I’ll go ahead and apologize now; I really hate the word ‘judgmental,’ and just about everything it stands for. It is truly and honestly something I try to avoid doing in my normal everyday life (excluding those people and circumstances which I should think are obvious, like proven murders and rapists, and even then I wouldn’t believe myself capable of passing fitting judgment). I’m not saying I always succeed, not even close, but I really do try. People are constantly trying to justify their negative opinions of others with ‘everyone does it,’ or ‘it’s only natural.’ I, however, am a very firm believer that we are all entirely capable of viewing the lives of the people around us and remaining nonjudgmental. There is a huge difference between judging what is right for us and judging those who believe, feel, or see things in a different way. This is made all the more difficult by a society which bombards us with a competitive spirit driven by the lie of necessity. We need to have more and we need to be ‘better’ than everyone else around us, a mindset which is typically driven by our physical possessions more than our actual selves. Our lives should lead us toward personal fulfillment and not a need to conquer and best everyone around us.
I believe that every one of us is a work in progress; fluid and ever-changing. I don’t necessarily think that my thoughts and opinions now will remain unmoved even five years from now, let alone ten. I want to be different, better, more. So, all this is just to say that I do not truly ‘judge’ the people in this list, but I do feel that their behavior should be discouraged and considered deeply. These behaviors are not merely exhibitions of personal preference, but behavior which affects those around them negatively, and that is something far deeper than if you don’t like tattoos or people who have children at a young age.
1. People Who Are Unable To Control Their Emotions
Specifically in public settings but I would hazard to say that it goes for interactions behind closed doors as well. But that is your business. We can’t always help the way certain things make us feel, but we can control how we react to our emotions. I refer to anger specifically because it affects the people around us more than many other emotional reactions. We’ve all see that guy in a McDonald’s screaming at the seventeen year old cashier because he has tomatoes on his burger. Sure, we could make excuses for him; maybe he’s having a really bad day, maybe he’s struggling through something personal… and I say, so what? We’re all struggling, we all have bad days, that does not give us the right to shit all over everything and everyone around us. How we behave in any given situation is entirely our responsibility and does not excuse how we treat others.
2. People Who Refuse To Consider Life From Anyone Else’s Perspective But Their Own
Otherwise known as being close-minded. I understand that we all have our beliefs, our convictions, and it’s a sign of our character when we remain faithful to those things. But, I think we do ourselves and everyone else a disservice when we blatantly refuse to try and view the world from the view-point of someone else. We all have things to learn, lifestyles we’ve never experienced, and places we have never been.
3. People Who Feel That A Persons Poor Life Choices Out Weigh Everything They’ve Accomplished Since
We all make mistakes. Every single one of us. Sometimes the only difference between the person you are judging and yourself is that they have come to terms with their mistakes, are open about them, and you are still hiding in the dark from everything you fear about yourself. Some mistakes have bigger ramifications than others; i.e. getting pregnant at sixteen. Yeah, hi, that’s me. /wave. I would argue that how I then handled the situation, how I raised my daughter and the life I have provided for my child, say far more about my character than getting pregnant at such a young age. Likewise could be said for the recovering drug addict. It’s their drive to get clean, to make right their wrongs, and to build something of their lives that reflects on the person they truly are. And who are we, imperfect creatures that we are, to demean and reduce these people? We can stand back and say we never would have done what that person did, but we are not that person and we have our own battles to fight. So instead of focusing on the mistakes of others, we should focus on how to better ourselves.
4. People Who Value Their Time Above Everyone Else’s
We all have somewhere to be, things we need to attend to, people who need and care about us. Unless you are experiencing some sort of serious life threatening emergency, you shouldn’t assume whatever time constraint you’re facing is more important than those of the people you’re cutting in line. Or the person you just cut off in traffic or the group you barreled your way through without so much as an ‘excuse me.’ This also plays into punctuality and people who are either habitually late or who cancel plans last-minute. The time of the people you are affecting is just as valuable as your own and should be treated accordingly.
5. People Who Are Constantly Negative or Degrading
We all have that co-worker, friend, or acquaintance that seems to be relentlessly, and often loudly, judging and degrading everyone around them. They always have something negative and unkind to say about everyone you know. Which, obviously, causes you to wonder what that person might be saying about you behind your back, and it should.
6. People Who Find Fault In Everyone But Themselves
Similar to #5 but a bit different. These people somehow always avoid being in the wrong. Either they cannot admit they are at fault or feel that they are never entirely to blame for their behavior or actions. It is easy for them to reflect on the failures and weaknesses of others but when they are under the harsh spotlight of self-reflection, they tend to excuse or reduce their own failings.
7. People Who Constantly Compare Themselves to Others
I mean this in its most negative fashion. We all have people we look to, whom we admire and aspire to be like, but when we turn to the opposite side of the spectrum we run into people who seem to be always diminishing others in comparison to themselves. What we commonly like to refer to as a ‘one-upper,’ in many regards. They have always done something a little better, a little faster or a little more creatively. For every success you have, they have something greater, and nearly everything is reduced to some type of competition.
8. People Who See Themselves As An Unchangeable Force
I am referring mostly to those people who can actively admit that they have a personality flaw, such as habitual lying or rudeness, and say things like ‘I can’t help it, that’s just the way I am.’
We are all capable of reforming ourselves and becoming better people. If we are behaving in an unacceptable manner we are more than able to change that behavior if we truly want to. Those who want to remain a certain way, while no less unkind or hurtful, at least can understand that theirs is a behavior of their own choosing.
9. People Who Over Simplify The Problems of Others
We have all been there, I think. We’ve all struggled through something. We’ve all attempted to hold our pain down inside ourselves, but eventually we’ve reached out to someone we believed we could trust. There is nothing worse, I feel, than reaching out to someone about your feelings and problems, and having them brush these things aside as simple and easily solved. Many things are easier said than done and it is not a difficult thing to understand that, while a relationship might not be entirely healthy, it doesn’t mean our emotional attachments and fears allow us to seamlessly extricate ourselves from them. If something is truly hurting and stressing the people we care for, we owe it to them to take their problems and concerns seriously even if we feel the problem is easily solvable. After all, we aren’t the ones who have to face the music, they are.
10. People Who Constantly Believe Their Lives Are More Difficult Than The Lives Of Everyone Around Them
We all have our own battles to fight and you can’t always tell what trials the stranger, or even friend, across from you is experiencing just by looking at them. We’ve all had our low moments, when we felt hopeless and listless, that doesn’t mean we are the only ones to feel that way. And your issues do not reduce the pain of theirs even if, to you and many others, they seem less pressing. I think we all need a healthy dose of perspective, but I know from personal experience that, being terminally ill, doesn’t make your close friends divorce less painful or difficult. Suffering is not a competition, and if it was, no one should want to win.
In closing, I do not profess to be all of these things all the time every day –or any day, really. I struggle just as much as the next person, but I do actively try to emulate everything on this list and I think they will make me a better mother, wife, friend and general human being. Oh, and I’d like to dedicate this post to you, Meg of The Comments Section, and I hope it might have fulfilled the sort of thing we were both searching for.