Ahhh. Something that I think that we are all guilty of at one point or another.
Actually, I think most of us do it everyday.
I think it's natural, and quite automatic.
But does that make it right?
I'm not sure about the answer on that, but I think it depends on if your "judgment" is malicious or not.
We all come to conclusions about people when seeing them for the first time. What they are wearing, how they look, and how they are presenting themselves. This is why we have all of these (fabulous) reality shows about how to dress yourself better. All of these shows have a point. If you represent yourself in a certain way, people assume things about you.
For example. When I roll out of bed and take the Munchkin to school with coffee breath, shmeared makeup, and crazy hair, and dragging the little ones with me, someone might assume that I have a bit of a crazy life with three small children. Uh, yeah, crazy wouldn't be the word, but close. If I then drag the two little ones with me while having the coffee breath, shmeared makeup, and crazy hair to run errands, someone might label me as possibly not caring enough about myself to get ready, and possibly even put me in the trashy category. We don't like to think that people are going to make these assumptions, but that's reality. I don't have the time in the morning to get myself showered and prettied up. I will forever take the Munchkin to school bleary eyed with coffee breath. I will tell you that every parent and teacher at her school has been where I am, and don't think anything of it!
This is where the putting yourself into someone else's shoes comes into play. When I see harried women toting one, two, three or more children around wearing something that kind-of doesn't resemble jammies, and possibly wearing slippers as shoes (hey, I've done that too), I feel her pain and time limits because I know she is probably trying to get as much done as she can while she can. Not everyone thinks that way.
Are we able to judge without being judgmental? I know that sounds like it isn't possible, but I think it is.
You can come to conclusions about people, but not hold your assumption about them against them. You never know what is going on with someone, you don't wear their shoes. You can only try to see more than one side of the story.
If you come across someone who is rude, or one of your friends says something that rubs you the wrong way, you may consider that they could just be having a bad day. Try to see it from the opposite side of where your conclusion landed you.
Some people have had the opinion that while I was working, I was unavailable to be with my husband and family (uh....that would be one of the people that lives in my house who shall remain nameless). In this case, it was only seen from one point of view. I was sacrificing time with my family to work and bring in money to help support the family. This goes for time spent at school as well. I am trying to better myself to make a better life for my family. Other people would ask me how I managed to juggle everything. How did I keep going on 5 hours of sleep, working full time, and three small children and a husband. Why I must be superwoman, right? Well, superwoman maybe (but I'm still waiting for my cape), but I didn't do it alone, and I had the support of my very wonderful husband and totally awesome friends.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with two other moms last night and had a great time talking to them! They are moms who use cloth diapers, and breastfeed, and all that good stuff. I am not one of those moms. I love my disposable diapers, and breastfeeding didn't and wouldn't have worked for me. But the most wonderful part of this? I didn't think of them as tree-hugging hippie moms, and they didn't think that I was a horrible mom. We are all just moms who are trying to be the best that we can be and doing what works for us!!!! And, we can offer advice and an ear to one another if all doesn't go as planned. I can also feel confident in saying that there will be no judgment involved in that. We are trying to support each other and help each other in any way that we can. Now THAT is totally awesome!
So what I guess I'm trying to say is that while we judge people, we don't have to be mean and cruel about it. We can come to our conclusions, but try on the other shoe to see how it fits. Maybe just maybe you might understand more people than you ever thought possible.