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CINERGY (tm) - Peacebuilding... one person at a time

Judging Others

When a judge in a court makes a decision on legal issues in dispute she or he considers many things depending on the situation. It may be the relevant case law, statutes, written and oral evidence provided, witness statements, and other information. Decisions judges make are not always straightforward, and sometimes we may be shocked at their determinations on cases.

When we, who are not judges, make judgments about other people, we do so with far less data. That is, we often do so as a consequence of our reaction to something the person says or does that insults, offends, and hurts us. At these times, we also rely on a range of other sorts of information to make our judgments. This may include our histories and emotional experience with the other person and possibly others who provoke us in the same or similar ways. Our biases, our self-esteem and self-confidence, our motives, a tendency to blame or to feel victimized, gossip, and so on all figure in how we reach our opinions.

The thing about making opinions about others is they can easily lead to unnecessary conflict and internal discord. They taint our interactions with the person we are judging and ultimately, reflect poorly on us. This is not to say that all judgments are incorrect. It does suggest though that they may be based on assumptions and perceptions that are not always based in reality.

This week’s ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) blog explores judgments you are making about another person that has resulted in lack of harmony between you and unrest within yourself.

  • What opinion do you have about someone with whom you have a conflict and is annoying you?
  • What is the basis for your opinion?
  • What do you know is certain about your opinion of the other person?
  • About what are you not absolutely certain with respect to your view about this person?
  • How does your opinion of this person impact your relationship with her or him?
  • What information or actions, if any, may disabuse you of your current opinion?
  • What opinion do you have of yourself in this relationship?
  • How does your judgment of this person serve you? Not serve you?
  • If you did not have this particular judgment about her or him, how do you imagine things would be different between you two?
  • How would you be different with or around this person if you did not have this opinion?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?

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One Response to Judging Others

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