I’m Already Judging You
It’s too late.
If I don’t judge, who will?
As a teacher in the school setting, I constantly hear students say “don’t judge me” and I often respond with an unwavering, “sorry, it’s too late.” Then, I remind students that it is not the actual judgement but how we assign value to that judgement that matters. It seems as though judgement is one of those neutral ideas that has been twisted into something strictly negative and only associated with bad things. In fact, I found several definitions for judgement that do not include any negative words at all.
Merriam-Webster defines judgment as “a decision or opinion (as of a court) given after careful consideration,” “an opinion or estimate formed by examining and comparing,” and “the ability for reaching a decision after careful consideration.” Sir Andrew Likierman said that judgement “is what enables a sound choice in the absence of clear-cut, relevant data or an obvious path” in his article, “The Elements of Good Judgement.”
Niall Horan has a song titled “No Judgement,” but it should be called “No Negative Judgement.” The lyrics read, “When you’re with me, no judgement. You can get that from anyone else. You don’t have to prove nothin’, you can just be yourself.” Even Niall knows that everyone is judging, but the message that we should hear is that people will judge and we don’t have anything to prove because we can be ourselves. What a great message!
In Francesca Forsythe’s article, “Why Judging Others Is Our Natural Instinct” it is highlighted that; “For the most part, we are doing so for survival. We want to surround ourselves with people whom we can trust because it makes us feel safe and secure.” It is further explained that we cannot let negative judgement control us in how we act toward others.
In the United States, one of the highest, most honorable positions is a Supreme Court Judge. Their job is to actually judge court cases and make decisions that impact millions of people. Achieving the high honor of a supreme court judge requires a lifetime of experiences with both negative and positive judgement.
In recent news the famous American Olympic gymnast, Simone Biles prioritized her mental health over competition. Biles’ decision echoed around the world with millions of judgements. Articles flooded the news cycle with positivity and criticism associated with her choice to withdraw from gymnastic team events and in the end, the only person her decisions truly impacted were her. As a fan of the Olympics, a supporter of mental health, and a perpetual judger, I became fascinated with the conversation surrounding Simone Biles.
I am not here to say that negative judgement is non-existent or not hurtful. It can be easy to think through our actions and consider, what will other people think? Judgement is up to us to decide if it is worth holding onto in our brains and hearts and how we respond to it. People are always judging. Next time you are feeling vulnerable to judgement, feel assured that you are going to make the best decision for yourself, no matter how others judge you.
*Meet the Author*
Meghan has been with Leadership Inspirations for four years. She holds a B.A. in Integrated Educational Studies from Chapman University and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Regis University
Favorite Quote: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wild
Fun Facts: 1) My dream job would be an SNL cast member, 2) I love to plan parties 3) I sing in my car like I’m performing a sold-out show.