So – when does an opinion become a judgment? I was asked this recently, and I admit I was a bit stumped on how best to express and define the difference. In many instances, there seems to be a very fine line between two things that can suddenly flip to the other side. However, in this instance, I see more of a vast grey-ness teeming with subjectivity: a no-man’s land of hurt feelings, resentment and anger. It’s a virtual wasteland of thought and miscommunication. But why?
For me, personally, I know when I am “judging” someone or something, and when I am expressing an opinion. The judging brings with it a feeling inside of ugliness, and I find myself immediately (and often silently) apologizing to the Universe for having judged another. I don’t like how it feels, but it’s an old habit that is taking its time to die off, no matter how conscious I am. [I am doing my best every day to change it, and I can say I have made a lot of progress over the years, for which I am grateful.]
However, when I am expressing an opinion about something, it carries none of the ugliness that judgment does. It feels clean, pure, and somewhat liberating – both to be with people who are open to hearing opinions, and the sense of freedom I feel from being confident in my thoughts and ideas and the subsequent expression of them. I enjoy hearing other people’s opinions about myriad topics, and I enjoy engaging in discussions about varying opinions. I feel that it’s healthy, constructive and fosters a sense of community and growth that is sometimes hard to come by.
The opposite is true for judgments. Not only do I feel ugly and immediately apologetic when I find myself judging others, but when I am surrounded by other people who are readily passing judgment I feel somewhat contaminated by association. I feel a little bit more disheartened and weak. I feel a little bit more hopeless, and I may go as far as to say I actually “feel” less.
I believe that many of us readily express judgments when we intend to share an opinion. So, what’s the real difference? It bears thinking about. Because this topic seems to be highly individual and subjective, this week I’m tossing the question to you – in a sort of poll. When does opinion become judgment? And for that matter, what is the main difference between the two? Is it entirely individual and subjective, or are there points that can be objectively identified?
To submit your responses, please click on the “comment” link below, where you can leave comments – anonymously if you prefer. I am REALLY looking forward to hearing what you have to say. In the meantime,
Sending you Love and Light,