“There are many things that people do happily that I can’t imagine why they would do it. But I have to say that even though I am critical or judgmental of society at large, I’m not critical of people individually. We are who we are.” ~Ian MacKaye
After my dad died, I felt the need to go a little crazy. That’s not true, I had been feeling this way for a few weeks now, but this was the excuse I needed to let it happen. I needed to feel alive, to feel like I was doing something exciting and different even if the decisions I made were ultimately stupid. No matter what I did, I was ready to face any consequences my actions may have.
Luckily, I have the best friends who were willing to help me out on this little endevour. Our end of year staff party was coming up and this was the perfect avenue for us to let our hair down and end the school year with a bang.
We decided to have a “judgment free” night. No matter what happened, none of us would be allowed to judge the others, or talk about one with another, etc. We hugged on it, took a jell-o shot on it, and pinky promised that we would not think badly of each other, or at the very least, if we did, we would keep those judgey thoughts to ourselves.
Long story short, a lot of fun was had and a lot of craziness ensued. It was exactly what I needed and while no boats were stolen, I don’t regret a thing about that night. It wasn’t until I was driving around the next day that I realized there was something wrong with the night. Then it hit me.
Why the hell did we have to plan a “judgement free night”? Why did we have to pinky swear and promise that we weren’t going to judge either? As friends, pretty close friends, shouldn’t we already be doing that? Shouldn’t we simply be supporting our friends in the decisions that they make instead of spending that time judging their lives and their actions?
What drives us (as women, as a society) to judge others so often? Is it jealousy? The desire to always be right or have things our way? That when we identify what we feel to be a “mistake” or “lapse of judgement” in someone else, our life begins to look better or more put together?
I wish I could say that I wasn’t judgmental, but I am guilty of this as well. And need to stop. Like, really need to stop. But how do you do that? Not talking about people is one thing,but how do you tell your brain to stop having those thoughts to begin with?
And because I judge, I know other’s judge. And because of this, I don’t know if I am ever truly honest with anyone. I tend to keep a lot to myself, “secrets” about myself that, while I don’t care if others know, I simply don’t want to be judged by this information nor do I want the information passed on from person to person without my consent.
It’s a sickening feeling, being scared to be yourself or say what you really think simply in order to avoid judgement.
I wonder how much time I would free up in my life if I was not only able to stop judging, but also stop having anxiety over being judged.
Maybe, one day, I’ll be able to find out.