Judgement. Not the end of days sort but the sort we resort to each day to make sense of the world around us based on who we are. I have a perceiving personality; seemingly casual, relaxed, open-minded, spontaneous, stimulated by deadlines, mixing work and play but that’s the perception of the outer world on my apparent inner workings. While most of this stands true I am also calculated and decisive on how I adapt my outer self to reflect the world around me. There is no singular version, it’s almost as if multiple people present themselves at different times of day to deal with the various scenarios that I encounter throughout the day.
Then there’s the other kind of judging, the one where we make internal decisions about people based on preset programming of race, gender, education, clothing, speech and wealth amongst other factors. My rational logical brain would likely view a person for what they are and allow for a measure of curiosity but my reflexive brain, the one that is mostly in charge when I’m in autopilot mode is, for lack of a better word, a Nazi. The world is measured in absolutes. On most days I’m in autopilot mode, a routine is followed and I go through the motions of a typical day. The chances of being surprised are rarely estimated.
I make pre-programmed judgements about everything I see around me and file them away. This is also true of everyone I encounter during the day who I duly bracket and file. I am generally not curious about who they are and what their lives are about and I’m generally quite happy to pass judgement and classify them and trudge on with my chores. The term I’m mostly thinking of is indifferent. When a truer emotion is invoked it, I still establish a wide berth of differences so my logical self doesn’t have to comprehend or infer this encounter and can continue indifferently. It’s self preservation or that’s what I keep telling myself.
I attempted a social experiment for a year where I smiled, socialized and accumulated a roladex of acquaintances. As an introvert, this took a fair amount of effort and copious measures of ethanol. My inferences from my year-long experiments were that while I had moments of genuine new experiences and encountered personalities I wouldn’t likely meet except it was exhausting and at times annoying and altogether uncomfortable unless medicated. I spoke to anyone without my reflexive prejudices and attempted curiosity at the plethora of personas that were in front of me. People are a lot of data and it can be tedious to gather, clean and ultimately classify all of it and all to no end if one doesn’t have a specific question one wants answered. What did I want answered from this experiment? I’ve actually forgotten! I’m also blaming this on the ethanol, that’s what it’s there for.
Back in present time, whether it is at a new job or my daily life, I still continue to encounter new personalities and yet I’m not who I was during that social experiment. I’m in a mode that doesn’t allow for curious measures, the portfolio is balanced and risk free and being curious would be to take risk. It would risk an experience I might find distasteful or discombobulating and my risk department has stipulated that it is simply not worth the venture.