Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7th - 12th, 2009:

Vancouver, WA


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Judgment n. - criticism or censure judgmental adj.

In life we all will pass judgment on ourselves or others around us from time to time. The ability to describe an experience without using judgments is an acquired skill. One that we will be discussing at our next group.

Until then, consider this: Judgments are like shorthand communication. Example:
My husband is making a deli sandwich and he has all the ingredients out on the counter. When the sandwich is ready for the ham, he pulls the meat out of its package and to him it looks spoiled; but since I had it sliced fresh at the deli counter, there is no date on it. So he asks me, "Hon, is this ham bad?"

My husband just made a judgment. Bad is a judgment. He could have asked if the meat had passed its expiration date. We then could have discussed the likelihood of the ham causing his stomach to become upset. If perhaps I knew the expiration date to be yet in the future, he and I could discuss the impact of the ham not being spoiled and different reasons why he asked the question in the first place. Or, I could simply tell him yes or no. Shorthand. He needs a simple to the point answer, so as to know whether to put the meat on his sandwich or not. This judgment effected our experience positively.

There are other experiences in life that using shorthand, or judgments, would be preferrable or even necessary. In contrast there are areas where shorthand would be considered rude. Example:
You and your friend are shopping, she comes out of the dressing room and she asks you how she looks. You can clearly see that the color she has chosen for her blouse causes her skin color to flush. You tell her . . .

"That color looks terrible!" or "You know, that shade of yellow flushes your skin, let's try another color"

The former would impact your experience in a negative way. Obviously judgments have their place, but the use of describing what you need to communicate in longhand so to speak, has its benefits as well; in this case it would have effected the experience positively. So is the same when you are dealing with yourself on a mental level. 

Why useful? Judgments shape the way we think and perceive our environment. The more adept we become at being able to determine whether or not the judgment is useful, the better we will be able to effectively interact in our environment.


This week make note of when you are using a judgment and ask yourself, was it necessary? Did it effect my thoughts/decisions in a negative way or a positive way? What did you notice?

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