Friday, December 26, 2014

Cultivating Good Judgement

Judgment has a bad reputation these days. How often do you get told not to judge or "judge not lest ye be judged?" Our society has conditioned us against being perceived as "judgmental." I'm here to say it is not necessarily wrong to be judgmental.

Personally, I'd prefer to be someone of good judgment or even someone possessing judgment rather than being someone who lacks judgment. Judgment means one has a brain of one's own. You think, and you evaluate and make decisions. Far too often, people lump being critical or negative with judgment.

Part of good mental health and overall health is to possess good judgment, which requires you to have commonsense. To be optimally healthy, you must include the ability to reason and judge whether or not someone, something, or some situation is best for you or others.

Accepting judgment into your life means getting the possibility of being wrong sometimes - something far too many of us avoid, like the plague.

Possessing judgment is never more critical than when it comes to people. Choosing with whom you work and spend time demands superior judgment skills. Whether you like it or not, you will have to make some kind of judgment about every person you ever encounter.

Unfortunately, there are generally two kinds of people in our world: predators and prey. You're one or the other - sometimes both. This is boiled down like this: everyone has different motivations for why they do the things they do. Some people exist in life solely to get what's best for them. Generally speaking, most people will do what's in their best interest most of the time. Let's be clear, this does not mean everyone is selfish or that predators are incapable of being kind. Everything must be considered in context. For instance, a mom punches another mom in the face at a Thanksgiving sale to get their kid; the last Elmo is doing so out of love for their kid while the mom getting punched is prey for the mom. The latter is essentially a predator at that moment. Make sense?

Most of us oscillate on the spectrum from pure predator to pure prey. Many tend to stay in the predator area, which informs their actions. These are the people on the lookout for what's in it for them. They look for prey to provide them what they want. They seek the people who don't want to be judgmental, insert themselves into their lives, and become emotional vampires or abusive spouses. They move along when they see that someone can resist their manipulations because the worst of these offenders also want to avoid effort and work. If you make it more trouble than it's worth to them, they move on to their next victim.

Protect yourself. Arm yourself with judgment, and do not be afraid to use it.

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