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Not All Judgement is Bad

28th December 2022

A lot of people talk about not being judgemental of others, but I thought I might define judgements that are more useful and better to learn how to apply.

Negative judgement is the one that I think a lot of people agree is not kind.
“That girl is so lazy”
“Joe didn’t show up to work on time because he just doesn’t care”
“Jeez, I would never go out looking like THAT.”

Often negative judgements say more about the person who says them than the person they are about. An example Mark Manson talked about in his book “Models” was a guy seeing a girl wearing something sexy, and coming up with reasons why she must be “stuck up” or “high maintenance” as a defence mechanism for not having the courage to go up and talk to her, because he actually finds her quite attractive.

On the other side, positive judgements can stem from useful and replicable insights. The person who shows up on time with everything they need for their job every time, and never needs reminding. The barista who greets you warmly, then makes your coffee perfectly and the whole time makes you feel welcome. The family member who always gives you or your kids the best gifts that show they have really thought about you and what you want and need.

I try not to negatively judge (my sister always says “if you understood, you wouldn’t judge”), but I positively judge all the time, as do you, and use that knowledge to decide who to work with, who to spend more time with, who to invest my time and energy in.

I saw this when I was a high school teacher. The students who came up to me after class and wanted to talk about something, or who asked for career advice in my 3rd year class got more attention because they showed up and allowed themselves to be positively judged, while many other students in the class who were merely competent and present, but never drew any attention to themselves did not.

Just some thoughts about judgement. In 2023 I would rather negatively judge less, but positively judge the same or more.



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