Think Twice Before Judging Others

11SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/18/2011 10:00 AM   :  116 comments   :  21,216 Views

I'm sure we all know what it's like to feel judged by someone else.  Maybe it's because of the way you look, or the way you act, or something you've said.  No matter what the reason, it probably didn't feel very good.  I've always been sensitive.  I remember my mom writing in my baby book that at age two "she has her feelings hurt easily."  It's hard for me to feel criticized or misunderstood, and I tend to take things very personally.
 
We seem to live in a society where it's normal and accepted to judge people for all sorts of things- their choice of clothing, the food in their grocery carts, how they parent, who their friends are- the list goes on and on.  I'm certainly not saying I'm perfect and have never been guilty of judging others.  But because I'm sensitive to it and because I want to set a good example for my kids, I try my best not to jump to conclusions about others. 
 
In general, I consider myself to be a private person.  It's not easy for me to share personal details about my life, especially when I'm blogging.  But I feel like my blogs are usually better when I can relate them to my own experiences, so that I'm not just spitting out facts about the latest study or trend.  Every time I'm writing a blog, in the back of my mind I'm constantly thinking about how someone is going to interpret something I've said or what kind of opinion they are going to form about me.  It makes me choose my topics and my words very carefully.  I know other bloggers who can easily let negative or misunderstood comments roll off of their backs.  I am willing to accept that not everyone is going to agree with me, and some people might even think I'm totally nuts.  When someone disagrees with me, I try my best to learn from it and see their point of view.  But I struggle when someone makes assumptions about my life or interprets my words in a way that I never intended.  I know I need to develop thicker skin so that these kinds of comments don't get to me. 
 
If you're someone who has struggled with their weight, maybe you can relate.  It's so easy to judge a person and say "If they just gave up the junk food and got off the couch, they'd lose weight."  Yet you never know if that person has already lost 100 pounds and is halfway to their weight loss goal.  You never know if they have medical issues that prevent them from exercising, or have been going through problems in their life that make weight loss feel unimportant right now.  Until I am in that other person's shoes, I have no right make those assumptions about someone else's life.  I just wish that everyone would take a moment to stop and think about how their comments, expressions and thoughts can have an affect on another person. 

Okay, rant over.  I'll get off my soapbox now.
 
What do you think?  Are you guilty of judging others?  Have you been judged before?  How did it make you feel? 


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Comments

  • ANNASTERNFELDT
    116
    I think it can sometimes be easy to judge from making generalisations based on earlier experiences and maybe with a combination with prejudice. I did that once which gave me a big lesson. And I hope I am a bit better today :-) I have written down my big mistake and my lesson learned if anyone is interested to read. If you include the url for web pages before this adress: hub.me/af7Za and you'll get there. - 3/30/2013   5:50:24 PM
  • SMMR1321
    115
    I tend to judge other people when they have judged me.
    - 1/6/2013   9:50:17 PM
  • 114
    Well said! I certainly relate. I, too, have the tendency to to take everything personally. I occassionally (more often than I would like, find myself judging others). However, as I grow older I realize just as you say you never truly know where another is coming from or has been. I believe my judgements are often the result of my own issues. - 9/26/2011   6:34:30 AM
  • JANLUC145
    113
    This reminded me of a quote recently by Joyce Meyer (I think), that was something like, "do you judge others because you don't love others." The point being to focus more on good, loving thoughts, rather than finding fault (applying both to others and ourselves). - 9/23/2011   10:48:54 AM
  • DENISE_SUAREZ
    112
    I've judged so hard to everyone, specially myself. My consultancy project failed, so I felt lost, with no goals and I'm not a very pacient person. Oh God!

