Can we really stop ourselves from judging others?


The greatest moral failing is to condemn something as a moral failing: no vice is worse than being judgmental.

Julian Baggini

Each of us face this situation in our day-to-day lives. It’s an involuntary activity that we do. We meet people, we hear them, we see them, we observe them and based on those observations we draw some conclusions and those conclusions form our judgements. We seem to forget the fine line between judgement and facts, those conclusions will only tell you facts about the person that may differ by circumstances not how he actually is.

Difference between facts and judgements:-

Tha data that our brain collects on seeing people from near or afar is actually a simple information gathering which is followed by information processing. Now the information gathering part is something that we don’t have any control over. Based on appearances we do gather some superficial informations involuntarily, but trying to deduce something from that information will lead you to some facts that may be true or may not be and this deduction is information processing. There, at this point of information processing it branches out to facts or judgements. Now some people will simply take them as facts but wouldn’t base their behaviour towards that person based on those facts. Those facts are just there for them to be cautious and aware not for any other purpose. While the other bunch of people give in to their tendency of forming judgements based on the information they processed. They happen to view the world from their own glass and have a very myopic view where they think , that what they think about a person is true. They have their own prejudices against a person and will behave towards them based on that. These people really believe in that famous adage that “First impression is the last impression”. Now, the first impression really has an impact on what a person is going to think about you, atleast at the beginning, but you can always change their opinions later on when they really see who you are.

It’s very easy to be judgmental until you know someone’s truth.

We cannot judge anybody based on first impressions or visual and behavioural informations that we draw upon meeting them. Usually we happen to judge others based on those facts about a person, but we don’t know if the person behaves or responds in the same way for every other similar situations he faces. So if we really come to know a person, then sometimes at a later point of time we realise that our judgement was based on baseless conclusions that we withdrew on first seeing them. Sometimes the judgements that we draw are correct and sometimes not.

When it comes to the behaviour of a person we generally can’t predict it accurately, because our own behaviour itself changes over a period of time. The way you would have responded to a situation in the past, you might not respond to them in the same way in future probably . So, why do we expect that the other person is always going to stay the same way and henceforth, based on my first conclusions I’m always going to think of him in that way. No! we change and that’s why we are humans.

mt       Our heart, our mind, our behaviour, if not fickle then also it changes over a period of time or for some people or for certain circumstances. Just as a river doesn’t flows in a straight line from where it originated to its final destination, it changes its course based on the terrain and obstacles but the essence remains the same, as it is the same river and so are we. Our core remains the same, the real essence of who we are but still, our life itself is our own path to self discovery. Maybe you will find yourself doing something in the future that you might never would have thought yourself of doing in the past or present. So why to impose those judgements on others when we would not like anybody else imposing them on us.

So how do we really stop ourselves from judging others? Well, for people who judge others it comes naturally to them without giving it a thought. So they can’t stop judging others but wait not all hope is lost. There is still a way to curb those instincts. Atleast even if you judge people don’t behave towards them based on your judgements. In that way you can really come to know whether you judged them right or wrong, but before that try to behave normally towards them. Come on, we are all humans nobody is going to hold it against you that you judged them wrongly at first, but you should also not hold your judgements against them then only you will know, were you really wrong about them.

So try to stop forming judgements and focus on facts if possible, and if not then try to control your behaviour. So don’t try to be judgemental and if next time you do then try to remember this saying

 “Even god doesn’t propose to judge a man till his last days, why should you and I?”
Dale Carnegie