How to stop being judgmental.

I googled judgmental to see what was out there. Here is an article with lots of useless advice from Zen Habits. The gist (and I oversimplify) is that if there are people you don’t like, try to understand them, spend a few days analyzing your thoughts and learn to love them. I prefer to spend my time with people I like.

Here is another article with this definition of judgmental, one which I do not agree with.

“Judgmental is not stating an opinion or even labeling something as “good” or “bad”. Being judgmental is when based on one quality of someone or something you conclude about his whole nature, about all his other qualities. You judge his wholeness based on one aspect. “

It seems to me that the term “judgmental” is used most often to stifle the expression of unwelcome opinions. This definition seems to refer to prejudice. Here is the article.

Here is another definition, this time from the free dictionary.

Adj. 1. judgmental – depending on judgment; “a judgmental error”; “I think that she is too judgmental to be a good therapist”

nonjudgmental – refraining from making judgments especially ones based on personal opinions or standards; “sympathetic and nonjudgmental”

This seems to imply that we should not make judgments based on personal opinions or standards. Well then what should we base our judgments on, or should we just not judge?

As someone commented at my blog, to judge someone as too judgmental is to be judgmental. So the admonition to not be judgmental is illogical and, in my view, to be ignored. There, I am being judgmental again.

Steve Kaufmann


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