MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

On Judging

Who made you judge over me?

Let’s get girly and quote Sara Bareilles: “Who died and made you king of anything?”

Or better yet, Tupac: “Only God can judge me.”  That one’s actually Biblical.

I don’t think any of us like being judged.  In fact, very few things upset us more than when we are or feel judged.

So why is it that we are all so good at judging others?  Seriously, we’re all pretty talented in that arena.  Let’s give ourselves a hand!

Obviously I’m not talking about the kind of judgment that’s laid down by people like Judy, Mathis, or the People’s Court.  I’m talking about that thing we do when we write people off, dismiss and discredit their very being because of our lack of compassion or willingness to understand their transgression or circumstance.

We might be really good about being open-minded and non-judgmental in one regard but in other areas, especially the ones that we excel at or feel blameless in, we are pretty quick about reaching certain conclusions.

It’s also funny because we will also judge things that we know very little to nothing about!  What is that?

Like before I had kids, I used to judge parents who were super strict about their kids’ sleeping schedules and I thought that they were letting their children run their lives.  “Live a little!” I used to think.  I knew nothing about their world and yet I judged it.  I’m on the other side of that coin now and I understand... and now I’m the one that’s probably getting judged. Painful!

So here’s the thing: if we judge things within our area of expertise and we also judge things or circumstances we know very little about, this means that we are judging all the time. This is just stupid.

I’ll be honest.  I’m pretty judgmental toward judgmental people. Also: people who don’t line waste baskets with bags before throwing their crap in… but more often than not I judge judgmental people.

I think, “why are they so judgmental?  What makes them so superior in their minds?  What losers!  Arrgghh!”

And then I’m reminded that I’m no better.

That’s the point.  I’m no better, you’re no better.  Nobody is perfect.  Nobody is perfect.

What would happen if we were more predisposed to dishing out grace, understanding, and good ol’ fashioned “benefit of the doubt” to people and situations we are tempted to judge and dismiss?

When was the last time you felt judged?  How has that affected you? What do you tend to be judgmental about?


7 responses


    I’m reading a book on sleep-training and they said if your friends are giving you a hard time about being strict about your baby’s sleep schedule, get new friends!

    April 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

  2. Ooohh…very good post. Depending on who I happen to be spending time with, I can be incredibly gracious or graceless. The more time I spend with my husband, the more I realize how “unforgiving” I can be – he’s so much more loving and gracious. So his standard of grace shows me exactly where mine is – under par. But if I’m, say with a colleague at work whose every breath takes the form of gossip, I’m actually quite gracious by comparison. The only solace I have in this debacle, apart from the incredible work on the cross of Jesus Christ, is the ability He allows me to have, to recognize my spiritual poverty.

    April 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm

  3. annyongbunny10

    I mean for me the last time someone judged me was when I was actually standing up for that person for once. In the end I got the whole ” so you think just cause God talks you’re holier than the rest of us”

    That phrase really just shook me. We weren’t even talking about religion or anything close to that. =/

    The truth is that i’m not perfect or more holier than anybody else. The truth is that i’m a mess too. I’m just human. I’m just me.

    I guess God’s slowly teaching me that the closer I get to him. The more I have to learn how to love the one’s around me and the people who aren’t very nice to me. maybe it’s acceptance, and humility too.

    whatever he’s trying to teach me i’ll try my best to learn and be a better person. ^_^

    April 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

  4. DK

    @mifocals – i think that’s what ends up happening a lot with families with kids.. they end up needing another group of friends who are in their same life stage. glad you’ll be joining the club soon!

    @renee – such a good point about your company (who you’re with) dictating your standing on the judgment meter. thanks for your input!

    @bunny – it is unfortunate when we feel misunderstood or judged when we are genuine in our good intentions. hope you don’t feel discouraged and just continue to be a good friend!

    April 13, 2011 at 7:57 pm

  5. judged or categorized or stereotyped i don’t like it

    because i moved around so much…i think it’s always been important to observe first and then speak. call it what you want, a fear of being wrong, a desire to fit it, not wanting to be misunderstood/judged… i’m a situational extravert in that way.

    but i wonder is that a skill or a fear

    another thing that popped into my mind was a xanga entry i wrote eons ago…about being a fan or an expert.

    of how we need more fans of life and fans of kids and fans of food vs experts of life, or of kids or even of food (ie. pixar’s Ratatouille)
    but i’d still want an expert of medicine vs a fan of medicine 🙂

    April 14, 2011 at 12:03 am

  6. Oh Daniel, you are an amazing thinker. And so are you, Abe!! Another great blog… judging… even that lady who played on fb while her son drowned in the tub, so many people judging her… it made me wonder and reminded me of the book The Shack too. You always get my thoughts shooting around like fireworks on Chinese New year!

    April 17, 2011 at 5:46 am

  7. This is a strange qtsueion. Did you have plans for the hearing before you met this man?Do you attend AA, as the judge will ask you this? Do you know how serious these cases can get, you will be lectured, do you really want this man there to hear the very stern lecture you will receive, at the very least. Because it is your first offense, you may get the minimum requirements. I would be prepared. You may have to sit through some awful cases, of repeat offenders, and wonder why the judge is so calm with these offenders, and upset and harsh with the first offenders. The repeat offenders have been to prison before and they are usually there to try and get their license, or were caught driving without a license, and are already in the jurisdiction of the DUI court.No one is perfect. Do you have a lawyer? I don’t think you do, or you wouldn’t be asking here. If you do have a lawyer, it is their right as to whether they want to include him. You can take other closer family members, as this can help, and the judge wiil be less harsh in his lecture. Your sentence won’t be as harsh as the lecture, although first time offenders can lose their license up to at least 30 days to three months, and spend 30 days in prison. It depends on your demeanor and your attitude. Dress nice, and speak politely. Attend an AA meeting, as you have a month to prepare.I knew someone whom lost his job, because he lost his license and couldn’t commute to work. He lived far from his work, and his boss intervened after three weeks, and arranged transportation for him from neighboring workers.He moved closer to his work, as soon as his license was returned. He was terrified of a DUI, and .08 law, before anyone knew how it was. I knew, because I knew him. I attended court once with him, as he did have to check in. He said they were much nicer to him, as someone was with him. For me it was awful, and I’d known him for some time. It was very depressing and it portrayed him in a totally different and not pleasant way. I also attended a few AA meetings with him, and these were interesting and sometimes fun. The people were all different and all there were nice. Some wore black nail polish, some wore business suits, all walks of life. Everyone was very understanding.It is your choice.Speeding tickets are different. They take DUI cases very seriously.

    December 7, 2012 at 1:04 am

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