    This article was writen in the best moment. Thank you. - 8/30/2011   10:22:54 PM
  • B-MIAMI
    111
    i understand how you feel about the judgment, blogging, and being misunderstood. it is near impossible for people to actually get to know you and understand you just by reading your words and it is easy to be misunderstood. people love to criticize and judge other people. they do it all the time, for better or worse.
    lol
    i used to be very fat, i spent alot of time crying over the extremely hurtful things people said to me or did to me. i spent so much time worrying about what people would think and how to make others happy... u know what. i'm so much happier now just being myself. just be yourself. your a great person, you have great thoughts. you do great things. f* the rest - 8/29/2011   5:01:33 PM
  • 110
    You stated this so well and I so agree with you! I am somewhat sensitive but over the years have tried to temper that by accepting the fact that I am not perfect and can learn from my mistakes. - 8/25/2011   1:57:40 PM
  • 109
    This is pretty much the reason I don't blog very often. I can't stand the criticism! - 8/24/2011   3:01:41 PM
  • MAC7755
    108
    Wonderful blog. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone say that if fat people would just exercise and eat properly they would lose weight. If only it was that simple. The only simple part is to judge someone without knowing the real pain and effort they are making to change their lives. Thank you. - 8/23/2011   7:02:12 PM
  • 107
    I agree completely. My parents drive me crazy because they are INCREDIBLY judgmental and I'm just the opposite. I always try to see the best in people. And it hurts MY feelings when they talk badly about other people's issues that they know nothing about! I've never really thought about it that much before but I guess I'm pretty sensitive too. That might be why I consider myself shy and cautious.

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak up and remove all doubt." Right?

