General Question

wundayatta's avatar

What are the things about a person that you use to judge them by?

Asked by wundayatta (58693points) July 13th, 2009

In Will we ever be able to move past labeling people based on the clothes they wear, gallileogirl wrote:

@DominicX I admit judging people by what they say or try to impose on others, but not by the way they speak, the color of their complexion, their religious or political beliefs, how they dress, where they live or who they love. I don’t even judge you for thinking those all balance out.

People forever seem to be saying that they don’t judge people, but I think I’m saying that we all do judge others somehow. Maybe not on their sexual practices, or the color of their skin, or age, or clothing, but there are legitimate ways to judge others. We all make choices about who we want to spend time with.

What are the things you judge a person by? I’m sure there will be a lot of “honesty,” “integrity” answers, but try to go a bit deeper to thinking about what behaviors indicate those things to you. I mean, what is it about the people you really like that makes you like them? What is it about the people who totally turn you off that makes you dislike them?

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67 Answers

ryanpowell's avatar


I’m the guy people forget about. I’m wondering why nobody is answering the phone. Turns out they were camping and forgot to tell me. It isn’t that they dislike me, I just fall off the radar.

edit :: Sorry, I didn’t really answer the question. I am drunk.

Aethelwine's avatar

I judge a person by the way they treat others. If they are kind, friendly and have a smile on their face I know that they are a person I would like to get to know better. If they are rude, loud and disrespectful I’d rather not spend time with them.

CMaz's avatar

It is how they fit into MY life and MY surroundings.

I do not see it as passing judgment. They are free to go on and do what ever they want to.
I am hip like that. Just do not do it in my front yard.

lillycoyote's avatar

By the content of their character, as the Reverend King said. And by their politics and by their level of grooming :), don’t like people to fussy or too dirty. :) But I’ve learned some hard lessons over the years about not judging people to quickly about surface things, not to say I don’t sometimes, but I try to reign in any tendencies in that direction. It takes effort.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I hate to admit this, but I think I judge people no their intelligence. Not that I think less of a person who is brain matter deficient, I just don’t want to hang around people who don’t think before they speak. It feels like a waste of time.

And I judge people on their positivity. If you are a black rain cloud, go rain on someone else’s head.

sap82's avatar

I don’t understand how you ca judge anybody on this site. It rediculous to try and interpret a person through words. Especially if you don’t know anything about the person that is saying them. You shouldn’t be judging people anyway. You are just as guilty if not more.

sakura's avatar

No matter how much you say you don;t judge people you do! It may not be out loud but you do! It can be something small like oh I wasn’t expecting them to sound like that or something big like they are too big to do that or too thick to do the other. It is a natural instinct that allows you to be prepared for the fight or flight situation. You have to weigh up what the person is about in order to feel safe, on edge etc… So you know what to do if the situation changes.
I am not saying that judging is ok especially not in a negative manner, but sometimes we need to trust our instict and judge people by feeling other wise we may not have any fear of people and trust too easily…

Jammm's avatar

From their appreciation to others, especially on small things. Also if they are trustworthy and don’t misunderstand over little things

JLeslie's avatar


I actually don’t like to be around people who are very judgmental. Lol. Especially if they are quick to judge or make assumptions without getting to know the other person. I can remember my first day at college. I was talking to the girl who lived in the room accross from mine, and a beautiful blond girl walked past us, down the hall and dissappeared into the room at the end of the hall. The person I was talking to said, “I bet she is a snob.” I found this totally surprising. My mother and her family always commented on beauty in an admiring way (they were artists so they might have had a different way of looking at the world), I had never thought to put beauty together with being a snob or any other negative attribute. It seemed ridiculous to me. I rarely look at someone and make a snap judgment purely from how they look, what they wear, or what car they drive, but I would admit that I do make hypothesis as I start to acquire information about them. The thing is, I do not stick with the assumptions in my mind, I generally ask a question to see if I am right or way off base. I never assume that an IDEA about a person is correct, it is more wondering about them, getting to know them. So, not sure we would classify that as a judgment?

You ask about who I want to spend time with. I like to spend time with people who are interested in a variety of things, who enjoy conversation, who don’t mind a debate and can agree to disagree, who have a sense of humor, who are aware of their surroundings, and how they treat others,

What turns me off? Hypocrites, being around these people gets annoying and tiresome, also, someone who constantly puts down others, people who are very careless with money (I can be friends with someone like this, but if I am to be honest I cannot understand spending money you don’t have, except in extreme circumstance), people who hold judgment about others without knowing anything about them, people who generally fail to apply the golden rule.

tiffyandthewall's avatar

i judge people by how they treat others. that’s the only truly fair way to do it.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Are they regular users of hard drugs (or smoking doobie practically ALL THE TIME)? I can’t be around people who can’t be present because they’re too fucked up to know where they are.

wundayatta's avatar

@sap82 I wonder if we are all using the term, “judge” the same way. Your comment suggests you see judgement as pronouncing someone innocent or guilty of something. As if we are judge and jury about another person.

