Judge Like Dredd
And Beware The Don't Judge Me Groomers
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged holds absolutely no sway over me. I expect you to judge me. You should judge me. If, in your opinion, I'm behaving poorly, I'd expect you to distance yourself from me.
That's your right, and you should exercise it freely. Like Judge Dredd, I am my own judge and jury and I carry out my own sentence, which is just and fair.
Demanding not to be judged is demanding that someone lets down their defences. Ask yourself what purpose that serves.
What people should mean when they say "Don't judge me" is "Don't set out to cause me harm if your worldview differs from mine".
But what they actually mean is "Put up with my crap because my rights supersede yours".
I judge people all the time. So do you. It's part of our human skill set, we use our judgement to protect ourselves. We learned long ago in our evolutionary journey to see the tail twitch, to hear the hiss and to respond appropriately. Using judgement in dangerous situations is how our ancestors were able to pass down their DNA to us.
I have learned to my cost that the demand not to be judged is a red flag which should raise your hackles. "Danger, danger Will Robinson!"
My considered opinion, based on learned experience and hard-earned wisdom, is that only those who are intending to behave badly - or already are - are obsessed with not being judged. They make the demand you be non-judgemental as part of the grooming process. If they can get you to agree to not judge them, if they can sell that as an ethical stance, you will tolerate ever-escalating horrors from them for a longer time frame.
If you agree to the contract of a relationship without judgement you are setting yourself up to be fleeced. Nobody likes to admit they've been made a fool of, so cognitive biases will ensure that we convince ourselves that non-judgement was the correct stance long after it's clear that it was foolish. This in turn will allow our con-friend to bamboozle us for protracted periods, before we finally admit that we should have been judging their poor behaviour all along.
People who shout "Don't judge me" are nearly always hiding something. That's a lesson learned from a snake in the grass psychopath who called herself my friend. She was one of the least ethical, most vicious, manipulative, damaging and abusive people it has ever been my ill favour to know. She harmed her children, her (now ex) husband, her friends, parents, co-workers, bosses. Everyone she could damage for fun and profit, she did. And one of her favourite catchphrases was "Don't judge me".
No wonder she was keen to convince people to let their defences down.
There's a subset of Don't Judge Me Groomers who will also try to claim that there's no such thing as truth. They will go to great lengths to try to appear philosophical, when they know full well that most of us are just discussing truth on a granular level. It's true that I have been sitting here at my desk typing for a couple of hours. It's not true that I went to the shops.
Obfuscating and being disingenuous about the word truth is another clanging alarm bell.
If it's true that you're a liar and a cheat, I expect you to have a problem with the word truth. If you try to convince me that reality is fluid, or that "your" truth is equal to actual, verifiable facts, you're fooling nobody but yourself. I see you.
Judging Doesn't Mean Damaging
When I judge people and find them wanting, I walk away. I don't try to tell them how to live, or gossip about them, or get involved in feuds.
Your life is not my concern, unless you directly affect me or my loved ones. I might find you repugnant, but I find plenty of things repugnant, and I simply turn my head and keep walking.
However, I certainly do judge. I must pay attention to the behaviour of others, to my own instincts, to my feelings and to my own ethics. I must use my judgement to protect myself. And I must walk away if I find others wanting.
So yes, I will judge you.
And you should also judge me.
And if you're telling me not to judge you? Well, I'm judging you for that, too.
Alison Tennent, Queensland, Australia, May 2021
Copyright Alison Tennent 2021, all rights reserved. Scottish by birth, upbringing and bloodline, Australian by citizenship. If you’re reading this anywhere but The Garrulous Glaswegian, Vocal+ or Medium, this work may have been plagiarized.
Wishing you, as always, fair winds and a following sea: