The Fine Line Between an Opinion and Judging | Life Love and Hiccups: The Fine Line Between an Opinion and Judging
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Wednesday 17 April 2013

The Fine Line Between an Opinion and Judging

Pin It Recently while I was watching my boys run riot in one of the local playgrounds, I was eavesdropping (as you do) on a conversation that was going on between a couple of mums next to me.

Whilst I can't recall word for word the conversation, it did go something like this;

From the Redhead with the mean looking eyes: 
"It was crazy, I mean WHAT kind of mother sends her daughter to netball with a drink bottle full of cordial?

From The Group: various giggles, ooooos and tut tut noises

From the Redhead with the mean looking eyes: 
"Obviously a totally irresponsible one who has no idea how to be a proper mother."

At that point I couldn't help myself and I turned around and butted in with:
"Well I suppose the pie and beer my boys get after soccer is a a tad inappropriate then"?

They all stopped and stared at me and I had to control the urge to go and give each of them a gentle uppercut to permanently close their mouths that had dropped wide open.

I chose to laugh and walk away, but afterwards I was kicking myself.

Why didn't I ask them what gave them the right to judge another mum?

Why didn't I defend the sisterhood and that poor woman who probably thought she was giving her daughter a special treat sending her to netball with a bottle of cordial?

Maybe she didn't know any better?

Just recently I was judged on Facebook when I posted this picture of my son on his birthday.

I had a commenter who basically told me I was awful and that sugar overload on any day is not OK!!!

Its OK, I am comfortable enough in myself to cop the comment on the chin, but I may as well have been that mum with the bottle of cordial, because I felt judged!

I would have much rather heard her opinion on why she thinks you shouldn't give kids too much sugar. But instead I copped her judgement all neatly wrapped up in a couple of harshly written words.

Too often I see this going on, woman judging other women, mums judging other mums and it really gets the steam blowing from my ears.

Once upon a time (code for pre children), I was one of those women who would say things like "When I have kids I will never let them play with plastic guns, have snot dripping out of their nose, eat takeaway food, play video games, ***insert a zillion other things here***

Yes I know - Gulp! I was naive and being childless at that point I was in NO position to judge another woman with child.

But I did.

I didn't just have an opinion, I judged!

When I was chatting to a friend about this the other day, she said she couldn't see any difference between having an opinion and judging someone, and as far as she is concerned they are one and the same.

Now feel free to correct me if I am wrong or offer me an alternative way of looking at things, but I think there most definitely is a line between having an opinion and judging, all be it often a very fine line.

Case in point 1;

Opinion: I don't think it is a good idea to let your child have too much sugar.

Judgement: That woman is insane! What a moron for letting her child have all that sugar!

Hmmmm I can see a difference.

But let me try again with another example.

Opinion: I don't think children should play too many video games or watch too much TV.

Judgement: Only lazy mums let their kids play video games!

Yep Sorry, but I can still see a difference.

How about I use an example of a totally non child related situation.

Opinion: I'm not really a fan of those high heeled sneaker wedges women wearing.

Judgement: Women who wear high heeled sneaker wedges are try hards!

You kind of get my drift right?

I see this kind of judging going on everywhere, in the playground, at school, and on Facebook.

Sometimes people just throw a comment out there without thinking how it effects the person on the receiving end and then when challenged they are quick to defend themselves by saying "But that is my opinion".

It comes down to one simple thing - Its all in the way you say it.

In my opinion, judging isn't helpful to anyone. Simply put, I think it makes the judger look like a complete tool and the judged feel ... well judged.

It doesn't offer an alternative way of looking at something that one may not have considered, and it doesn't present your opinion in an open and intelligent way that encourages discussion or varying points of view.

It does nothing except make the judged person feel like crap.

I'm interested in what you think about this?

Do you think there is a difference between having an opinion about something and judging someone for their choice?

Am I just completely over-reacting?

(FYI - I don't really give my kids a pie and a beer after soccer. They are totally happy with $2 bucks worth of mixed lollies and can of high sugar content fizzy drink I let them buy from the canteen.)