I tend to use “judge” more as if it means discriminate. This person is smarter, and that one not so much. This person has politics I approve of, and that one doesn’t. This person has a way with words and makes me laugh; I couldn’t care less if I ever heard from that person again.

I suppose you could argue that I am convicting them of stupidity, or bad politics, or a boring manner of speech. However, I really have no problem with that. I don’t have a problem judging people on fluther based on the way they write, or the quality of their comments. There are people I will always read, and people I’ll skip just about all the time.

What I’m not doing is judging them as a whole person—condemning the whole person based on one aspect. They may act immorally in this one instance, but that doesn’t mean they are immoral. They might be rude to so-and-so, but that doesn’t mean they are a rude person. They might display an attitude on one question, or they might write in textese, but that doesn’t mean they are intolerant or stupid.

Ah well. Off to hear about the Sotomayor hearings! Let’s judge a judge!

discoinferno's avatar

Oddly enough, I’ve noticed that looking at a person’s shoes says a lot about what type of person they are….

Facade's avatar

Most things. I’m a pretty judgmental of myself and others. That’s just how I am.

JLeslie's avatar

@discoinferno what do the shoes say?

tinyfaery's avatar

I choose who I associate with based on fundamental beliefs of equality and freedom. I can put up with pretty much everything else.

discoinferno's avatar

@JLeslie Well, I can usually tell their kind of style and personality. Guys with like, running sneakers and high socks are nerdy, people that wear Converse are pretty cool and laid back (if they’re all drawn on and shit then they’re probably punky and haven’t matured beyond age 13), skater shoes for skaters obviously, basketball sneakers for athletes, white nikes for guys who think they’re “fresh”, Nikes in general appeal to people who are more “ghetto”... I don’t know, it’s not science, I just know if I want to quickly surface-evaulate someone, I glance at their footwear.

JLeslie's avatar

@JLeslie So, it is not if they are warn out or scuffed, you are talking about the type of shoe. It doesn’t sound like you are judging them as I would use the word, you are just sizing them up as to what group they might be a part of. Do you negatively judge any of those groups?

discoinferno's avatar

@JLeslie yeah, the type of shoe. I think it is kind of the summed-up version of someone’s style. I mean, I wouldn’t say i’m “judging” them, per-se, but in a way I’m definitely slapping labels on them. I don’t think I ever really form a negative opinion of anyone based on their shoes, but I usually can use them to determine whether or not I’d be able to connect with him/her.. It’s pretty dumb.

Blondesjon's avatar

I judge others based on whether they are more full of shit than I am or less full of shit than I am.

Tink's avatar

I actually judge others by the way they talk, I cannot stand someone who abreviates almost every word that comes out of their mouth!

Blondesjon's avatar

@Tink1113 . . .I dnt blev u.

Aethelwine's avatar

@discoinferno I usually just wear flip flops in the summer. Am I someone you could connect with?

btw Welcome to Fluther!

Nefily's avatar

I would have to say I judge people by their body language. I like people who are cofident and outgoing because that is the type of people I admire. People who are depressed and sulky just remind of me having a bad day, I tend to approach those people as well because I feel they just need someone. But for judging people by looks I automatically judge them by hygiene I like people with good hygiene. It grosses me out to see people with unbrushed teeth and notty hair (unless they have just awoke).

irocktheworld's avatar

I judge people by how they act because i wouldnt want to be near
someone who acts bad

discoinferno's avatar

@jonsblond Hahah, yeah flip flops are pretty neutral territory, you’re in the safe zone. We could possibly connect.

Mariah's avatar

I will easily form judgements based on what people take pride in. I don’t want to hang out with people who brag about the fact that they don’t give a shit about learning or helping others, for instance.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

we all do it one way or another, it’s a survival instinct, you don’t need to be ashamed or get upset about it at all. obviously there’s a line to be drawn where it goes from normal to over the top and rude, but if I see a huge guy with a shaved head and a swastika tattooed across his chest I’m going to assume he’s an asshole.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I judge them by how they treat their friends, their lovers and their own bodies.
when it comes to family though, I give some slack because you can’t choose those folks.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I really dislike using the terminology of “judging” someone even though forming an opinion of them is basically saying the same thing which I think sounds better. With that in mind, I like to form an opinion of someone by getting a feel for their personality, if I can.

Looking at that specifically and attempting to be as perceptive as I can, I try to see if they have a good sense of humor, how carefree they might be, the ease in which they communicate with others, not overly pompous (hopefully), honest in what they say and do, and if they present an overall friendly demeanor.

cyn's avatar

Who am I to judge?
I judge people who think they are badasses and think they can beat anyone up and are the stupidest people ever…..and the people that are very sentimental….

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Sure I judge people. I judge them if they’re racist, homophobic, sexist or make hurtful jokes at people. I judge them if they’re irresponsible, not punctual, flaky, if they are weak in terms of their character. I judge people who are stagnant, who don’t want to learn, who don’t want to stop being ignorant, who don’t want to see the bigger picture, who think the only world that exists is their family, who raise their children badly, who hurt their partners. You bet your pretty ass I judge. and I’m a good judge.

