Sunday, August 19, 2018
I have been having some interesting conversations lately. The latest came after I overheard a young, pretty, fit, slender woman denigrating an overweight, older gentleman... because “ewww, gross, he sweats so much!” Said in a pseudo-whisper... you know the kind, where she can claim she didn’t intend for him to hear her, but really she did? Grrr, it really made me ticked off, that she made him uncomfortable to try and get fit and obviously he was trying to lose weight as well, and she was being a judgmental twit about how much sweat he was producing? I figured it was a sign of his dedication and determination, and it made me respect his work ethic all the more. Of course, I have seen him around (and her, I had never seen before) so I had some inkling of how far he’s come and how hard he’s worked to get where he’s at at this point. And I remember when I was where he’s at now...
Anyways, I was getting all riled up and annoyed over it... and I realized I was being just as judgmental as she was, but in my own way. Making assumptions, assigning values and moral implications when I don’t know her or anything about her. What she said was uncalled for in that particular situation and in that particular manner, but yes, the gentleman in question does sweat a lot. That’s reality. If you took all tone of voice and innuendo away... it would be a simple statement of fact. Her judgmental attitude triggered my own in response... it’s a vicious circle.
I have noticed that in other situations as well. One person (and I must admit that sometimes that person is me) makes a judgmental statement or declaration, and the knee jerk reaction is another judgmental response, whether for or against the original statement.
That said, one of the things I really like about SparkPeople is the minimal amount of judgement that happens between members. Not that it doesn’t happen, but that it stands out so glaringly when it does. Everything isn’t always hunky dory in spark land, there are frictions (with this many personalities there would almost have to be ), but I rarely see them aired out in the open for the community to pick at and take sides over. I might not agree with a decision you make, but if you researched it and decided it was the best decision for YOU... then I (and I believe most other spark friends) would support the action... I am not sure if I am being naive here, but from what I read in the community feed, in teams, and on the message boards that feels like the truth. Opinions?
I know I have an issue with being judgmental over people when I am driving (one of the reasons I don’t like to drive much anymore... the other morons on the road)... but I am trying to mitigate the judgmental attitude in order to reduce my anxiety when I drive. At its heart having a judgmental mien reflects an attitude of superiority... which can be off putting to other people. Being critical and verbalizing that critical thought process tends to drive people away, often the people closest to us. They probably wonder if that person says that about that other person, then what are they saying about me? Similar in effect as gossip... but that’s a whole other topic!