    Wrong! I'm so glad you shared this thought! It helps me understand myself better! - 8/23/2011   1:40:46 PM
  • 106
    I agree with the comment above...this blog will give me something to think about next time I start to judge someone. I believe we all can be guilty of making assumptions and I have to admit that I have done it myself on occasion. I will have you words in mind in the future and will try to be a little more kind and less presumptuous. I wouldn't like to have people judge me as harshly as I judge myself that's for sure.
    - 8/22/2011   9:12:58 PM
  • 105
    I agree with the comment above...this blog will give me something to think about next time I start to judge someone. I believe we all can be guilty of making assumptions and I have to admit that I have done it myself on occasion. I will have you words in mind in the future and will try to be a little more kind and less presumptuous. I wouldn't like to have people judge me as harshly as I judge myself that's for sure.
    - 8/22/2011   9:12:57 PM
  • 104
    Judging others is not just a part of this society, it is such an ingrained aspect of human behavior that it was written about, about 2000 years ago. Frankly, I was very judgmental, and I had not reason to consider working on that issue until it was pointed out to me reading scripture (I am a Hebrew Roots believer, I do not participate in the religious system that most people associate with scripture or "The bible." Since I read that, I have had a few years to work on it! In scripture, Ha'Mashiach (The Messiah) addresses this head on. To paraphrase Him, He says "why do you look at the speck in someone elses eye but dont notice the plank in your own" -and that is a very brief paraphrase from (Mattithyahu/matthew 7:3-5) which adresses our human weakness directly... It is usually the source of our own insecure hypocrisy... Yep, I have had to look at my little frailty also, and I am just glad that I had some guidance on this issue relatively early on, without blaming myself into some total condemnation, because it is just human territory... I can just take responsiblity for my actions, thoughts, and words, and then just move on... I dont have to walk around doing it anymore, I can (and do!) overcome it. Good to see the article posted, not everyone looks for guidence in the same places, so it is a nice helping hand :) - 8/22/2011   12:03:28 PM
  • PARKERCM
    103
    Jen, You sound like my kindred spirit! Though I have judged others, include in this "first impressions," I tend to be very optimistic about people and give the benefit of the doubt. I will imagine why they may have responded as they did, or whatever--perhaps even to a fault!
    Just as none of us want to be judged, I think it is important to keep that in mind in our interactions with others. - 8/22/2011   11:58:47 AM
  • YOOVIE
    102
    I feel like this is the first time that SP has acknowledged that personal blogs based on experience usually become targets for harsh judgements and blind hateful criticism. Happens to me 20 times a day. Used to be because I was fat, now it happens because I blog about being fat Thank you. I thought yall didt care. - 8/22/2011   9:30:33 AM
  • 101
    Well...honestly...I believe judgement is important, we have to use our judgement to weigh out good decisions and bad decisions...we have to use our judgement to judge whether or not a person would be safe to be around. I don't believe in being critical of ones choices and walks in life...but if we did not have the ability to judge certain situations...and yes...people...we would not have the ability to determine if that is someone you should surround yourself with...and if a situation is safe to be in. I use my judgement in many different ways...and I'll keep it...it has kept me safe thus far. We all have the ability in life to make our own choices with our own judgement. - 8/22/2011   7:31:51 AM
  • 100
    Thanks for giving me something to think about the next time I want to judge somebody. - 8/21/2011   4:19:51 PM
  • 99
    Great Blog! I always tell others I will ignore your warts if you will ignore mine. - 8/21/2011   3:38:29 PM
  • AHICKEY1
    98
    Great blog! I have struggled with several things you mention - so I appreciated your blog!!
    1) I have not blogged on this site. 2) I rarely comment on blogs because I don't want my words to hurt or be misinterpreted. 3) I do judge - mostly in my mind and I try to remind myself about my weight loss journey; however, I'm lucky enough not to have needed to lose 100 pounds. It was good to read that you do judge sometimes, but you are aware of it. In my maintenance, I'm trying to work on "positivity" and starting the day out saying nice things and being nice. 4) OOps - just lost some people. BUT, in no way to be critical, but could we look at fixing OCEANS4EVER (I'm totally sure it was unintentional) but it took me forever to get down to leave a comment.
    - 8/21/2011   12:11:22 PM
  • 97
    we must be alot alike because I feel the same way. I worry about what people think and also worry about if I have said the wrong thing. I am way to sensitive. It can be tough sometimes. - 8/20/2011   10:19:03 PM
  • 96
    Even though I have a hard time believing how much weight I gained in what seems a short amount of time, I still judge people who look likey they weigh more than me. When I was younger and fitter, I thought I would NEVER let myself get this heavy. I used to think heavy people had no self control over what they ate or how active they were. Now, I am one, and I think that is certainly true for me. I've always been a binger, but I am way less active that I used to be, so those calories stuck with me. I feel like a big ol' hypocrite for judging other heavy people, even though I judge myself much more harshly. In fact, unless I eat the most ideal way possible every day and burn my recommended caloires daily, a prompt upbraiding is in order. I don't want to judge others, or myself, and this blog has given me the considerations to put a stop to both! Thanks for sharing! - 8/20/2011   6:33:00 PM
  • PSYCHOMUNKEY7
    95
    One of the best ways to overcome it is to educate yourself more & more & more by meeting alot of people & really listening to what they say. Every person's development comes from their childhood. We're all at different levels in life. Patience helps a great deal. When you see someone doing something destructive in their life try to relate it to a time when we did that. I find that helps me alot. - 8/20/2011   5:12:09 PM
  • 94
    I try not to judge others. I don't like to be judged, it bothers me a lot because I want people to like me. I know not everyone I meet will and I need to learn that it is ok if they don't. - 8/20/2011   3:28:13 PM
  • ONLYTEMPORARY
    93
    I try never to judge others on anything. It's not my place though we have to be discerning about people and actions. Actions that are dangerous, safe, some one you want to associate with and the like but NEVER for weight issues. We have so many meds and health issues that pack on the weight and all I can say is, walk a mile in my shoes and see how your mind wraps around my life.

