The Silent Killer: Judgement

Morgan Levy, Contributing Writer

Judgement. It’s something we all have faced, something we all have committed. It is often an involuntary reaction and a natural response because of our habits to compare ourselves to others. However, despite judgmental sentiments incessantly popping into our heads, it is necessary that we address the dangers of expressing judgement and shame onto not only other people, but ourselves. 

How do we classify acts of judgement? Judgmental actions are expressions of critical points of view and harsh, unnecessary opinions. Whether it be in regards to someone’s appearance, life choices or culture, casting judgement on another person is detrimental to their happiness and inhibits their ability to live their lives freely and fully. Judgement can be expressed verbally or indirectly through facial expressions. Indirect expressions of judgement are more hurtful due to ability to hide behind claims such as “but I never said anything to judge you!” In reality, the speaker’s facial expression and glaring eyes delivered the judgement just the same. 

In order to create a less judgmental campus and society we need to understand the dangers of casting shame upon another individual. Judgement is what prevents addicts from reaching out for help and suffering in silence, prevents people from coming out and prevents a student from raising their hand in class.  Judgement is the gun that shoots down the ability of someone to freely express who they genuinely are. Moreover, the constant outside judgment instills a fear, so we judge ourselves before anyone else has the chance to beat you to it. 

Now, this is not me playing an angel and saying that we need to stop judging others, period. To be honest, that is impossible. Judgmental thoughts are inevitable in our heads, however, it is how we handle these thoughts that needs to change. While this is a cliché, we must recommit to the ideal of “think before you speak.” Evaluate if your critique is coming from a place of wanting to constructively help someone or with the intention of tearing someone down. Moreover, when expressing a sincere opinion of constructive criticism, try swapping out “you always do this…” and “you need to stop…” with “I feel that you should…” or “maybe try doing this instead of…” Utilizing personal pronouns and suggestions when expressing an opinion helps the listener feel less attacked and more open to accepting your ideas. 

Judgment is one of those lovely human instincts that our brains are wired to express. However, the inevitable nature of these thoughts give us no excuse to express every piece of criticism that enters our heads. It is often those that fear judgment the most who in turn cast judgement. The fear of enduring shame from others locks our self-expression in a cage. When we reflect on the intent and impact of our opinions before we speak, these cages will disappear, and the ability to embrace ourselves and our individuality will flourish. 

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