Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?

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Zen_Warrior

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Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« on: February 20, 2019, 06:47:49 PM »
My former-best-friend's parents raised her and her 4 siblings to believe that having any unwanted emotions (anger/sadness/fear) as a reaction to others' behaviors was judgmental and should be avoided at all costs. This, and their belief that "loving" someone is accepting them and boundaries are "trying to change them" and the opposite of love became such issues in our friendship that we haven't spoken in almost a year.

BUT I just realized - Could it be that their attempts NOT to fear others contributed to their "blind eye" with their neighbor, who they hired to tutor their children (ages 5 to 12 at the time) and who is now (30 years later) in a three-way-relationship with BOTH of their older daughters? When they finally realized this was the case (when the older daughter announced her pregnancy) they felt extremely guilty. 

To me, being careful about others isn't JUDGMENTAL, it's SURVIVAL.  For example, when a mutual friend (who lives alone in a completely detached house) gave strangers on the internet her address, to me it was objectively unsafe, while to her I was "being judgmental" by expressing concern.

Thoughts?
I'm trying, with the will of a warrior, to stay zen!

"Boundaries ensure that the consequences of a person's actions land squarely on his/her shoulders." -(I wish I knew who originally wrote/said this!)

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StayWithMe

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2019, 07:11:08 PM »
I really feel sorry for those siblings.  Were the parents highly religious?

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Zen_Warrior

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2019, 08:28:58 PM »
RIGHT?! That's another thing with this friend - she has NO compassion for her older sisters. It baffles me! But she feels like they deserve the brain-washing this guy has done!

They weren't religious, but live "off the grid" and think it's unhealthy when people don't do drugs on occasion for spiritual experiences (so I guess they match the "hippy" culture?).
I'm trying, with the will of a warrior, to stay zen!

"Boundaries ensure that the consequences of a person's actions land squarely on his/her shoulders." -(I wish I knew who originally wrote/said this!)

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biggerfish

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2019, 08:59:18 PM »
Discernment is critically important to one's mental health and to the protection of one's children. My sister never said a negative thing to her stepchildren about their disordered mother but i thought this was a mistake, for how are they to learn discernment?

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Thru the Rain

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2019, 01:05:56 AM »
We should all show judgment - especially parents when protecting their children.

Judgmental has a very negative connotation though. It sounds to me like these parents landed on a word to defend their own poor parenting skills.

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StayWithMe

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2019, 01:38:26 AM »
It's about control.  My parents didn't want me to be judgemental when they were trying to choose my friends.  But they were certainly judgemental about some of the friends I had.

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clara

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2019, 12:47:43 PM »
Such high-sounding platitudes would fit into an ideal world, but that's not a world we live in.  These parents, and people like them, seem to confuse being judicious with being judgemental.  They're not quite the same, and there's no reason a child can't be taught to be judicious without being unfairly judgemental.  I agree with Rain that these parents seem to be covering for lazy parenting.  They couldn't be bothered to make the finer points so just preached at their kids to not be "judgemental", period, with no further discussion.  Such black-and-white thinking is easier.




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countrygirl

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2019, 04:25:59 PM »
Great differentiation between "judicious" and "judgmental," Clara!   I'm going to remember that.   

Regarding black and white thinking, I remember pointing out to my former N friend that things weren't so black and white as she thought.   Her thinking they were was yet another reason that our friendship did not last.   

All in all, Zen_Warrior, it sounds as if this friendship was likely to become, former, unfortunately.  I feel sorry for your friend, and especially sorry for the situation with the older sisters.  But having a friendship with someone who has those attitudes is almost impossible.

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Zen_Warrior

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2019, 07:59:56 AM »
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts! I agree that there's a huge difference between being "discerning" or "judicious" and being judgmental.

It seems like my friend's parents were really misguided. I miss her as its a relief to have some understanding of her, but I couldn't handle defending my healing all the time!
I'm trying, with the will of a warrior, to stay zen!

"Boundaries ensure that the consequences of a person's actions land squarely on his/her shoulders." -(I wish I knew who originally wrote/said this!)

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Marya

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 06:09:29 PM »
The whole concept of judgment and non-judgement is a very frustrating one, as most people do not properly understand it and will use it against you whenever it suits them...flipping back and forth between a "do not judge!" attitude and a "judgement-free-for-all." For example, the person who disagrees with your viewpoint will suddenly become ultra-fussy and pronounce that you "should not judge others!" but then, an hour later, they are ranting about how horrible the world and people are, judging left and right.

Improper judgement is judging things that you can have no real idea about. For example, someone on the street frowns, and you think they are plotting to destroy the world. You have no idea why they frowned, but suddenly you are acting like their "judge," as though you can officially "declare" what is truly going on with them.

