Is judgement human nature or a choice?

Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me… or do they …? Cue the suit of armour! 

We all do it, but we hate when it’s done to us.

Judgement is everywhere – we all have opinions on a lot of things throughout our lives.

Unless you’ve had a particular incident that you can relate back to, a fear of being judged is one of the biggest contributors for a dislike of being photographed.

It’s a frequent observation when meeting and working with new people in front of a camera. The apprehension and anxiety is visible. Until they realise there is no judgement or expectation for them to be anything else but themselves.

This ties in with the last blog regarding the values and expectations we learn from birth. It’s taken me years of my life to understand this. I work on changing things when I consider necessary, in my efforts to be a better human being… there, I’ve just made a judgement upon my own life.

Let’s look at what judgement or, to judge means.

We all have opinions on things – so is it when we share or verbalise an opinion that it becomes a judgement? That may depend on whether it’s referring to a fact, or, judgement being passed, as in a court of law. When it comes to speaking/posting a personal opinion about someone/group of people, are we aware of the impact it could have on their life? 

The one thing you can be sure of… if you judge others, you in return will be judged.

Yes we have far more freedom of speech in the UK than some other countries. So perhaps some see it as their right to pass judgement? However, it doesn’t change universal law that what you give out, you will get back.

  • Have you ever considered reducing the amount you judge? 
  • Refrain from verbalising an opinion a little more often?
  • Would it make you a happier person?
  • Would it change the dynamics of your relationships with others?

Who are we to pass comment on someone when we perhaps know little about them, or their life. Or how their day was panning out when you crossed paths with them? Is judgement only considered negatively, or can you have positive judgement?

All points to consider.

To change this in ourselves, we first need to understand why we do it.

Many of us live a life of comparison and trying to be what others expect, for fear of being judged. It’s born out of wanting to be accepted, liked, loved and to fit in. It takes, a lot of learning, self assurance, confidence and belief in yourself to feel comfortable NOT to do this. Reading that back, I’m thinking “Why would we do that to ourselves?” But we do.

How do we deal with judgement and what can we do about it?

We may not have control of what people say to us. But we definitely have control and choice of how think and behave when it’s dished out!

When we receive judgement, our initial reaction can be one of upset and hurt. You may feel you want to hit back and defend yourself. Please remember to keep this in context of a particular situation. But you can learn to realise, things people say, speaks much more about them, than it does about you. Judgement from one person, may be a compliment from another, according to their opinion. How many times have you heard an opinion being voiced? But it wasn’t asked for and was fairly obviously unnecessary. 

It’s a challenge to keep our opinions to ourselves when others have been judgemental to us. Very often, it’s said in jest, or it can be followed up with “I was only joking”. If you’ve been following my blogs, I refer to an example I shared in Photographer Responsibility – part 2. 

There is strength and power in knowing when to stay silent and when to respond.

Very often things others say stay with us, cause us to doubt ourselves, and question what we do and who we are. This is something some people will have endured for many years. It can cover all sorts of things, in every area of our lives. How we behave – even expectations in what we look like in our dress and style. It’s often most difficult to deal with if we are tired or feeling a little low.

What positive can come out of this? An individuals unique personality will always want to break through and be itself. You can start your journey of change to become who you want to be.
*** Awareness of ourselves is key to helping you on that path. 

Being stronger to deal with judgement starts with ourselves. 

Be kinder to yourself and stop giving yourself a hard time, it’s not a sign of weakness or giving in. If you feel you’ve made errors in the past, you were simply doing your best at the time. Judging others less will also reap its rewards.

So in answer to my original heading question. Is judgement human nature or a choice? I believe it’s a mix of both. Yes it’s part of human nature, but you do have a choice and can learn to deal with it. Start changing some lifetime habits. As I mentioned previously, it is essential for someone to feel they can be themselves when being photographed, without fear of being judged.

A date for your diaries 🙂 – this blog ties in perfectly with the event.

*** I will be one of the panelists at the ‘BE YOU’ event on April 28th 2023 in Bury St Edmunds at The Athenaeum. It’s all about driving change through conversation and support, to help you BE YOU. Do book your ticket and come along :).

Don’t forget, you can follow me on social media channels and check out and subscribe to the Love Your Image You Tube channel.