Just call me Judgey McJudgerson

Judgey McJudgerson

I can talk to anyone

Last month when I was living in Crazytown, I crawled out of my hole to get my hair done. Part of getting ready to teach six workshops includes making sure that I’m presentable. I don’t want them looking at my grey hair but actually listening to the stuff they paid me money to teach them.

When I called for my appointment, the receptionist said that my usual hair dresser was in a terrible car accident. She was recovering but until she could stand on her feet, I would have to schedule my appointment with the salon’s manager. I didn’t recognize her name but I figured, hey she’s the manager, how bad could this be?

I walked in and the receptionist pointed out who would be doing my hair. Really? Her? I knew who she was. I’ve seen this blond woman in the salon before. She was always moving fast, talking loud and was so “super happy.” She’s the woman they modeled Cheerleader Barbie after.

I can do this. I can talk to anyone. I make friends in the bathroom line.

I sat in her chair and we discussed my hair. I wanted to stick to something safe like how I wear my hair and which celebrity has the color I like the most. That lasted a big ten minutes. I worried that we’d spend the whole time talking about the Kardashians or whether this year’s hemline made women’s legs look fat.

Or worse. Maybe she’d go on about her perfect life that matched her perfect body and perfect blond hair. She’d talk about her perfect boyfriend while they lived in their perfect house. And I would scoot further down in my chair trying to hide those extra pounds I put on this summer.

I admit it

I judged her. There it is. I said it. I judged her even before she opened her mouth.

There was an uncomfortable silence for about 15 minutes as she worked. Then she started to talk. She told me a story about how nervous she was to style her first fashion show. And when she discovered I was divorced, she began to tell me about how she left her live-in boyfriend of 8 years. She said she didn’t want to marry him because that’s what everyone thought she should do.

We talked about the movie called The Secret and the Law of Attraction. The more I learned about her, the more I felt bad for judging her. She was smart, funny and had an enormous amount of courage. If I were man, I’d probably want to date her.

And she did wonderful things to my hair! I was smiling so much when I got out of her chair that she reached out and hugged me. She wanted to share in my happiness.

It’s terrible that I judged her like that. I mean, look at what I wrote in my Transformation Moments section of this blog? One of my biggest fears is that people will judge me because of how I look, my marriage or worse, because of something that I blogged about. It took me awhile to learn to let go and to start speaking my truth.

I’m not here to give you that ‘judge a book cover’ speech. We all know that one by now. Maybe we should update that line to read: You shouldn’t judge a person by the shape of their body or their hair color. We’ve all traveled a long road and not all of those roads were paved.


Photo credit: Courtroom One Gavel

47 thoughts on “Just call me Judgey McJudgerson

  1. You know, I tend to judge too (as I think so many of us do) and yet my Biggest fear with a capital B is of being PRE judged myself. It’s all about sussing it out within ourselves. Thanks for the read. And the down to earth commentary within.

    • Interesting how others feel this way. Its like that mirror thing – when we see things we don’t like in other people, it may be something we don’t like about ourselves.

    • Oh yes, I believe the word I would use that day was beaming. I had one of those moments where I felt so good about my hair and yet, I felt a little bad for the judging stuff.

  2. I have gotten better at not pre-judging, which isn’t saying a lot when I do tend to make snap judgements after just a few moments! Lol. I found myself saying “wow, they were so nice to me, I never expected someone so pretty to be nice to someone like me” and that’s when I realized that my pre-judging was hurting myself more than anyone else. I loved this post Penney!

    • Its like we never really leave high school. Except when we tell ourselves that it doesn’t matter what they think. But it sucks that knowing this happens so late in life.

  3. Nice story – glad that you made a new friend. I could never meet someone that way – it only takes 10 minutes – if that – to get my hair cut.
    Anyway, good you can see you were wrong and enjoy your new connection.

  4. Great story with an even greater lesson. Sometimes I think it’s easier to judge, especially when we feel intimidated in some way. Recognizing how unfair that is makes all the difference. Glad you had such a wonderful outcome!

    • It does seem eaasier to judge than to take the time to getto know someone. I think this was one of those moments where I caught myself doing it.

      And that post you just wrote. That was too much, I’m a few years behind you so thanks for the update about what’s coming. Keep those posts coming so I can get my personal expeience guide 🙂

  5. I try hard not to judge, but some things are visceral. I find some people threatening because they look a certain way or walk and talk a certain way. It’s hard to fight it because it’s not conscious. Great lesson in your story.

