What is a "judgmental" person? Sounds like a bad thing.

What you do think of when someone is described as “judgmental”?

Is it bad to be judgmental?

A friend of mine told me not too long ago that I was judgmental (although I don’t think he was accusing me of judging him). I never thought of myself as negatively judgmental, that is, I don’t scold people for behavior that I don’t agree with. I am not self-righteous. My friend has a lot of things I consider faults but I do not mention them and they don’t interfere with our friendship.

However, I do have values, and I do recognize when someone’s behavior shows values that are different than mine. F’rinstance, I value marital fidelity and when a friend was on the verge of an affair I advised against it but I didn’t reject that person as my friend.

How can you not have any judgment of other people’s behavior? We are all living according to our values and comparing them to those of others.

Everyone is judgmental. Everyone.

If folks weren’t judgmental, no one would ever get turned down for a date.

The “judgmental” label applies to pessimists who always seem to have a comment.

I consider judgemental to be making negative and hostile assessments about a person’s character.

“Mary could stand to lose a few pounds.” Not judgemental.

“Mary is a lazy fatass.” Judgemental.

As for how it’s used, I think garygnu covered it. As I’ve heard it used, either statement tdn said would be called judgmental because both are negative (though one is worse than the other), where a non-judgmental person wouldn’t say either. That is, it’s not just refering to making judgments but making negative judgments, and a judgmental person is someone who consistently makes negative ones. I find it an unfortunate usage because if being judgmental is bad, that implies that the opposite is a good thing. Personally, I find people unable to make any sorts of judgments at least a little bit more bothersome than eternal pessimists.

As for your friend, if you have values and he he has faults based upon those then, whether or not you actually express them verbally, you’re still being “judgmental”. If he’s your friend, he probably know your values and knows how you feel about him with respect to those values whether or not you explicitly say it; so even if unsaid, the judgment is still there.

Either way, I think it’s sufficiently ambiguous that I avoid using it altogether because, quite frankly, I think making judgments is a good thing, and sometimes it means you leave people in an unfavorable light.

Change the first one to “Mary has a terrific personality”, then. Actually, in the first one, I was trying to state the fact of Mary’s health without attaching any emotional baggage to it. I guess I didn’t type my tone of voice right. :slight_smile:

The thing is, we’re always making judgements and evaluations about people. It’s a survival skill. When we meet someone new, we have to be able to size them up within a second or two.

But I consider someone as judgemental when they evaluate someone in a negative light when there really is no need to. A bigot is one type of a judgemental person.

If other people are judging you or your friends negatively, they’re judgmental. When you’re doing it, you’re just being honest :slight_smile:

I tend to think that the person applying the label is upset that the judgmental person has the gall not to be 100% accepting of everything the labeller says/does. It often seems to mean “can you believe ___ had the nerve to call me on my shit?!”

Both are judgemental comments

Judgemental is basically any time you state an opinion about a particular quality or attribute of another person. He’s too short. She’s too heavy. He doesn’t make that much money. Etc. You have set up a criteria and are evaluating them.

No, they are upset because the judgemental person is setting themselves up to be superior to the person. In other words, it means “who are you to tell me I’m too short/fat/broke?”

What if they’re said by Mary’s physician?

To me, being judgmental means the following:

When a judgmental person sees another person taking an action or making a decision that he or she doesn’t agree with, the judgmental person uses that information to make an assessment of the other person’s character and/or intelligence.

“Judgmental” is definitely a negative description. It implies that the person is going around making more negative judgments about people than is reasonable or useful. It may be reasonable to say or think something negative about a person, but non-judgmental people keep it to a minimum.

Whether the judgment is expressed verbally or not isn’t really relevant. You can be judgmental and hide it well. And you can be judgmental and express it in other ways, such as facial expression, tone of voice, and behavior.

My ex-husband was extremely judgmental, and it was such a negative and destructive thing to live with. It wasn’t just that he criticized what people did, said, or wore. He judged their character or intelligence. He would rarely consider that the person made a different decision than he would have because they had different criteria or saw things from a different perspective.

I agree with you on both of these points, but there are words other than “judgmental” to use if we want to express that the person is discerning, but not in a negative or destrictive way.

If we want to say something positive about them, we might say that they are one of the following (c&p’d from thesaurus.com):
discerning, discriminating, acute, astute, bright, brilliant, clear-sighted, clever, critical, gnostic, ingenious, insighted, insightful, intelligent, judicious, knowing, knowledgeable, penetrating, perceptive, percipient, perspicacious, piercing, sagacious, sage, sensitive, sharp, shrewd, subtle, wise

“Judgmental” isn’t on that list.

Is that from Ambrose Bierce? If it isn’t, it should have been. :slight_smile:

Who among us has never stated an opinion about an attribute of another person?

I’ll buy that. I would say more generally that it would be a negative thing to discount a person’s entire worth based on the observation of a single undesirable trait, and maybe that’s what is meant by “judgmental.”