    We all need to display love rather than being judge mental. - 8/20/2011   2:11:57 PM
  • 92
    Very well said. - 8/20/2011   7:45:10 AM
  • 91
    All I can say is WOW!! I think you wrote this for me. I have been judged all my life about one thing or another. I know that is part of the reason I have gained some of my weight. No one that hasn't been there can't even begin to know the pain one has in their heart due the judgement of others. Then I can turn around and say, WOW, am I ever glad I found SP!! We all have our emotional baggage and we are all accepted here no matter what it is. Powerful words have been shared here. - 8/19/2011   10:35:25 PM
  • DREED7187
    90
    At one point in my life I was somewhat sensitive, but growing up in a family of 12 siblings, I learned not to wear my emotions on my shoulder and at the same time respect others feelings. This article is touching in that it relates to the words of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. "Do Unto Others As You Will Have Them Do Unto You". - 8/19/2011   10:35:18 PM
  • 89
    You and I are very much alike - If you look - you'll see I don't have many blogs written - I hate when I am mis-understood and try very hard to understand others.
    I agree - with all that you said about judging others, I try not to, but too - fall into that trap.
    Soap box or not - it needs to be said, read and repeated. Good Blog! - 8/19/2011   9:13:37 PM
  • 88
    thank you for writing this. I am sensitive to others' comments also, and work really hard not to judge. It is so hard not to!!! - 8/19/2011   3:54:35 PM
  • 87
    I try very hard not to judge people. You don't know what anyone is going through in their personal life and don't know if they are struggling with something, or like you mentioned, maybe they've lost a lot of weight already. I feel compassion for people more than I judge them, and I always (in my head) hope for the best for people. I think this kind of thinking may come with age :) - 8/19/2011   3:54:19 PM
  • 86
    While I'm more likely to be judgemental of what people do than of how they look, it's still judging, and still unuseful and unfair. At least, however, I can use those judgments about others' behavior to adjust my own conduct (like, "I would never want to sound like so-and-so just did, so I had better watch my words"). Still and all, best to avoid when possible.

