Judgement has a bad reputation. There seems to be an almost intense need to not, ever, under any circumstances, be considered judgemental. Well, I just want to say that there is nothing wrong with judging people, things, or situations.
A judgement is the evaluation of something before us which results in making a decision. For example:
"The clothing that person over there is wearing is inappropriate for the weather."
This is a sound judgement. If it's hacking down with rain and you see someone in flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt you can judge that their choice of clothing isn't ideal.
Judgement is based on reasoning and reasoning is tied into our experience. That means we can make some silly or unreasonable judgements.
"Red cars are terrible."
When I was twelve I went on a road trip with a friend and her dad, who was a paraplegic. His carer travelled with us and the four of us were stuffed into a red van. Her dad smoked cigars and his carer smoked cigarettes. We drove down the coast of California and through to Nevada. We stopped in San Francisco, San Diego, Las Angeles and Las Vegas. It was hot and the combination of the smoke and heat meant I was nauseous pretty much the entire time we were on the road, which was about fifty per cent of the entire journey.
I associate this feeling of nausea with the colour of the car. It's silly reasoning based on my memory of the experience.
Either way, it's my judgement based on my experience and evaluation of a situation. No, red cars aren't terrible. But for me, I have a weird association so I know to be aware of this.
Obviously there can be some really harsh judgements.
"Those clothes are stupid and only a loser would wear them."
Yes, that's a judgement, but it's not a very sound one. There's a lot more going on there than what was on the surface. That is a judgement based in a very personal opinion of what other people should or shouldn't do.
Clothes can't be stupid. Inappropriate, yes. Impractical, definitely. But stupid?
The point I'm trying to make is that we get awfully hung up on wanting to be seen as not being judgemental when there is nothing wrong with making a judgement. A sound judgement can protect us, prepare us, or put us at ease.
If I meet someone who is particularly contrary, almost the the point of it being like a hobby for them, I am able to clearly make the judgement that they are someone I find to be hard work. Sometimes I don't mind hard work. It helps me grow and change and learn new things. But other times I can see that, by choosing to socialise with them, I may be opening myself up to a lot of stress or irritation. I can make the good judgement that I would rather not spent my time with them.
The important thing is to remember that when we make a judgement it comes from a place of moral ground and personal belief. It's about you as an individual, not the thing or person which caused you to make the judgement in the first place.
When we pay attention to our judgements and why we make them, we can also do a lot to change our own outlook on life. By having more experiences and learning from them we can make better and better judgements, if we choose to. Then we can make healthy, practical and safe choices for ourselves. We can be more prepared for different outcomes and developments and ultimately, be more open to the world around us.