18 Nov How ‘Judging’ Disguises Itself As ‘Analyzing’ On Our Dailies
I often get annoyed by the first thoughts I have when I get to know someone for the first time. Whether it’s an introductory conversation or a few first open-up sessions where we really open up to each other about ourselves, I start judging them as if I’m giving scores for every deed that they have done to me or the ones they’ve told me they did. ‘Did they really do the right thing?’ or ‘Could they actually do better than what they’ve done’ keeps popping on my mind and heart on these ‘firsts’ kind of interactions.
It is a common thing. Most people would probably say it’s the smart and strategic thing to do, maybe we could even find the ‘good things’ through having those kinds of lenses on our viewpoints. Even I’m starting to say that it is a smart thing to do, and possibly the right thing to do as we grow up. It is normal for human beings to have those kinds of ‘analysis’ I could say. We could even say we’re not ‘judging’ people, we’re simply ‘analyzing’ them. Yes, it could be a good thing to have, occasionally. But is this habit really the right thing to have (and especially, to do)?
If I say that it’s not right to do that, then I guess I’d be judging anyway because I just appointed myself as the judge of this situation, and now it just sounds like a bunch of judging activities rounding up in circles. But judging actually causes a series of negative consequences, like a line of dominos that falls when the first (or last) card is pushed closer to the other cards.
From a social point of view, judging people hold the risk of inflicting negativity on how they are perceived. The people we judged might be labeled with negative connotations that are not even true to themselves, and when other people also use those connotations, then the people we judged could lose a lot of opportunities just because of how wrong we perceived them.
Of course, the people we judge get all the negative blowbacks. But actually, if we judge other people, it would negatively affect us as well. An article on River’s Edge Rehabilitation And Healthcare Center’s Website states that judging other people is causing harm to ourselves, by turning us into self-critical human beings without us even realizing it, among many other effects which lead us to play the ‘blame game’ and ‘finger-pointing game’ instead of growing and improving to be better.
While we struggle in our journey of growth, our judging habit is getting smarter by putting words on our mouths. Analyzing other people IS an existing, real habit. But be careful, because when we say ‘analyzing other people’, we could actually be ‘judging’ them instead. How does this work?
Carl Jung states that “we should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect. The judgment of the intellect is only part of the truth.” When we’re judging other people, we’re actually pretending to be the judge of those people. How could we be pretending? We might not be an expert on ‘analyzing’ a certain group of people, and even if we are, we have no right to judge them. We become self-appointed judges, pretending to shed light on a grey area with a light that isn’t actually illuminating at all.
When we analyze people, we list the things that tell us about those people. What do they smell like, what kind of clothing do they like, why do they oppose certain acts, why do they agree with certain opinions or certain people, those are the kinds of things we can put on a list when we analyze someone. On the other side, judging might look pretty much the same, but when we’re judging people that means we act as self-appointed judges who determine people’s states by our own opinion. So analyzing is a neutral, intellectual activity. While judging involves personal preferences and biases which blinds the ability to notice the actual truth.
We add our own ‘garnishes’ when we judge, elevating it above analysis. Both are not good ‘filters’ nor ‘tools’ to put someone under a scoreboard. Analyzing people, no matter how factual that is, no matter how different that is from judging people, it’s just strong enough to detect part of the truth and not the whole truth. While judging pulls us back even farther from identifying the truth about someone (and ourselves). Nothing is good enough to put someone under a scoreboard.