Think Twice Before Judging Others

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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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It is so easy to have preconceived notions about why others are heavy. I have been on both sides....for the first thirty-five years of my life I was on the skinny side..the last twenty plus years my weight has been climbing. I discovered later I had thyroid problems. Nothing I did made me lose weight. I try never to judge. Report
@ PENOWOK, definitely human nature. It's good that we notice differences, but unfortunately many people simply judge based on apparent differences rather than looking deeper. Loved your post here! I, much like Jen Mueller here, am incredibly sensitive, but I am proud that i have learned to deal. Not sure how that happened. Maybe just practice? Report
My heart goes out to older persons who are " obese". I want so much to motivate them to improve their health. Yet their physical limitations can be so frustrating. Sometimes I feel like encouraging them can seem cruel particularly if they Just can't be active due to their health. Yet how do we help them if not through encouragement? Report
I think it's human nature to make estimates about others based on what they look like, what they say, etc. I guess the most important thing is to keep it an estimate. As you nicely pointed out, we don't wakk in that person's shoes or have that person's experiences, so we cannot possibly know what they have been through to get them where they are right now. I once worked with a young lady (about 14 or 15 years old) who confided in me that she wore black, dyed her hair black, black nail polish, everything dark, because her parents hated in and that was the only way she could show her individuality in her home. She was a delightful young lady who soon became a favorite of mine,. She had tremendous compassion for others and stood up for what is right. She was a faithful friend who cared deeply for the underdog and never missed a chance to help another. Had I been unable to look past the “goth” look, I would never have seen how beautiful she was inside and out. I longed to tell her parents to ignore the clothes…or better yet, remember how they had rebelled not so many years earlier. She hurt no one and did her best at everything for me! I am glad to have known her! Report
I find myself doing this in my mind but is working on it,because we all have something about us that someone else may not approve of. Report
This is an important blog for everyone to read. Thank you for posting it.

I am also a highly sensitive person and unfortunately chose educational administration as a career choice. I loved the work I did but wasn't prepared for the constant barrage of negativity from parents and staff. Still, I stayed with my career until finally retiring.

My mother is highly judgmental of others, making comments like: He's a weirdo, she's a fat slob, or poking me a snickering at the way someone is dressed or their hair style, etc. I am extremely uncomfortable with these comments and try to ignore her and change the topic. Still, she persists and yet she is totally intolerant of criticism, real or implied, from someone else. I have never understood her need to do this and don't remember her doing it when I was growing up. I have finally concluded that is must be an aging factor (she's 90) and let it go at that. Interesting. Report
Being a Christian, I am mindful of what was said and done to Jesus and yet He fulfilled the will of the Father and loved all of us in spite of everything we say or do...I have to try and be that loving and accepting of all others. Report
It took a Weight Watchers territory Manager to slap some sense into me. I said something judgemental in her presence. I was a receptionist on track to be a leader. She told me I would not be going to leaders' training until my attitude changed. As a lesson, she pulled out my before picture and reminded me how long I allowed myself to look like that. It really got my attention. I worked for a year as a receptionist and when I quit she told me how proud she was of me and how far I had come, and that she had been getting ready to recommend me to leaders' school when I had to quit (family needs). Report
This blog resonates with me. The fact is that once you publish something, it IS out of your hands. You have absolutely no control about what someone will make of it. A friend of mine says, That's the way the mop flops! It still makes me smile to think of that. Anyhow, I am a person who behaves as if I don't give a d**n about what others think of me. It isn't entirely true, of course i want the people I care about and respect to think well of me. But I also will behave as I choose, even badly sometimes, because I am the boss of my own life. ( Me and any tempting food that I might come across in my travels, LOL). So anyway I choose to behave as though what people who don't love me think about me, is completely irrelevant to my life. Which makes me a free bird. Report
I have a couple of "invisible" illnesses; where I "don't look sick". I can know longer work because I have stage IV breast cancer, but all my symptoms are things that don't show on the outside, and I feel I am being judged when I am asked why I don't work.