    • From the responses I’ve gotten here, it looks like I’m not the only one who does this. I think we catch ourselves doing it and realize its wrong, that may be the best step we can take.

  6. I think Joe has it right. But that said I have done this enough that I have a credo which is part of that old saying…”Be kind, everyone is fighting their own battles…” I have to remind myself daily that I am clueless as to what other people are dealing with.

    • I do agree with you and joe too. Makes me wonder how something like this happens, how do we learn to judge like we do. Seems like we all do it but its certainly not something we’re born doing.

  7. Penney, this was a good read. I especially enjoyed the honesty of this piece.You made me think about my own tendencies toward judgment, and what makes me judgmental in the first place.

    • You’re very welcome. The whole thing got me thinking too and that’s what pushed me to write this post. I didn’t realize how many of us do this, kinda makes me wonder how we all learned to do this.

  8. Your last line is profound! “Not all of those roads were paved.” Wow. No kidding. And some of those roads even had massive potholes in them 😦 Great post!

    • Before I started going to this place, I had a hair dresser for like 12 years. We were never at a loss for something to talk about. We shared stories and the time would fly by. And from everyone’s comments, it does seem like its just human nature to judge but does that make it ok?

    • Hi Kim – just found your comment. For some reason, you slipped into my spam folder. Sorry about that!
      I know what you mean about judging yourself. I’m the hardest on myself than I am about anyone else.

  9. Penny the reason your such an appealing person is your honesty about your growth and struggles. I too can be a judgmental girl but it’s only me putting up my shield to protect my self from old wounds opening up.
    It’s hard to see a new person and not judge them on how our past experiences have been. You are to be commended for learning this lesson and for you bravery in sharing.
    My family has to be extra careful about this because we are interracial. I try to be EXTRA nice and sweet to everyone I meet because sometimes I may be the only African American they will ever speak to. If I misbehave it will deepen the belief in the the stereotype. This pisses my husband off so much but…
    Anyway I am POSITIVE you looked FAB and I’m so glad to hear your seminars went well!

    • Thanks for saying those great things. I do think that our judgements come from our pasts, we just have to make sure we don’t act on it. My other african american friends say the same thing too. I’m just glad that they get to act like themselves when we hang out together.

      • Well I am just PLEASANT DANM IT! LOL
        ” I saw Drum Eaton at the Piggly Wiggly and I smiled at the son of a bitch!”

  10. I think it’s really brave to own up to your judging. We all do it, especially “defensive judging” when we think we are being judged by somebody. The *best* thing is that you realized you were judging and let yourself be open to being proven wrong.

    Also: I love having conversations with hairdressers!

    • I’ve been on this journey this year to make some big changes. When I was driving home from my appt, it was bugging me that I had that inital reaction to her and then she turned out to be so cool. And so I’ve been blogging about all these realizations.
      I’m with you – I’ve had some of my best conversations with my old hair dresser!

      • That’s a good journey to be on. I’m a fairly judgmental person too :/ I’m pretty sure I called myself “Judgey McJudgerson” just last week! I’m really trying to work on that too. I’ll poke around your blog more when I get a chance 🙂

      • Thanks for the follow! I checked out your site from Yeah Write. I was married to a shape shifter too except mine had other issues. You can find most of those posts in my Transformation Moments section.

        It’s been quite the journey this year. I’ve learned a lot about myself and some wasn’t so good. I did this whole Yelling Less Challenge and that one was a big eye-opener. Hope you enjoy these posts …. and you don’t judge me (kidding, just kidding!) 🙂

      • I’m really interested in the yelling less challenge. I’m a yeller, yes indeed. Grew up in a large household with an over stretched widow of a mother. Hard habit to break.

  11. I understand completely. I live in a very diverse area – multi-million dollar homes mere blocks away from the slums – and I have a tendency to judge the people who drive nice cars. I know it’s not fair of me to do so, and I’m working on it, but it’s a difficult impulse to stop.

    • That’s so interesting that your judgements would go in that direction. Makes you think where these things come from. I think for me is it comes from comparing my body to others. And she was just so perfect that I wanted her to be ugly on the inside to mae up for her outside. And she proved me wrong.

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