Tuesday, 10 July 2012

You’re So Judgmental

Please Note:  It has come to my attention that one of the individuals I was describing (briefly) in this piece has decided that I'm bullying her.  Parts of this blog post have been copied to other places as "proof" along with comments that I'm blocked from seeing, and apparently anyone who reports it or disagrees is then also blocked from.

I do not tolerate copyright violation, and will go as high as it needs to, to have such things removed especially when they are being used incorrectly to satisfy someone's own self-absorbed paranoia and narcissism.  I don't care enough about this person to have any reason to bully them.  I tried to walk away so they brought the argument into my space and didn't like it when no one agreed with them.  Anyway, back to the programme :) - Debbie

You're So Judgmental
Apparently, this is supposed to put me in my place.  I keep hearing it lately, is it the latest way of saying “you’re mean and hurt my feelings”?

A lovely lady I’ve had contact with decided to organise a festival for her little part of the country.  She got in contact with me and asked if I’d be interested in making the trip over the great divide to attend.  I was seriously thinking about it.  She created a group on facebook and added me to it.

She was feeling concerned because she hadn’t received any enquiries about her festival, and it was not too far away.  I know this feeling.  Our first PaganFest, I nearly cancelled a week before because we had a grand total of 2 paid registrations.  In that last week, another 40 flooded in, but it was a nervous time.  You see, many venues have a cut off date for cancellation – it’s part of the contract you sign when you agree to use that venue (along with a deposit).  After that date, you are charged a percentage of your site fee (and don’t expect to see the deposit back) depending on how close to the booking date you cancel.  I get her concern, really I do.

Then one of the people on this group makes the comment “I’m a very last minute sort of person.”  What? Really?  So I asked in my usual abrupt (some will and often do call it bitchy) manner if saying that made it okay to be thoughtless and disrespectful of another’s time and energy.  As you can imagine that led to a barrage of abuse directed my way telling me I’m being judgmental and that I’m the only one being disrespectful here.

Seriously?  I’m being judgmental?  I asked a question and stated a fact.  I’ve lost sleep, hair and money because of “last minute people” who breeze in and expect everything to be provided for them although they only yesterday bothered to inform you that they were in fact coming.  And nine times out of ten, they’re the ones who bitch and moan about what was lacking.

It was judgment based on too much experience.  It was supposed to be a wake-up call that your actions are in fact thoughtless and disrespectful and that you’re old enough to know better.  But instead I’m the bad person.  I received so much abuse and being called “negative” that I chose to leave the group.  I wished her well with her festival, but clearly, I’m not the right kind of self-deluded flake to fit in with the rest of the attendees.

Here’s another facebook howler:

“It’s funny how the most simple things can be taken the wrong way. Before you judge someone for what or how they do something, try just letting that person be themselves without your approval. There is always a reason why people are the way that they are and that reason doesn’t need your approval either.”*

*Punctuation fixed by me (again) because I have issues.

This looked like a nice opening for an intelligent philosophical discussion.  So I asked the obvious question - What if that person “being themselves” is potentially harmful. Either to themselves or others?

I quoted a situation and then received this reply.

“I think you have taken my original message the wrong way. We are now talking about something completely different. I don’t feel the need to justify and explain what I actually meant because you have misunderstood it. How about reading just the very first part of my original message again and then try and fit that into the situation you are talking about. I think you will find there is nothing simple about that situation??? I have every right to be who I am and do what I like without being judged for it, especially by people who can’t read properly. It sort of proves my original point - I done something completely simple and it was taken completely out of context.


Apparently the most simple things can be taken the wrong way.  A vague status is really something deep and personal and I should just butt out.

Following this was a picture posted to my timeline by the person above – the caption reads “Don’t assume my posts are about you.  But if you’re affected, then that must mean you’re guilty of something.”

I’ve since been told that I use the word judgmental wrong and that she uses it correctly.  She knows all about it because she works for an anti-discrimination place.  So?  I’m thinking that perhaps she’s a bit overly sensitive to what she assumes is “judgmental”.

In the situation I quoted to this person, a good friend was making some poor choices.  Her lifestyle was putting herself and her 10 year old daughter at serious risk.  When we raised it to her, she called us judgmental, and said we had no right to sit in judgment of her life.  She was who she was and we should let her be herself and she didn’t need our approval.

In the end, after many frustrating attempts to ‘help’ her, we contacted her ex – the daughter’s father and he removed his daughter from that dangerous situation.