I also have gastroparesis, so I am sure I am judged at times by what is my shopping cart, since I can't most fruits and veggies, anything with a lot of fiber, or whole grains. Report
I totally relate. This last weekend I was in SD for the rally, went into the store with my workout clothes on (couldn't get to the shpwers right away). The lady in the store just looked at me, scrunched her nose and walked away, didn't say a word.
Made me mad, so I went back took a shower went back into the store she was very talk- a- tive. Felt likeI was in pretty women. Report
We are very much of the same mind. Thank you for bringing this issue to light :-) Report
If you "Twitter" or update your Facebook account every hour -- you probably are someone more likely to judge others. There seems to be a bit more freedom of speech that is tolerated these days, but the end result is a lot less empathy and understanding for individual differences. I try not to verbally judge anyone, but I know that I do internally make "assessments" about people or situations I encounter during my day. I have difficulty letting things not irritate me and need to work on that -- I am the only one being hurt by my feelings! If I do not see immediate danger in someone else's behavior, it is best to keep your comments to yourself. Still working on decreasing my internal commentary! Report
I totally agree. I have been in stores and heard someone comment on a large person riding a scooter instead of walking. I always think to myself that maybe that person has a medical condition and cannot walk, but for God's grace there go I. You don't know what is going on in someone's life, so you shouldn't judge. When someone makes a nasty comment I always think "God Bless them, I hope they never know what it feels like".

Sorry didn't mean to post twice. Report
I totally agree. I have been in stores and heard someone comment on a large person riding a scooter instead of walking. I always think to myself that maybe that person has a medical condition and cannot walk, but for God's grace there go I. You don't know what is going on in someone's life, so you shouldn't judge. When someone makes a nasty comment I always think "God Bless them, I hope they never know what it feels like". Report
I appreciate your blog. I have alway struggled with my weight as well as other physical issues. When I see someone who is very over weight, especially a young person, I feel very sorry for them because I know it is only going to get harder for them to deal with the weight issue. I would like to talk to them about their issues but I don't feel comfortable reaching out to strangers. Report
I have been judged all my life for one thing or another. I hate it. So now in my life I just try to let it roll off my back. I also realize that God's the only one allowed to judge. I do know that we all have dirty laundry we need to deal with. So when someone has issues with me I tell them to get some tissues and deal with their issues. And take the plank out of their own eye before they judge me. Report
I am also a very sensitive person and yet I still judge others I dont know why I judge others I just cant help it! although I feel terrible after I truely am really sorry after I judge other people and I would like to change my ways very much, I actually had a problem with my nose ever since I broke it I hated the lump I had on it and I felt paranoid all the time I thought others were judging my nose, I have now had a nose job hoping I would feel better but I feel worse, this blog has opened my eyes more and I know I HAVE to stop judging people i dont know. thaanks. Report
I totally agree and have even been on the receiving end of some judgments lately. My thought is, if you can't say something that is helpful AND uplifting, keep your comments to yourself. Not everyone is alike. God made us all different and I love that I am different that everyone else! Don't judge me because some things that may not bother you do bother me, or because I don't think the same way as most people. Let me be different and support me in my uniqueness! Everyone is here for a reason and deserves UPLIFTING support, not being torn down my careless comments! Report
I'm sensitive about saying things to people that may hurt their feelings. From time to time, one ought to call it as they see it. Don't expect me to be the one who does that. However, I am guilty of making random, judgmental remarks about strangers. Lately, I've tried to temper those comments by adding, "Now, didn't that make me feel superior." I suspect that that is what it is all about. Making yourself feel better at someone else's expense. Report
Personally, I can't stand when commentary is being made about a person, any person. This wasn't always the norm. I used to judge people quite harshly, but who can handle all of that negativity? It's now one of the things that irritates me most, when other people pass judgement. My family members are big on this "What is she wearing?" "Who does he think he is?" etc. I usually make up scenarios defending the person at hand and tell them to mind their own business. IF you have nothing better to do than judge others, clearly you need a hobby. Yeah, I'm judging you judgers! lol Report
Wow we just studied this very subject in Bible class last night about not judging others and let God be the one who does that. It is so true that today's society does have a tendency to judge people on "everything". We should all be kind hearted toward others and I agree maybe try and find out the other persons reasoning if at possible.

