This post was originally published on Lindsey Lautsbaugh’s blog at http://www.thisisloveactually.com/friends-who-judge/ and is re-posted with permission.
“I don’t want to be judged, I just want to be unconditionally loved.”
“No one wants a judge; everyone wants a friend.”
“Don’t judge me!”
It is universally accepted that true friends don’t judge. They simply love, accept, and support you.
In my early twenties, I was a young, single woman in the new South Africa. I loved the adventure and possibility of living and working in this nation. I was just beginning to form friendships in a diverse community of people. One weekend at the office, only myself and one other lady were there. We were trying to get ahead on work. New students were arriving that week. We discussed tasks and ideas back and forth. We were as different as night and day and so often would not see eye to eye. As the day wore on, I was getting more and more frustrated at her lack of seeing things my way. Eventually, I got so angry I went quiet and ominously brooded around the office, physically present but ignoring her in all other ways. I would show her!
Suddenly, I could hear her chair spin around and her strong voice break the silence. “Lindsey, are you going to talk about this, or do you plan to give me the silent treatment all day? I don’t like tantrums.”
I was shocked. She was direct almost to the point of rudeness. I stumbled over my words. Feebly, I attempted to sort things out… I don’t really remember how it resolved.
Two months later, someone asked me, “Lindsey, who do you hang out with? Who do you consider your friends here in South Africa?” To my surprise, this lady’s name immediately came out of my mouth.
I had other friends who I hung out with more, had more in common with. But this woman spoke truth to me – Truth that often offended me. Sometimes, it wasn’t truth, it was just her opinion, and she would apologise later. Sometimes, it came out a bit rude. But she kept speaking. Of all the people I was around, I knew this one was a friend. She was a friend who was willing to wound me. She was a friend who judged.