Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I will judge you




I have a teensy, weensy little problem with being judgmental.

I mean, it's not a big deal.

For example, the other evening we were listening to the radio and the folk singer dedicated his next song to his daughter, Sienna.

"Sienna?!" I nearly shrieked. "What kind of person names their kid after a minivan? I mean, what's her brother named? Sorento?"

But everyone does that  . . . right?  (No offense to any Mamas or Papas of Siennas -- or Sorentos for that matter -- out there.)

The truth is, I've been judgmental as long as I can remember. When I first took the Myers-Briggs back in Sunday School, I didn't really understand the difference between having a judging or perceiving personality. But my parents laughed pretty hard when they heard that all but one of my answers indicated a judging personality.  (Now why we were taking Myers-Briggs personality tests in Sunday School, I can not tell you. All I know is that I was raised in the United Church of Christ which is filled with dirty hippies bleeding-liberals the belief that we are all God's children and that there is no wrong or right way to go about religious instruction.) To this day, my introversion and judging are the two factors of my personality that show up most decidedly on such tests.

And you know those quote board you kept in your dorm room or apartment during college? One of the quotes attributed to me was: "I don't know her and I don't want to know her. I just want to judge her."  I think the quote was somehow related to someone's Facebook profile page. (Back when Facebook was just for college kids. Remember those days?) Regardless of how that quote came about, I mean, good grief.

I swear I'm not an awful, heinous person. I'm perfectly capable of being friends (good friends) with people who don't share my political, religious, or ideological belief system. I'm tolerant of other cultures. I try to approach life with an open mind.  I've just always had an issue with expressing my snap judgements verbally. Apparently the axiom "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" just never stuck in my brain.

Lately, I've been thinking I should probably work on not saying the first thing that pops into my head. You know, at least not all the time. 

But it's hard, you know.

Like last night, when I was sitting on couch, knitting away on a sock and noticed an unfamiliar truck rumble by the cabin. Because the cabin's perched on the tip of a bay, we have a great view of the road that loops around the bay and as I watched the truck creep up the road it became obvious that these people had no idea where they were. The truck went all the way up the farthest driveway, then backed out and stopped at the far end of the road.

Four men popped out of the truck's cab, all dressed in grey tops and jeans. Three of them had fishing poles in their hands and they each proceeded to hop onto various docks. Not public docks, mind you, docks owned by summer residents of the bay. One of them even jumped onto a dock which is anchored slightly offshore. (The docks are all anchored "at sea" during the winter months so they can bob around when the ice goes out and not get ripped to shreds.) The fourth member of the party walked down the road, picking up rocks and hurling them into the lake.Then, after about 10 minutes of casting their lines and throwing rocks, just as suddenly as they'd come, they all popped into their truck and drove off, never to be seen again.

All the while, I sat on the couch, knitting away. All that was needed to make me a "real" old biddy was a shawl, some glasses on a beaded lanyard, and a rocking chair. I didn't say anything at all. (Full disclosure: I was home alone.) But I sure judged the snot out of them.

Please make me not feel like a horrible person and tell me I'm not alone in making awful, off the cuff, "I don't know the whole story" judgements. And please, if you know how to make it stop, let me know!  I promise I won't judge . . . too harshly. ;)

 

7 comments:

  1. If it makes you feel any better, I don't trust people at all who claim they don't judge others. We all do it. Its useful functions are: decision making! humor! venting! weeding out the weirdos (like those guys in the truck... wtf/.)

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  2. Haha I'm the same way! Last week-end I looked outside and down by our boat house there were these two guys. They were walking around look at the building than the one guy went to grab a large stick that was nearby. I was like Jon! they're going to break into the boat house! So he yelled out the door asking if we could help them with something. Turns out they had a rocket stuck on the roof. But I thought for sure they were a bunch of hooligans up to no good.

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  3. Oh, you know me. We've probably had some of our best judging moments together. I am unrepentant (well, maybe slightly repentant) and am likely a horrible influence.

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  4. I am sorry for your judgmental personality. I NEVER EVER... LOL. I am judgmental, it reduced itself over the years - maybe is the bright side of my menopausal moments that I can step back and shrug my shoulders. The happening described, well, is it really judgmental or the wish someone had an inner moral compass or at least common sense? latter seems to be come so rare that it turns into a super power. Now how is that for hiding my judgmental moments.

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  5. Ada I totally laughed throughout this entire post! I will say you are not alone...but that's all I will say :)

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  6. I was recently informed i was very judgmental. I of course was shocked! and completely denied that trait. I thought about it for 3 days...and I have officially changed! I was actually so surprised to discover this in my heart I went to talk about it to my priest!!!

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  7. I had a good chuckle with this post :-)
    I say it's human nature to judge unfortunately, (a little or a lot depends on the person). Everyone does it, it's just sometimes it stays in your head and sometimes it slips out.
    ... and I think I would have been knitting and judging in that moment too!

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