Proper judgement is looking out for yourself! "There is a creepy looking guy standing on the corner at midnight...maybe I better call a taxi rather than walk by him." You are just playing it safe based on external information; the external information being that sometimes creepy looking people who are out at midnight can do bad things, so it is wise to be cautious just in case. You are not calling the police and saying, "creepy guy on corner...I definitively know that he has caused all the violent crimes in this city just because he looks creepy, and that he is a certain danger to anyone who goes near him! Come get him!"

I had a best friend who was like what you mentioned. When I went to her and told her some of the things she was doing were hurting me, she told me that I was "trying to change her" and that it was "just the way that she was." I was not asking her to change who she was, just some of her behaviors that were hurtful. Huge difference! But she could not see that. She has a family member who is very abusive, and she hopes that this person will find someone who "loves them for who they are," rather than realizing, "they need to change some very important things about their behaviors if they want to contribute to a relationship."

It is sad, but some people just do not understand these things. They may have been raised not to judge, but they were never taught the proper understanding of what that means.


« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 06:16:59 PM by Marya »

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Starboard Song

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2019, 10:52:29 AM »
The other major error is regarding boundaries. Boundaries are broadly understood, in this context, to not be at all analagous to a fence, which may restrain and control a dog, for instance. Boundaries are not a border we put around others or their choices to control them. They are borders for ourselves.

They express what we will and will not do, or engage with.

I consider boundaries to be a more extended version of morality. Where one person says "I will not sell drugs," another says "When my mother once again starts in on a tirade about the immigrant kids selling drugs, I will not engage in that conversation. Instead, I will try to politely slide past it. If that does not work, I will excuse myself rather than contribute."

The latter person does not at all seek to directly change their mother. They are expressing their own appetite for participation in a particular patterned conversation that they find offensive, hurtful, or even just tedious.
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Zen_Warrior

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2019, 12:38:56 PM »
The other major error is regarding boundaries.

It interests me that people are taught such different things about boundaries. I was taught that boundaries are like an Orange peel with a white interior and orange exterior.

The white part is our internal boundaries, which is how we act or even react to others. So with my favorite phrase "boundaries ensure the consequences of a person's actions land squarely on that person's shoulders" it means if we see someone cheating/stealing/abusing we don't let ourselves judge that person for it, worry about it, or continue further contact with it. This seems to fit your fence analogy if the loose dog was aggressive - you'd put up a fence to protect yourself and you'd avoid the dog.

The orange part, on the other hand, is our external boundaries, which is what we expect or tolerate from others. So with my favorite  phrase, "boundaries ensure the consequences of a person's actions land squarely on that person's shoulders," if we see someone cheating/stealing/abusing we talk to the person directly or to an authority figure. With your fence analogy the aggressive dog would still be free to hurt others, who might not know about the threat or be able to do anything about it, which is why we have law-enforcement and laws (like leash laws). So you could call your local law enforcement about your neighbor's loose and aggressive dog or you could set an external boundary with your neighbor using an "I-statement" - "I feel unsafe with your dog being loose because he's aggressive."

Side note: I take "I-Statements" to an extreme. I call them "no-you-statements." So rather than saying, "I feel unsafe around your dog because he's aggressive," (like my therapist would recommend) I'd say, "I feel unsafe around dogs who are showing behaviors I consider aggressive." It might be over-doing it, but I find it takes away opportunities for the other person to change the subject by arguing over details ("My dog isn't aggressive. When he bit you he was playing. You're over-reacting. I'm avoiding the consequences of my actions by talking about your faults now. Blah blah blah.") like my uBPD sis, AsPD exBF, or NPD gma would.

Not that any of this mattered to my former-friend any of the times we discussed it. She just told me everything I wrote above (and, by extension, my therapist) is wrong. \_(ツ)_/

I've just found what my therapist taught me to be really helpful and wanted to share in case anyone else felt the same.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 12:48:21 PM by Zen_Warrior »
I'm trying, with the will of a warrior, to stay zen!

"Boundaries ensure that the consequences of a person's actions land squarely on his/her shoulders." -(I wish I knew who originally wrote/said this!)

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newlife33

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2019, 04:01:43 PM »
Judgement and boundaries are two very tricky emotions to figure out.  I feel it takes time to realize that it is normal to judge or be suspicious of people.  If someone is walking around with a huge knife, it's fair to judge that the person is dangerous.  Obviously this is a bit of an extreme example, but the same can be said for a conversation.  I usually always go into a conversation with the upmost respect for someone and hope that they do the same for me.  I have a few "red flags" that I look for in conversations that if I see I will judge a person and take a step back. (Telling me what I should do, Gossiping, racist jokes, etc)  Is that judgement?  Yes, but it doesn't mean I'm going to write that person off if they say one thing that really offends me or I find crass.   The hard part is figuring out the limits of your boundaries, judgements and beliefs.

