How many times have you heard it?.... “Don’t be so judgmental!”, “Stop judging people” Why do we say that, and what do we mean? What is the definition of Judgment?
According to www.dictionary.com it is:
1. an act or instance of judging.
2. The ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
Oooookay… So, remind me again what is so bad about this? This sounds like judgment is, in fact, a facility. It permits me to take action and decide on a course of conduct. It allows me to live my life with boundaries and attract to me that which I want.
So what do people mean when they say, don’t be judgmental? I think they mean don’t be critical, don’t criticize.. The definition of criticize is:
1. Indicate the faults of (someone or something) in a disapproving way
Now, that seems like a tool that I might want to be cautious of using. I can’t image ever getting good results from thinking , being or speaking critical thoughts. I believe that every person deep down KNOWS the big T truth that they are perfect, whole and complete just the way they are. Therefore, when they are criticized or disapproved of, they automatically defend themselves because it is in direct opposition to what their soul knows to be true. Knowing that, we can never expect to get anything but a defensive angry person opposite us when we use criticism or disapproval.
How about if we use judgment though… what result could we expect from that? Where is the big T truth here? Let’s see.. If I was to “judge” you in word or thought, I would be forming an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely. I believe the response I would create in another would be appreciation. Think about it, if someone came to you with an objective and wise opinion, how would you feel?
Now, you may think that I am just talking semantics here.. but I think that recognizing the difference in these words is huge, and has amazing implications.
With the confusion of these words being epidemic, I have seen firsthand in a plethora of people that when they shut off their "judgment" (in an effort to be more loving, conscious or spiritual people) they dim their inner light, their voice, and their wisdom. I have seen it create a loss of boundaries, soul-confusion, victim energy, and even a loss of self.
My call to you is to embrace your judgment, heck, even embrace your criticism. When you feel it arise, say, “Thank You, what message do you have for me?” Then consult your higher self, your inner wisdom and ask it to give its opinion. Then ask Logic, “Is it objective, do I really know the facts?”, then consult Empathy, “Can I see it through their eyes?” .....
You see, you are so lucky because you have a whole roundtable, an entire staff, at your side! You have judgment, wisdom, logic, empathy, compassion, and curiosity! Woot! Woot! What great tools! What valuable "staff members"!
Oh, so some of you aren’t completely sold yet, eh? Okay, let’s take some stements that are often precieved as "judgments" (the stuff that folks say we should be trying to 'do away with'):
“That teacher doesn’t know what she’s doing!”
“That girl is so fat!”
“What a bad mom!”
Lets thank judgment for its amazing observations and opinions! Wow, I am so glad that I can recognize contrast in this world! Okay.. Time to consult the rest of my “staff”.. Enter the data in to the computer of my mind, soul and consciousness…
…be be be beeeep… processing results……
There were over 20,000 interpretations, suggested further recommended inquiries, and suggestions for possible big T truth behind your statements. Your top results were:
“I’m curious where that teacher got her ideas, because they are so different then mine”
“I’m concerned about that girl being unhealthy”
“That mom really makes me confront areas in myself that I am not okay with”
*Opportunity to learn about yourself = what is your idea of a competent teacher? What results/data did you see that formed that opinion? Why do I care what someone else looks like? What does it mean to me/about me? What are my personal definitions of being a ‘good mom’? Am I willing to change those beliefs and definitions? If not, why not? Why did this thing trigger me?
*Opportunity to learn about the data = what is the teachers background, education and groundbreaking ideas? Where is she coming from? What causes obesity? Could that person be sick or have a hormone disorder? How happy are that mom’s kids? What facts to know about her? What is her background? Have I ever personally gotten to know her?
Wow, if we would have stifled that, if we would have ‘done away with’ “judgment", we would have lost so much valuable learning!
So, you see, life is a constant exploration of ourselves and others, and judgment is one of the tools that allows us to be explorers of the world!
So get out your looking glass and go forward into the world with your curiosity!
From one explorer to another,
Mindy Amita Aisling
Mindy Amita Aisling
ICF Life Coach,
NFPT Fitness Trainer,
OMA Certified Mediator
Mindy Aisling is a certified life and business coach in Bend, OR, exceeding all of the educational requirements & training set forth by the ICF.
She has worked with such organizations as St. Charles Hospital, Soroptimists, The Dispute Resolution Center, Olympic Medical Center, Americorps, and Juvenile and Family Services.
She has been featured in the New York Times, The Seattle Times, The Bend Bulletin, The Peninsula Daily News, KOMO 4 TV, The Oregonian and many more. You can learn more about Mindy here.
Mindy offers professional, affordable online coaching to clients around the world, and local coaching to clients in Bend, Oregon.
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