I noticed that while conversing, I and others will interject a, "That's good," or a, "That's terrible!" or a, "How nice!" At first, I thought it was a way to be involved and to tell your conversation partner that you are listening and care about what they are saying.
However, I have noticed that sometimes some people will say, "That's nice," when I think it's bad. Or there are times you know you don't know what to say. Like when someone tells you they are pregnant. To some people that is good, yet to others it is unwelcome. Like a teenager saying they are pregnant would get the response, "I am so sorry, what are you going to do?" This is judging. But what else do we say? If we say, "Congratulations!" and they are not happy, that doesn't help. This is an obvious example, but some are less obvious.
Sometimes, its judging every little thing someone says. Like this:
Fred: I went for a walk today.
Barney: That's good, Fred
Fred: I got hit by a car!
Barney: That's terrible, Fred!
Fred: Well, I didn't get hurt
Barney: That's good, Fred.
Fred: The driver gave me $1,000 for the trouble
Barney: That's great, Fred!
Fred: But some hoodlums saw him give me the money and they mugged me.
Barney: That's terrible, Fred!
Fred: But I opened a can of whoopass on them! Haya!
Barney: That's great, Fred!
Fred: Well, I put a guy in the hospital.
So why do we judge everything in conversation? And more importantly, how do we stop doing that? What do we say that doesn't include judging?
Fairy Princess I loved this conversation yes I can understand it very well! LOL
It reminds me of the farmer that was not moved by anything he heard. He kept saying when someone said "That's great" or "That's terrible" "Maybe it is maybe it isn't" It was some story about his son getting a broken leg that kept him from being drafted and getting killed in the military.
I think the answer to your question is in the word Conversation and if we expand it to 'conversation in context' and further to 'conversation in context to relationship' you'll notice that whether judging or not depends on your relationship with the other person and the context of the conversation.
Certain relationships, you will be judging as your role in that relationship demands it...others not.
Let's take the scenario of a teenager girl- BETTY who is not married and a guy - FRED...and she has just announced..'I am pregnant'. let's see how different relationship between them will illicit a different response (and I am totally making this up as I go along, lets see...sounds fun)
Fred as 'culprit' teenage boyfriend: 'Oh @#@$@$@$&&&' or more likely 'Do I know you?' or 'get away from me'
Fred as normal father: After possibly beating himself up, grounding her, cutting off her pocket money and oxygen supply 'What were you thinking? Did I not teach you anything? Is this how you pay me back? Don't look at me for help!' (massively judging and means it, it's all her fault. Won't even inquire who the guy is)
Fred as a single father: ' Oh great! You are now just behaving like your mother! She got pregnant with you when she was your age and look how our life turned out! Knowing you, the guy must be a loser.If that's what you want go ahead but find your own damn place!' (Humongous Judging again, in one swoop judged everyone else BUT HIMSELF and means it as well)
Fred as cool guy friend: 'I told you, that guy was a jerk. Don't tell me I didn't warn you' (Judging her indirectly)
Fred as a possible stoner friend: 'Awesome. That's a gift girl! Where's the party?' (No judging)
Fred as a bratty younger brother: ' Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I am going to move into your room as soon as you're thrown out of the house' (No judging, he is in his own World)
Fred as a counselor: ' Okay, the first thing to do is not to panic. We are here for you. We believe in maintaining confidentiality, avoiding judgmental stances, and gearing communication to cognitive maturity. (??? ...Fred here would say the same thing if it was a Gorilla sitting in front of him. Professional and hence no judging)
So you see, this can go further with different responses if Fred's belief's were pro/against teenage pregnancy, religious views, personal morals, views on pre-marital sex etc. etc. Also, if Fred as a father's political views depending on the guy responsible's ethnicity, race etc. etc...it can get pretty complex.
But, in a general conversation, around a dinner table, when someone has just met Betty, when they don't have any long term emotional or any other relationship to her, then I think the social etiquette would demand that a basic, neutral...as neutral as it can be, a balanced (supportive yet not encouraging) response is unavoidable.
Something like 'Wow' followed by pretend coughing thereby forcing the next person's turn on the table. If probed further, that 'Wow' can be swung either way....'wow, that's unfortunate timing'...or 'wow, you are such a confident young lady' (I am not joking I would actually do this option:)
So, in real life, judging cannot be avoided but it can be held back while expressing it. It cannot be avoided because we all have our own moral codes, our beliefs, our viewpoints. It's not a question of right or wrong, it is like that in real life, knowingly or unknowingly we are walking a certain yellow line and everyone not on it, is/can/will/should be judged. They SHOULD NOT BE, but they will be. Whether we admit it or not. Whether we verbalize it or not. Human nature of conformity I guess.
So, I may not express it over the dinner table, but you know, as soon as I am out the door, depending on my views and my relationship to Betty ..its either going to be like 'You know what, if she wants to have the baby, I am going to extend all my resources to her. I will stand by her'....or...'Tch, her life's going all downhill from here on'
Okay, obviously the names and scenarios are made up for the example only -- disclaimer:)
When I am having a good conversation, I do not notice my responses, but the other person seems as engaged as I am, so I hope that we are doing okay.
It is only when I am bored with the conversation that I notice my responses...and I tend to notice when others are bored with me! So I guess that is a form of judgment, but I never really thought of it that way. Rather, I am more of a one-on-one person, and I seek out those I enjoy conversing with...So I guess I need to examine that part of me...
Perhaps you are lacking some people with which to have good conversations! Do you have a hard time following the conversation? I know that with my ADD, if the talk isn't really engaging, I tend to let my mind wander...not nice of me! :)
But I cannot say that I judge people through conversation. Rather, I just let life flow, I guess. I really never gave it a thought until you asked. It don't think that I judge either the person or the conversation.
If you are seeing this message then the Inward Quest system has noticed that your web browser is behaving in an unusual way and is now blocking your active participation in this site for security reasons. As a result, among other things, you may find that you are unable to answer any questions or leave any comments. Unusual browser behavior is often caused by add-ons (ad-blocking, privacy etc) that interfere with the operation of our website. If you have installed these kinds of add-ons, we suggest you disable them for this website