Thanks for this blog - it is a good reminder to us all. Report
I have lived with this judgement in my younger years, now i dont care.Its about them not me .I read the book called The four agreements by Miguel Ruiz and that changed my life on what i do and how i think about things. I live by the four agreements Report
Thanks for sharing your thoughts,helpful reminder. Report
This was great! I have a daughter that is very overweight and she also has lots of health issues that keep her from exercising and I do not to hear people talk about her and judge her. I think like you that a person needs to walk in their shoes before judging them! thanks so much! Report
I am new to Sparkpeople and very sensitive. I have medical elements and a lot of weight to lose. Your Blog has helped me to know there's people out there like me.
Thank you!
I am able to let comments roll off my back but I need to start taking into consideration how other people feel. Great blog... Report
I too am sensitive & sometimes feel judged & misunderstood. I try to overlook it, but its difficult. I wish I had a thicker skin.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Report
I am also very sensitive, and my feeling get hurt almost too easily. Therefore, I make an active effort to not judge others and be as nice to others as possible. Report
Hi there, I am very much like you. I have always been very sensitive all of my life. I get my feelings hurt very easily. I try to never judge anyone, do I slip up sometimes yes, however I ask God to forgive me and to help others not to judge. No one ever truly knows why a person is the way they are, so give some mercy and understanding instead of judgement. I truly am so glad I read your blog!! Have a great day and God Bless!! Report
Thank you so much for this post. I know I am one to judge and I know I am judge. Besides my weightloss goals this is something I am trying to work on. Less judgement and more uplifting of my fellow earthlings.

I love judging others- it's my one vice. I admit it. I love the feeling of smugness when in my mind I'm doing something correct and someone else is not. I love seeing parents with children who throw bad tantrums in public, people in cars who turn left where I know it's not allowed, I love staggering binge drinkers on the street, I love overweight people eating fast food, I love teenagers who wear jeans below their buttocks and think it stylish, girls who wear so much make-up they're orange, you name it! I'll never criticise anyone openly because I am aware that judging strangers is wrong, but I like doing it my head nonetheless. I need a self-esteem boost, and hey, more likely than not people are judging me for something too. Report
Judging-especially out loud- can leave lasting scars. Yet it is difficult for all of us to stop judging, at least silently. I, too, am being mindful of my judgements, a mean or thoughtless remark could actually save a life...and a gentle smile just may save one. Report
I'm a private person too - so good for you for writing! In our world of reality entertainment and social networking, judgement is the norm. I live in a world of talking books and narrative films for escapism and entertainment, and find my personality is less critical now because of it - and I'm much happier! Report
Thank you, well said! In today's world where everyone is judgemental it is refreshing to see the other side. "Walk a mile in their shoes" still applies. Being sensitive to the reactions of other people does not make you "thin skinned", just sensitive. Report
You make some great points - especially about people that are overweight/out of shape. Like we don't know we're overweight... but it's so easy to fall into the "rut of daily life" and so many people (women especially) don't SEE themselves anymore. We're too busy being wifes, moms, and professionals, that it's hard to be "us". Also, for as open as today's world is about addictions, etc., Depression is still a huge unknown. If you haven't lived with it - either personally or via loved o nes, it's easy to brush aside as "feeling down". Oh, it will pass. The downward spiral of depression is real and very powerful. Report
I think it's always a good idea to think twice before stating a possibly hurtful or even slightly critical comment. I also appreciate the fact that you choose your topics and words carefully. You're not overthinking your words (I'm personally sick of hearing that expression), you just want to be understood clearly. Nothing wrong with clear communication. Report
I can relate to your comment about being a private person. I too find it very difficult to share my thoughts and overthink everything I say or write. And that keeps me from blogging. I've posted a few, but mostly very positive ones about trips I've been on - never the strugles that I have with weight loss. I've read the hints that say that journaling will help on your weight loss journey, but am always hesitant to put my feelings to paper (or computer.) Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We all need to be reminded not to be too quick to judge others.
Emilie Report
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