Does anyone see the likenesses between her rant at us, and the facebook post?  Now, since she made the effort to mention her workplace, I get that she’s probably talking about race, fashion or LGBT type lifestyle choices not a woman bringing strangers home from the pub who then stay for months at a time.  But how do you tell the difference between an unfair discrimination and a potentially dangerous situation without using your judgment?

We talk about having judgment as a good thing normally.  It’s what drives the choices we make, the people we associate with, our ability to do a good job and so on.

There are negative people that we describe as “judgmental”.  I can think of a family member who fits this perfectly.  I swear in all the time I’ve known her, I’ve never heard a positive comment leave her mouth.  She thinks that all women with tattoos must be in gangs, and says so, repeatedly.  She complains about her neighbours, she complains about the rest of the family, she complains that we’re never in touch (well duh).  She makes snap decisions about people with the following conjecture – she looks like that so she must be.... This is what I think of as being judgmental.

And regardless of how politically correct we may try to be (or not as the case may be) judging people is part of how we’re made.  First impressions count right?  And second and third.  We see something and relate it to an experience, connections are made, rightly or wrongly.  Whether you open your mouth or keep it inside is a different matter.

Discriminating against another based on race, religion or sexuality isn’t being judgmental, it’s being bigoted.  Learn the difference!


  1. Judgement is a part of human nature. It is a part of nature really. Trying to say that we need to remove that from ourselves is like trying to remove the need to breathe. All animals are given the ability to see, hear, touch, taste and smell things along with the ability to discern those things that we like and don't like for a reason. All creatures judge. It is what makes us individuals. It allows people to be different, to choose friends/partners/jobs/lifestyles/you name it. Judging isn't a bad thing. Perhaps voicing those judgements is what gets some people in trouble, but honesty is what some people demand from their friends. However I think that for some, honesty is allowed, so long as it's only niceness. I prefer things a little different. If I'm a bitch, tell me. If I look hideous in the new skintight hot pink faux leather catsuit (as if anyone would look anything else in that) then bloody well tell me. You don't like my bright red lips, fine. A person can't espouse to hate judgemental people only to judge those who do judge. It's hypocrisy at its finest and just shows how limited people are in their thoughts. Yes that's me judging you. Me, a daughter of Mother Nature, using the judgement She gave me. If you don't like me because of that... fine. Just remember... in the whole time you read this, you were judging me too. And guess what? It didn't hurt one bit.

  2. Judgement is a skill. It takes practice and wisdom to use properly. Many situation are better treated with considerable discernment, the more vague the situation then the more important the need for judgement.

    As for "simple". I no longer have time for simpletons.

    And everything gets misunderstood on the Net, but its not an important place.

    And y'know I might just be able to pull off the catsuit Luana. a few chains and faux bondage gear, a devils tail and set of horns, and an ev'l wink.

    I was hoping to drag you up for the MEF. as they can be fun however got some serious crisises on farm at moment (very hungry cows, daft paperwork needing doing, and a cowshed needing cleaning "Or Else"). Things are _so_ bad I haven't even had time to whine about it on the internet. But I'm doing well... unlike my real agent who sold one of my houses whose son just died of Asthma.

    But what gets me about the "anti-judgemental" crowd.... is the absolute lack of hesitation to pass judgement on you - for your life or your comments.

    And yes it is rude to be last minute...and yes it does happen. As to legimate reasons for cancellations (although generally I try to "donate" my entry fee for the small events, or even larger ones operating at near cost.

  3. The argument has been made that judging is conditioned behaviour and not human nature.

    I put that to a highly trained counsellor and therapist. She said that they, especially, were expected to not judge, but she's never met anyone yet who could honestly say that they didn't judge, it's what you choose to do with that judgment that matters. And while they may have privately judged someone, it was still their job to go and help them. So that made any and all "judgments" invalid - but it didn't stop them from happening.

    We are the sum of our experiences. This is how your brain operates. You do something, it hurts, you may try it again (just to see if it was a fluke the first time), it hurts again. You learn from that and (hopefully) don't do it again. Then you begin to recognise that doing something may have the potential to hurt. This is the beginnings of judgment.

    I believe, that to be unable to judge is to have no brain.

  4. An opinion is a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. It's a subjective belief usually based on personal experience ... so, if someone voices an opinion that you don't like ... take a deep breath, pull up your big girl panties and talk it through. Discourse, debate,discussion, call it an argument if you want to. Who knows ... you may actually be able to prove your point! It doesn't necessarily mean the person is being judgmental when they voice an opinion either ... judgmental people use the words "should" "right" and "wrong" frequently and have an air of higher moral authority. They're as popular as the overly sensitive types...