In my opinion the correct way on approaching a person which is doing something wrong is to judge their behavior, rather than them as a person. Compare for instance:

Option A: John you are an absolute idiot, how the **** do you drive like that?!?!?

Option B: John, your driving is really making me mad, I really hate the way you drive...

Option A condemns the person because of an act that can be changed or improved, even potentially saying they have "profound mental retardation having a mental age below three years and generally unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers" by calling them an idiot:Meaning

This fact especially hurts if it is lie (a person with no retardation for example) and even more if the person has deep rotted child traumas.

Option B - Here the problem isn't John, it is his behavior, his way of driving. Even if John is a really bad driver, it is something that can be changed. Most likely John is somewhere aware of that , but it is certainly easier to accept and change that, than being an idiot or person of low IQ and reasoning skills.

In the last few months some people told me to stop judging them. I took it really hard, but it was the truth. I have hurt those people. I began to change, and I tried to communicate problems in the manner of B.

However, the same persons who gave me this advice started judging me. When I came to them with it the responded with a burst of accusations and judgements (like A).

My profession is programming, but somehow I quickly grasp the concepts of "programmed" human behaviors. However, I am not a professional in this field. I would like to know if my conclusions and reasoning is correct from the physiology/philosophy aspect. Somewhere deep down I have the feeling that I see the truth correctly, and again deep down I want to know the truth, even if it means I have a wrong way of thinking.

  • It was interesting to read your question and the background story you wrote about it, but I'm not entirely sure what the question is that you're asking us about philosophy. – virmaior Mar 17 '16 at 8:19
  • Part of this seems to be asking for practical life advice, which isn't really what we can give you -- but if you want to make think more about ethically interacting with people, that is something we might be able to address if you make your question clearer. – virmaior Mar 17 '16 at 8:21
  • Even to post a question like that was kind of difficult. Could you help me then to rephrase the question? Any ideas are welcome :) – MB_iOSDeveloper Mar 17 '16 at 8:43
  • As requested, to rephrase your (a),(b) contrasting approaches in a more general context which I think clarifies the distinction you're trying to make, instead of saying (a)"You're stupid", say instead (b)"You're acting stupidly." The general idea being (as suggested in the answer below) that you want to characterize the behavior, not the person. – John Forkosh Mar 18 '16 at 8:21
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    Err, are you looking for practical life advice (such as what you can get from workplace.SE?) or are you trying to understand the philosophical dimensions of criticism? If the former, it's not really on topic here. If the latter, the answer you've selected doesn't on a first read appear to supply that. – virmaior Mar 18 '16 at 13:21

I guess you might be asking, is it right to judge a person in a general way by observing a specific behaviour? Or are you asking, should i judge a person?
Human nature being what it is, leads us to judge others. in a societal view it is important to have a view of others to keep us safe, if we had no view on another and that person wished us harm we would be defenceless. the bigger more ethical question is should we judge others, regardless of their actions? In my profession i am asked to not judge others and to treat everyone the same. This is easier said than done as often we might have a view on some one that is not favourable, yet still manage to give them he care and attention that they need. this does not mean we do not form opinions about them but our outward behaviour and how we interact with them needs to be the same as the people we do like. So i suppose that my answer is, we cannot help but form opinions of others but what is important is how we behave towards them.

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    I agree. No matter what a opinion I have the behaviour counts. My actions should speak louder than my words. I also agree that our approach is much harder, it is though to behave in such a manner. – MB_iOSDeveloper Mar 18 '16 at 7:51
  • there are a couple of other ways to look at it. From the perspective of self interest it is perhaps important to take a view on other people and their actions. this allows you to decide if what they do is going to impact on you and what you want to achieve. what do they give that you want. Game theory would let you look at potential outcomes of your and others actions, so again you can decide how to react. or you can decide that people are not in control of their actions and accept them for who they are. – ian chisholm Mar 18 '16 at 9:29

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