions and communities is there are distinct differences and people tend to differentiate between his community and others’ communities. With so many cultures and communities in one country, people here are a little more prone to judge others by parameters not suitable according to his own community norms.
How not to be judgmental
We are all judgmental. You, me, everyone, at least in certain ways, at certain times. What we probably have to understand being judgmental often masks our sanity and when tend to look down on others, who, according to us aren’t behaving in a manner we are comfortable with - that creates division between people.
The first step toward break free from this limiting trait is to understand. If we try to understand the person we are about to judge, we will become more aware of his circumstances under which he is behaving the way he is. By putting ourselves in his shoes, we can. Once we understand him, let’s try and accept. Once we are able to accept that person for who he is, without trying to change him, we are almost there. Once we accept the person for what he is, we would most likely to feel for him. Once we feel for others, we will gradually know how not to be drawing conclusions about him.
So, while it’s great to be observant and compassionate about others, it’s not a good thing to be judgmental.
Let’s all “Be curious, not judgmental.” as said by Walt Whitman.Authored by 9amstories.com Editorial
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