Today’s post is about something I’ve been pondering for the last few months.
On judging people. It’s a little different from “being judgemental”. I used to be a very judgemental person. Now that I’m close to 40, I do my best not to be judgemental. Who am I to judge anyone?
However, being judgemental and judging somebody based on past interactions—or compatibility based on personality—are two different things, in my opinion.
For example, my old friend G—who is a good person—has a certain trait that can be translated as childish and self-centered. He is still my friend and I care about his well-being, but I stopped being the person who try to save him from his troubles, because I often found myself that I was the fool who did not see his true colors. Now I do. And I feel agitated sometimes as he comes across, to many people who only knows him on the surface level, “very giving person.”
On the other hand, I have this very eccentric friend who I adore, but his unique personality and flakiness has people talking that he is “weird” and he is somewhat unstable.
I don’t think we are wrong on each of our own judgement. If I like “Mr. A” and somebody else cannot stand him…that is OK. It’s just the way we feel about each person.
We unintentionally label people around us—either the person is trustworthy, reliable, or ”all-talk.” I try to not to be tied too much to these labels though—sometimes someone I always thought was a complete jerk turns out to be a compassionate friend. And of course, vice versa.
What is interesting, is when your opinion about a particular person matches the opinion your other friends have of that same person. In that case we may say the person in question has a certain reputation. I have recently discussed this on Getting Engaged. If my negative opinion about someone is outnumbered by the positive opinions of others about him/her, that’s no problem. However is does propose an entirely different question: Would you change your mind about the person based on what other people are saying? How much are we influenced by what other people think when it comes to how we view other people?
Where do you draw the distinction between judging someone and being judgmental?