I am extremely judgmental. It is a flaw. It is a flaw that I am trying to work on but I am certain that it will always be part of me. I don't have patience for the laziness and stupidity of others that seems to spill out in front of me at every turn. There are problems with being judgmental.
The problem with being judgmental when you are lawyer is that you have to separate yourself from your judgment. We are not judges. We have to defend our clients and make their case favorable, even when we think they exercised poor judgment, for example, when they did not listen when you told them - "don't do that". I don't judge clients because I am paid not to judge but to defend.
I am an equal opportunity judger. I feel sorry for the people in my life sometimes. For example, my awesome husband who works sooooooooo hard. 24/7. Really, he is amazing. He even works in his sleep. I literally hear him talking about patents and swearing about missing imaginary dream deadlines in his sleep. He never misses deadlines in real life. I judge him. I say, "Well, the reason you work like that is because you have boundary issues, priority issues, you are a workaholic, and you cannot allow anyone to do anything without micromanaging." Mean, cruel, judge.
But, he works to provide. To be a "good father and husband" as he was taught to be a "good father and husband". I know he also enjoys it. He also is a perfectionist. Perhaps, I should be stepping back and reserving judgment until I've fully put myself in his shoes. Or, in the shoes of a wife who works a 60 hour week to come home to a husband who hasn't done anything at all but eat Cheetos, drink beer, buy Sham Wows on the Amex, watch sports, and wear out the couch? Or, in the shoes of a wife whose husband has just been laid off and has nowhere to work? What would she think of my judgment? She would judge me. She would also be Dr. Laura. But that is neither here nor there. And yes, another judgment. I can't stop.
I probably am thinking about this more because I judge myself as harshly as I do others. When I was running at EB this morning, I went into an alternate state (mostly to get through the pain) and I started judging myself as if I were a person on the outside. I saw myself lumbering down the street as the guy who had just driven by and I said (channeling Tom Leykis) "fat ass, why did you let yourself go and become a heifer, you are here because you chose to eat all that food and sit on your butt."
I also see myself and judge when I am with Lulo and he is shrieking and wailing about his chosen thing for the day - the fact that I put his sock on, the fact that his granola bar broke in two and it is not fixable, or the fact that his penguin won't stand up if it is on a deep slope. These are things beyond my control. I can hear the judgments of others when he wails: "lousy mother who works instead of being a proper role model and interacting with her children" or "why doesn't she discipline him when he does that?"
A few years ago...I would have judged me if I saw me. But then, I still turn around and judge the co-sleeper/family bed Moms, the no vaccine moms, and the breastfeeding 3 year old Moms.
But that is the thing, as I have gotten new priorities, new conflicts, new experiences - I have changed my mind about some of my old judgments only to pick up new judgments. Perhaps the thing about being judgmental is that it is only a flaw or a true "problem" if you don't grow and you don't realize that each situation is capable of a different interpretation and you are only colored by your experiences and what has fallen on your lap. Or maybe it is only a problem if you act on that judgment - being hurtful to that person, saying something mean, gossiping, etc. I don't do that even though I have wanted to. Well, strike that, I am a little bit of a gossip too.
I don't think I can stop judging - some people are really lame (Nadya Suleman, for example). But the bottom line is I am going to make an effort to pause and see if I can look at things a different way...even when I am not paid to do it. I will stop myself, judge carefully, and give other people a chance before SNAP judgment. Until they complain...then, it is all over.