    ...and then there's the issue of "self"-judgment--self-deprecation, but that's, no doubt, for another day. - 8/19/2011   3:08:00 PM
  • CHICKENGRRL
    85
    Great points. Rather than judging others, I strive to smile and acknowledge others I meet throughout the day. Let's lift each other up instead of bringing each other down! - 8/19/2011   2:54:02 PM
  • 84
    I definitely agree with your blog. I try hard not to judge others, though I know I am guilty of it at times, because I have been harshly judged all my life. I don't not get jobs because I don't know the work or because of my personality, but because of my looks. People seem to not be able to understand how much the tongue can hurt others. You cannot always see another's problems, physical or otherwise, and it isn't helping anyone when you judge and criticize. - 8/19/2011   12:59:36 PM
  • SOBXGIRL
    83
    Your words are very true. When I was younger, I was very judgemental but as I have aged (matured) I have realized that I have no right to condemn anyone else for their actions - choices. I keep busy enough just trying to "fix" myself :) - 8/19/2011   12:34:40 PM
  • 82
    Great article! I always try to live by the Golden Rule and do unto others as I would have done unto me. I do stray from it once in a while and then feel bad. - 8/19/2011   12:29:17 PM
  • 81
    I agree with another commenter that I try to leave judgment up to God. Although, I do find myself being judgmental sometimes. I was judged a LOT as I grew up and it is not a pleasant feeling. - 8/19/2011   11:56:29 AM
  • LAURALOVESSPARK
    80
    I really agree with this blog!
    I'm very sensitive too and I try very hard not to judge others. I like to say I'll leave the judging up to God!
    I do believe I have been judged in the past because of a job. I believe they thought I was to heavy to work in a certain area. Well I didn't stand for that and I took the job and proved them wrong. When the time came for me to leave that job I did, but I would not let anyone judge me that way. It really hurt my feelings, but it also made me so mad. How dare anyone do that to a person.
    Great blog! - 8/19/2011   11:51:46 AM
  • BECONSISTENT
    79
    Amen, I agree 100% with this article. I think people like to judge because it makes them incorrectly feel better about themselves. - 8/19/2011   11:09:30 AM
  • 78
    Having been 400 lbs at one point in my life, and having lost and gained large amounts over my adult life, I have been in those shoes. But I still have to bite my tongue from reaching out to try and help someone with a weight issue. I want to HELP, though; not judge. I feel empathy and I feel like I want to share my story. But I know not everyone is open to such communication. So I do make a concerted effort to keep my mouth shut. - 8/19/2011   11:06:29 AM
  • 77
    GREAT advice!!! It's how I try to live and it is encouraging to see all the folks here that feel the same way:) When I was slim... most of my life... I admit to wondering how some folks allowed themselves to get in the shape they were in... unfortunately now I know and I struggle, but at least now I focus on what I'm gonna do about me, and try only to encourage others if they are on the same road. - 8/19/2011   10:05:58 AM
  • 2DIETORNOT2DIET
    76
    I try real hard not to judge others, I think it's because other people judge me so wrongly, for my weight,and my general outlook on life, I say live and let live, walk a mile in my shoes befoe judging me. - 8/19/2011   9:39:20 AM
  • 75
    It's good to remember not to judge, because who knows what people's backstory is? If you see a morbidly obese person walking down the street, you might think, "How could they let themselves get that way?" but what if they have just succeeded in losing 100 pounds? Then they become heroic. - 8/19/2011   9:03:28 AM
  • 74
    I am SO bad about judging others esp. when I see others talking about making changes and then doing the same destructive things over and over and over again. But I certainly have done the same. Even at my age, I am still a work in progress. - 8/19/2011   8:51:06 AM
  • 73
    I have printed a copy of your blog for my boys. You have said, what I have tried to say to them, in such a wonderful way. I have been judged for my weight and have been guilty of making unfair judgements about others. I am teaching my boys to love and respect everyone. Your blog explains why. - 8/19/2011   7:34:37 AM
  • 72
    Very much the same as you are. I try so hard to judge people by their heart. It's sometimes very hard to do. I've stopped worrying about being judged as I've aged and it is a refreshing feeling. - 8/19/2011   7:13:24 AM
  • EAGLES_WINGS
    71
    It is so easy to judge. I was in a coping skills class and one of the techniques was non-judgment. I actually had no idea how much I was judging. Patience and tolerance can be harder than actually imagined. When I took a good look at myself, I did not realize that I was so judgemental. I found that I had to apply myself and stop. I then was able to build better relations with people around me. However, there are some behaviors which are not healthy for us to have in our lives and the choices we make can determine how we feel about ourselves whether those choices are of our own or of others making. I myself have health problems and personal problems that others may be unaware of. I am working hard to manage them. Anyone who really knows me knows that. I value their opinion more than I value the opinion of strangers. I really do try not to think to hard about what others are thinking because I can't know what their mental model really is. Everyone has there own scars, patterns, and learned behaviors. We can't even fathom how it got that way. I find it is much easier to excuse people when I realize all people are fallible, not just myself. I tend to let go, and let God because I don't want to be carrying that baggage around with me anymore. I don't do it every time but I do it more and more. It is easier said than done. Yet, if I know that God loves me and I love me, and my friends and family love me, then why do I care what some clerk at the department store thinks of me? I though try to be friendly and forgiving. People are who they are. I never liked the phrase, It is what is. But you know, it is. We are responsible for ourselves. We can't be responsible for what other people say, do or think. I have long ago given up that battle. It is too hard to figure out. Too hard. I can not control other people or what they think. It is not worth the effort anymore. I put that effort into myself, my family, and my friends. The payback is much better. I love life more and I like myself more, no matter what weight I am and I am nowhere near goal. I am OK with that. That's the way it is for me. - 8/19/2011   7:04:27 AM
  • 70
    "I'm sure we all know what it's like to feel judged by someone else. Maybe it's because of the way you look, or the way you act, or something you've said."

    What can we judge people for? Where do we draw the line? Is it okay for someone to murder someone else? Most would say no, but this is the way the person acted. If someone called me stupid all the time would that be okay? This is something the person always says. Something I do agree on is judging someone by looks is wrong. Looks say nothing about a person whatsoever. I do think things someone says and does say a lot though. - 8/19/2011   2:29:38 AM
  • 69
    You speak a wonderful truth here. Soapbox or not, these words were worth sharing. Thank you.

    Stephanie - 8/19/2011   1:12:08 AM
  • 68
    Very very good food for thought. The old saying "walk a mile in their shoes" is just what you said and it is still needed. - 8/19/2011   12:23:20 AM
  • 67
    Since I hate being judged, I do my best to not judge others. There is usually so much more going on that we don't know about, so how would we really act or react if we were truly in that person's shoes. - 8/19/2011   12:21:33 AM

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