Why Do We Judge Others And How To Stop It

Posted: July 10, 2015

We have all judged someone or the other. But have you wondered, why do we judge others and how to stop it? Here it is!

It’s almost impossible to say that you have never judged in your life. To some, it comes pretty naturally be it a new country, new people, off-beat cuisines, and innumerable other things. Some people are always fault-finding as if there’s a huge reward for it. I’m no exception. I have my instances too, where I criticized others on various instances for their actions, trust me, and I only hated myself for it. I often coined it as ‘stress buster’ or told myself that it’s perfectly healthy to talk such junk, but wut what I realized over time is that it’s out of some kind of frustration and the more I analyzed the reason, the better I got.

It is perfectly acceptable to have opinions when we have new experiences and want to share them with our friends and family. Things however get tricky when we start or initiate a discussion to denounce others or feel better by glancing down at others.

Frankly, it’s impossible to like whoever we meet all the time, their actions, or whatever else it might be. If we want to deliver a message to a dear friend, if only we had the courage to speak the same in front of the person concerned! If we can’t do that, we don’t have any right to discuss someone or something behind their backs, knowing that it would never be heard. Remember, everything gets heard eventually. At times, it ends brutally by losing a dear friend, or a family member. The worst part of it is, maybe, the judging was done harmlessly but it gets transferred in a blown up fashion and life gets all messed up. I loved the famous quote by Paulo Coelho (Alchemist), “If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”

So let’s discuss some pointers as to why actually we judge, what it does to people

Insecurity

Almost all the time in my experience, people judge because they feel insecure or inferior with what they have or what they are in their current situation. It is almost always a case of, “The grass is greener on the other side”. Maybe, a little judging here and there makes us feel better or helps explain to ourselves why we are not what we want to be.

Bonding

To bond especially over others’ actions seems easy. People often forget that when we make choices, each person believes it’s the best at that point of time in their lives. As spectators, it’s impossible to gauge the reasoning if one is not in the other person’s shoes. So, being thoughtful is always encouraged.

Threat perceptions

We also judge thinking of our opponent as a threat. Often, we develop a complex, maybe on seeing a pretty woman, or an expensive car and immediately in our minds we think we aren’t pretty enough and give a dismissive glance or say things which aren’t natural, maybe even ignore a dear friend.

Jealousy

We judge out of jealousy also. We don’t have something which others do. It’s a coping mechanism “of not having.”

Being outcast

Sometimes we judge because we are scared to be the outcast. Suppose,we land up in a group where everyone is putting out not-so-nice comments about a person or situation and if you want to be part of the group, sometimes we are forced to say things which we might not say otherwise.

What judging does

We usually do not feel good about ourselves after being judgmental. It’s leads to have very demeaning feelings about oneself. Many a times I asked myself, “Did I really need to say that?”

  • Remember, if you have judged others, that person would definitely, at some point of time in your life, come to know about it, however, politically correct you might have been.
  • The more you judge, the more it becomes a habit and no wonder for some it has already become a habit without them realizing it. I have encountered many people (especially from the older generation) who don’t even understand that it is a wrong thing to do.
  • When we judge, we create more stereotypes be it to do with fashion, cuisines, countries, ethnicity, religion or caste…the list is endless.
  • It becomes a vicious circle and escaping it becomes tough. We just add more rage, negativity, and wrath to this world.

How to combat it

  • The best way to stop being judgmental is accepting it and acknowledging it. Most of the times, we are under denial and consider it something very trivial that shouldn’t matter. Stop right there.
  • Focus on yourself and your activities. We have innumerable things to do, to achieve, or for some of us reminisce. Keep doing those. In short, fall in love with yourself.
  • Judgements are almost all the time negative. So it only permeates negativity in a person. Encouraging positive thoughts is the only way to get out of this maze.
  • Always try to find the reason or ask for a why behind a person’s behaviour or any situation or issue instead of jumping to a convenient conclusion which might satisfy you in a way you want to think. Everyone you know is fighting a battle of some kind you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.
  • Many a times we have been looked down upon or left lonely, for sure. Remember those times. It hurts. So next time you judge an action, outfit or anything else, just remind yourself – that’s what makes them unique and special. You won’t like a world filled with “You’s.”

Two women talking image via Shutterstock

An Indian upbringing, educated in Economics, with a Banking profession past, relocated to United States

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Comments

2 Comments


  1. Loved this Suchi. As a relationship coach, I recently wrote an article on my website that also talks about how women constantly judge men in the dating process instead of just relaxing and enjoying the experience. Judgement is such a big word. If keen, you can find my article here – http://samiwundercoaching.com/are-you-too-picky-about-your-men-ladies/
    love, Sami

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