Forum: Arts / Debates

Opinionated verses Judgmental
By Sumayah
On Tue Apr 05, 2011 07:24 PM

Just a thought that's been bouncing around in my head - when does having an opinion cross over into being judgmental? By definition being judgmental is the act of forming an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely. However in common use, judgmental has a more negative connotation, in that judgments/opinions made are typically of type where the object is being negatively discussed. So, at what point do you have and can share an opinion - especially one with a negative connotation - without being viewed as being judgmental? Where do you define that line?

11 Replies to Opinionated verses Judgmental

re: Opinionated verses Judgmental
By Shnaynaymember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Apr 06, 2011 04:35 AM
I tend to view an opinion as the way that a person thinks or feels about a certain topic/etc, but to be judgmental about that same topic is to attempt to impose one's opinions on the topic/subject of topic/whatever.

Everyone has opinions, but I think judgment is the more forceful manifestation of those opinions.

peace out
sh'naynay
re: Opinionated verses Judgmental
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Apr 06, 2011 07:23 AM
I think of being judgmental as deciding whether something is "good" or "bad" based solely on how you feel about it. So, for example, if I see a dress in a store and I think it's too short for my liking, that's an opinion, but if I see the same dress and decide that it's trashy or slutty or that someone who would wear it would be trashy or slutty, then I'm being judgmental.
re: Opinionated verses Judgmental (karma: 1)
By Anon1234567890member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Apr 06, 2011 08:19 AM
It's all in the eye of the beholder. If they agree with you, then it's an opinion. If they disagree, then you're being judgemental.
re: Opinionated verses Judgmental
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:11 AM
I don't think there is a difference: opinions ARE judgments. However, there is a difference between holding judgments to be true for yourself, for a certain class of people, or for all people. The way that we use judgement in accordance to our own behavior is no big deal, that's their primary function, however, the way that we use judgement in relation to others is where trouble can arise.

For example: I pass 3 women on the street wearing a padded sequin bikini top and some dance short-shorts. All three feel that what I am wearing is inappropriate, and says poor things about my character/intelligence/spirituality. The first woman walks by without saying anything, the second says nothing to me but speaks loudly with her friend about indecency in public, and the third approaches me and asks me to cover my sin and ask God for forgiveness at exposing myself in such a way. All of their judgments are the same, but the way they affect me is very different.

At what point can you share negative judgement and still be within socially acceptable limits? That depends heavily on the people involved and the context, but I think that the primary and best way to avoid that is to speak to (or of) the person who embodies the judged action with as much respect as possible and to present ideas with as much outside evidence as possible.
re: Opinionated verses Judgmental
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:59 AM
I see judgment as a knee-jerk response whereas an actual opinion takes more time to form after learning more about whatever it is. Sadly many people would rather judge things.
re: Opinionated verses Judgmental
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:12 PM
I would say the difference is the language used. One can have an opinion on something but say it in unbiased, nonjudgmental language.

For example:
I don't think that girl dresses appropriately. Her pants are ill-fitting and show her underwear, and her low-cut blouse reveals a bit too much when she leans over. I fear the entire ensemble would bring her unwanted attention.


Versus:
That girl dresses like a slut. Her pants are too tight and give her a muffintop, accentuating her FUPA, and her thong sticks out - gross, who wants to see that? She's showing way too much cleavage and her boobs practically fall out when she leans over, not that anything could contain those monsters. I bet someone's going to mistake her for a hooker and proposition her.


Big difference.
re: Opinionated verses Judgmental
By aerial
On Wed Apr 06, 2011 04:57 PM
Edited by aerial (12777) on 2011-04-06 17:00:42 Spelling
I think the difference is opinions tend to be asked for while judgments are passed regardless of whether of not the recipient wanted it.

For example I myself have a lot of tattoos, an example of someone giving me their opinion on tattoos would be me asking what they thought of tattoos, someone passing judgment would point it out themselves and make sure their point of view is knows often in a more negative way. Even if your opinion is you don't care for tattoos to each their own a judgmental person would want to make darn well you know that they hate them, find them disgusting etc.

Like Always onstage said, it depends on how you act as well, if you don't want to be seen as judgmental don't offer up your "opinion" on the topic, it is much more polite to be quite and keep it to yourself when in doubt.

Another way to tell if it is judgment is if you can look past it and see the person or not. I have had people make judgments about my tattoos telling me only criminals and gang members have tattoos, or that only lesbian women have them, I can tell these folks are not interested in getting to know more about me because their minds are already made up.
re: Opinionated verses Judgmental
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Apr 06, 2011 06:18 PM
Louise wrote:

It's all in the eye of the beholder. If they agree with you, then it's an opinion. If they disagree, then you're being judgemental.


I tend to agree with this, the way people (including myself) are.
re: Opinionated verses Judgmental
By BeautifulMistakemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Apr 07, 2011 06:37 PM
Heart wrote:

I would say the difference is the language used. One can have an opinion on something but say it in unbiased, nonjudgmental language.


I agree 100%. That's what I think the difference is.

You can have negative opinions about something or someone without necessarily being judgemental.

You don't have to call a person a slut just because their wearing revealing clothing...
re: Opinionated verses Judgmental
By moara
On Fri Apr 08, 2011 08:21 AM
I'd say that someone who is opinionated has a very strong opinion on a subject and is not afraid of letting others know their position. Whereas, someone who is judgemental, forms strong opinions about people, and their worth.

For example, someone can be very opinionated on the subject of driving Hummers, or other gas guzzling vehicles. They will tell you that they are irresponsible, and bad for the environment. Where they would be judgemental would be in telling Hummer owners that they are ignorant, selfish, or stupid.

Opinionated applies to topics, Judgemental to people.
re: Opinionated verses Judgmental
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Apr 08, 2011 08:26 AM
Edited by TheMidlakeMuse (78507) on 2011-04-08 08:27:55
For me, being judgmental is saying that person is ______ (shameful, slutty, horrible) rather than evaluating their actions. You can say "Friend, I think you made a horrible decision" without judging them to be nothing but that action (i.e. "Friend, you're a tramp.") It's the difference between thinking of that person as a human being and just relegating them to being a stereotype.

Dani

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