We Judge. We Opine. We Gel.

Is there a difference between judgment and opinion? They seem the same, yet our response to being on the receiving end varies greatly.

Nobody loves judgment.

We’re not that fond of opinion either, but at least there, we can debate. Judgement rarely offers up a chance for defence. It is presented as a fact carved in stone.

Unless you’re sitting in the docket at court. Perhaps we all need to bring lawyers along for the ride?

Or maybe the sin lies in the sharing? “It’s just my opinion” is often the defence. As though that makes nastiness okay.

Is that the difference between the two? Do judgments have an inherent negativity that opinions lack? Possibly. I tend to find myself defensive with both, though judgment feels like a personal attack in a way that opinion doesn’t.  

Opinion is a little more open-ended.

Is sitting in judgment always a bad thing? Our legal system is based on judging others. What if a negative judgment is correct? What if things are really that bad, awful, and incompetent?

Is judgment okay if things are heading south? Or is judging others always a negative even if the review is good?

A truth like that would bring the concept of the reality competition show into question.

So does the truth about classy behaviour, but we seem to have abandoned that in favour of surface connection, sloppy seconds, and fights that would make pit vipers blush.

Why judge at all?

I don’t think codifying and sharing our opinions does what we think it does. I think we’re conflating judgment and opinion with feedback.

The latter is a good thing. It’s how we learn, improve, and evolve. That doesn’t happen with the criticism and contempt of the former.

In the legal system, judgment is about finding solutions to problems. Is that what we’re doing when we judge the people and situations in our lives? Do we offer our opinions to aid and resolve?

Mostly not.

We judge. We evaluate. We rank.

We gel.

I quite enjoyed “The Menu.”

We’re creatures of comparison and it doesn’t serve us well.

Occasionally, a comparison will provide a behavioural spur or bit of inspiration, but most of the time, comparisons end badly. We evaluate ourselves and come up short.  

We don’t reserve judgment and opinion for others. We take ourselves to court as well.

Once a negative judgment is pronounced, punishment can commence. Judgments and negative opinions rarely arrive consequence-free.

Or perhaps I’m completely adrift and wrong-headed about it all.

It wouldn’t be the first time.

It likely won’t be the last.

Plato was a smart guy.

15 thoughts on “We Judge. We Opine. We Gel.

  1. I think opinion and judgment both have their places. I’m strongly opinionated and judgmental—both of which makes me seem harsh and unlikeable, but ultimately serve me relatively well, at least in the legal environment that I work in. I’m decisive, and make decisions, at least in part, based on my own judgments and opinions. Is it perfect? God no, but I make the right decisions far more often than not. And you are correct, I certainly don’t spare myself from judgment and opinion either—quite the opposite. I often hold myself to a higher standard that I expect from others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear that last sentence. We’re so mean to ourselves.

      I can very much appreciate how both qualities would be necessary in a legal environment. Historically, I’m opinionated and judgmental as well – I’m trying for softer these days, for myself too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t regret the move out of family law. It was good when I started, because I was going through my own separation and custody stuff, but as I healed, it just felt uglier and uglier. I was much happier designing safety systems.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I do offer my opinion at times, and I will state, “This is my opinion on how I see things….” Depending on how something is said and what the intent is defines it as judgement or opinion in my thinking. Not all opinions are judgement. All judgement is a person’s opinion without grace. As you said judgement seems to be set in stone. My opinion of your post is that it makes us think about how we present what we are saying. I liked this post, it made me do some thinking about the difference and definition of opinion and judgement.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here are my thoughts (feedback with opinions, heh) on this post:

    I don’t think I perceive judgment as most people. I’ve been accused of being judgmental, but mostly by people who assume things about me by the way I handle myself. Just because I choose not to live like you does not mean I am judging you. Your life is yours and mine is mine. Why do you (not you, M) feel inferior? Is it maybe that you are not satisfied with how you handle things? Don’t put it on me for handling things differently than you. I don’t do things a certain way because you do them differently. I do things the way I think works best for me.
    I don’t feel like I judge. Yes, I have opinions about things, but I’m no authority on how you should live your life. I worry about making MY life the best it can be.

    Opinions and feedback – I feel like I’ve gotten better at sharing my opinions only at specific times and not just randomly (where I know they won’t add to the conversation). However, feedback is something I tend to give too often. I assume people want to know. I want to know. They… not always. Especially when it’s negative. That’s the part that I have a hard time understanding and have to bite my tongue the hardest (when I catch myself).

    P.S. I enjoyed The Menu, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another thoughful comment. I’m definitely refining my thoughts and opinions 😉

      People sometimes accuse me of being judgmental as well. I think in my case, it’s a combination of three things: resting bitch face, I’m reserved and that can come across as judge-y, and I’m occasionally judgmental.
      I’m working on it.
      P.S. – have you seen “Ready or Not?” (netflix) Similar. It’s becoming a favourite genre of mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel like giving your unsolicited opinion is passing judgement, because when your opinion is asked for, it’s not judgemental because the other person is open minded towards it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.