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Marya

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2019, 07:23:52 PM »
The other major error is regarding boundaries.

It interests me that people are taught such different things about boundaries. I was taught that boundaries are like an Orange peel with a white interior and orange exterior.

The white part is our internal boundaries, which is how we act or even react to others. So with my favorite phrase "boundaries ensure the consequences of a person's actions land squarely on that person's shoulders" it means if we see someone cheating/stealing/abusing we don't let ourselves judge that person for it, worry about it, or continue further contact with it. This seems to fit your fence analogy if the loose dog was aggressive - you'd put up a fence to protect yourself and you'd avoid the dog.

The orange part, on the other hand, is our external boundaries, which is what we expect or tolerate from others. So with my favorite  phrase, "boundaries ensure the consequences of a person's actions land squarely on that person's shoulders," if we see someone cheating/stealing/abusing we talk to the person directly or to an authority figure. With your fence analogy the aggressive dog would still be free to hurt others, who might not know about the threat or be able to do anything about it, which is why we have law-enforcement and laws (like leash laws). So you could call your local law enforcement about your neighbor's loose and aggressive dog or you could set an external boundary with your neighbor using an "I-statement" - "I feel unsafe with your dog being loose because he's aggressive."

Side note: I take "I-Statements" to an extreme. I call them "no-you-statements." So rather than saying, "I feel unsafe around your dog because he's aggressive," (like my therapist would recommend) I'd say, "I feel unsafe around dogs who are showing behaviors I consider aggressive." It might be over-doing it, but I find it takes away opportunities for the other person to change the subject by arguing over details ("My dog isn't aggressive. When he bit you he was playing. You're over-reacting. I'm avoiding the consequences of my actions by talking about your faults now. Blah blah blah.") like my uBPD sis, AsPD exBF, or NPD gma would.

Not that any of this mattered to my former-friend any of the times we discussed it. She just told me everything I wrote above (and, by extension, my therapist) is wrong. \_(ツ)_/

I've just found what my therapist taught me to be really helpful and wanted to share in case anyone else felt the same.

I agree with you. Sometimes people just have to speak up and state what their boundary is.

For example, if a friend keeps calling at 1 am to talk about all of their problems, you might try to just ignore their call the first few times or so. But if the phone keeps ringing five times every morning at 1 am, and keeping you up, then you will probably need to say to the person, "please do not call me after this hour, and before this hour."

Boundaries are borders for ourselves, but sometimes we may need to be specific to others about those borders.

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Zen_Warrior

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2019, 08:57:29 PM »
Marya - I'm glad I'm not the only one who subscribes to setting boundaries with others. It's tricky and uncomfortable, but I'm learning. On the flip-side, I've actually really appreciated when people have let me know that they felt uncomfortable with things I've said/done (and were usually misunderstandings).

Now that I think about it, I prefer internal boundaries and to distance myself from toxic people. The few times I've set external boundaries it was with people who were acting uncharacteristically toxic and I wanted to preserve our relationship, rather than distancing myself.

My best example was my cousin suggesting I date her BF's friend while she was divorcing her NPD ex-husband. I think I said something along the lines of, "I feel uncomfortable when someone suggests I cheat on my husband," but I remember her reply precisely: "cheating's working for me." Illogical nature aside (they decided to divorce before she even met her BF and my H and I wanted to keep trying), I was glad I'd tired to preserve the relationship before I resigned to sacrificing it for the sake of my health and sanity.
I'm trying, with the will of a warrior, to stay zen!

"Boundaries ensure that the consequences of a person's actions land squarely on his/her shoulders." -(I wish I knew who originally wrote/said this!)

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Marya

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Re: Is it"judgmental" to be cautious of others?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2019, 06:48:43 PM »
Now that I think about it, I prefer internal boundaries and to distance myself from toxic people. The few times I've set external boundaries it was with people who were acting uncharacteristically toxic and I wanted to preserve our relationship, rather than distancing myself.

I agree with distancing oneself from toxic people. Usually they have no interest in bettering themselves, so hanging around can just be more detrimental than anything.

That said, I think that any relationship wherein you cannot be diplomatically open about what is ok with you and what is not, is problematic at some level. Definitely relying on internal boundaries in many situations is most likely the best course of action, but if you cannot speak up and just say "no" from time to time without triggering some sort of issues with the other person (arguments, tantrums, etc.) then that to me would be a relationship with some weak points. (That can still be a relationship to keep to a point if it is manageable, just something to be aware of.)