Reflections on Judgment

I’m too judgmental. It is a bad habit (there I go again!), one I learned from my family, where criticism far outweighed compliments. I went to a liberal arts college to learn critical thinking; I was brought up and educated to tear apart anything and anyone―to be a mental pit bull. I vacillate between my basic good nature―cheerful, polite to waiters, kind to strangers―and an ingrown critic who is hard to silence.By now, my judgments are on autopilot, even when I’m just walking down the street evaluating strangers: “fashion victim,” “rude driver,” “texting addict,” “boring corporate drone,” “tattooed freak.”With people I know, it’s even worse. I am full of opinions about how those I love are screwing up and could make better decisions. My sister should feed her kids healthy food instead of crappy mac ’n’ cheese. My dad is a skinflint. My friends should call me once in a while, instead of vice versa. My partner lets himself be taken advantage of at work; and while I’m at it, he needs to exercise more and see when the compost is full, rather than wait for me to tell him.I save my harshest judgments for mys …

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