The difference between judgment and first impressions

To judge or not to judge seems to be a big question we are asking nowadays. Yet it seems we have come up with an answer: do not judge. But that, however true it may seem, is wrong.

The idea we have of judging presently comes from a false definition. The truth being derived from the dictionary, in which Merriam Webster says that to judge is “to form an opinion after careful thought.” So then what do we actually mean instead of this misused word?

The “judgment” we talk about is actually called a first impression. We walk down the street, we are seen and a first impression is made of us. It is safe to say that this impression is not completely accurate. This impression can be based on how we dress, act, speak, look or even walk.

Therefore it is first impressions that we resent and for good reason.

These impressions should not be made. To experience one small trait and then form an opinion off of one small piece of inconclusive evidence is wrong.

But then where does judgment come back into this? If we turn to the true meaning behind a judgment, one is allowed to judge. Even when this act is not widely accepted we should be allowed and encouraged to judge one another. That is, considering what the dictionary said earlier, after “careful thought”, and then we should commence. Careful thought being the opposite of an impression. Take all the evidence and create a conclusion, regardless of it being positive or negative.

Let’s look at this from a different angle. You get to know somebody after a year of school and this person has a personality that is just not your cup of tea. After all this time, you end up having a lot of moments with this person and you end up finally making the decision, or judgment, to exclude this person from your life.

You are completely entitled to this decision. It is not wrong and should not be countered with the phrase “don’t judge me.”

The decision to exclude someone from your life or to continue on without them should not be taken as a personal attack, as it so often is. You are simply doing what is best for you.

Now say the person did do something bad after you have gotten to know them, so you chose to exclude them from your life based on that action. Should they be able to claim false judgment? Once more: no.

They did something that explicitly caused you to remove them from your life. Also, if they get upset that you are “judging” them, it is most likely that they cannot accept the fact they did something wrong and are facing the consequences. They are not gone because of your spite, but out of you protecting yourself.

We catch ourselves claiming to not judge. We shy away with fear of being judged. That someone will think of an idea untrue to who we really are. Yet that fear is not of judgment; it is out of an impression. That is what we truly fear. Making this judgment warranted after careful thought and not being influence of a lowly impression. So at the end of the day, we should judge. Not to willfully harm, but to simply protect ourselves from harm. If someone actually judges you on that first impression they are the one doing it wrong.


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