May2689's avatar

Like Simone, I judge people that dont want to stop being ignorant and live in their own bubble. I cant stand that.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir . . .You do realize that when you refer to others as ignorant you toss all of those lofty ideals out of the window. right?

dannyc's avatar

Judging someone is fraught with inaccuracy usually. It is so difficult to really understand the full life complexities that shape someone. I prefer to respond positively to all people even if I perceive from my observations an inconsistency in actions or verbal cues. Often we elicit in others the behavior from our unskilled questions or attributions. Thus people who judge are really, at times, only really seeing a reflection of themselves and their lack of human ability to see the deeper meaning of a person’s actions. I agree with that legendary guy Jesus on this one: Judge not, and ye shall not be judged. Damn he was smart, even if he did not exist…or did he..

Nially_Bob's avatar

I can never been able to comprehend why the term ‘judge’ has such an (evidently) powerful negative stigma attached to it. The blunt truth is that I judge everyone I meet based upon everything I know about them (though not necessarily in a negative vein). I merely do not act on my opinions until they are developed enough, that is, I have gotten to know the person better, for me to assume that they contain a reasonable degree of accuracy.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I try to form an opinion of someone based on how they react to others, how they react to me, and how they present themselves. Pretentious people are annoying as hell. People with no sense of humor were put here on Earth by mistake, and I try to avoid them at all costs. They might have some weird strain of off-planet cooties that could fatally infect me. =)

People who are comfortable in their own skin and don’t focus on shallow subjects like whether they are pretty enough, smart enough, or whatever are the ones I am most attracted to. I also like the company of people that enjoy teaching, learning and discussing interesting things. That’s probably why I stay here at fluther.

I try very hard not to judge people outright, but sometimes, I am not as successful at it as I would like to be.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@Nially_Bob I think it has it’s roots in a few different aspects. In order to properly analyze the origins of what the word annotates we must first be aware of the true definition. Which, according to Merriam-Webster is as follows:

transitive verb
1: to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises
2: to sit in judgment on
3: to determine or pronounce after inquiry and deliberation
4: to form an estimate or evaluation of ; especially : to form a negative opinion about
5: to hold as an opinion

Now obviously by looking to the fourth option to Judge can be defined as negative, but why is it so?
Let me clarify that I am no expert and haven’t done much research on the topic at all, but I think it may result due to it’s usage as a noun. A Judge makes final decisions, meaning there is no going back on it. And given it is human nature to be sympathetic socially(we’re a herd mammal) it seems as though we have a propensity to allow others a second chance.
Also, the term ‘judge’ often gives the notion that one views them self as superior, thus permitted to pass judgment, to those one encounters. So when viewed by a third party it may seem as to be arrogant.

hope it helps,

Nially_Bob's avatar

@Nially_Bob I have never been able to*
@ABoyNamedBoobs03 All very reasonable and valid explanations Boobs my friend. I am inclined to agree, but when then, assuming what you speculate to be true, do humans not realise that they too judge when feeling such resentment towards those who act similarly? Is it an egotistical desire to make certain no one claims superiority over them (as they have perceived some to do through taking note of this judging) or perhaps something else?

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

“Is it an egotistical desire to make certain no one claims superiority over them?”
I’m sure that is the case in certain cases, not all though. Again I think another part of it may be a third parties sympathy for the one’s being judged, especially if they are not in agreement with those who are judging. Perhaps it’s sympathy because we are aware that feeling inferior to others socially can be hurtful or traumatic.

rooeytoo's avatar

I usually get a gut feeling about people within minutes of meeting them. That feeling tells me whether this is someone I would like to have as a friend, or not. It is indeed judging but the judgement is more instinctual than a conscious sort of thing. I occasionally change my initial assessment after the fact, but not too often.

In here I find I don’t judge people on the answers they give, rather in the manner in which they are given. I get very annoyed when people speak for me, as when someone may say, “women think….........”, or in when someone speaks absolutes and insist that their way is the only right way. Anyone has the right to disagree but on questions based on opinions, I dislike being told my opinion is unequivocally incorrect.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blondesjon I don’t consider my ideals lofty. And plenty of people are ignorant, according to everyone’s own definition. Why, have you never met anyone that would be ignorant, in your eyes? Where do you live because I want to move there.

wundayatta's avatar

@Nially_Bob I think you have sorted something out for me. I’ve been wondering what people mean when they tell someone they don’t judge them. Based on what you wrote, I think the best translation of “I don’t judge you,” is as saying, “I don’t think I’m superior to you.” In other words, we’re both equal as human beings.

Then, if the word “judge” has come to mean a sense of superiority, then that other form of judging, as @Bluefreedom opines, is really better stated as “forming an opinion of.” I think this explains my confusion at how people are using the term.

JLeslie's avatar

@daloon Very interesting—this idea of superiority.

Clair's avatar

First of all, I don’t ‘judge.’ I read. I tend to read people by their actions and how they appear to judge others. I can’t stand a judgmental person who thinks they’re superior to another.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir . . .The only people I have ever found to be “ignorant” are those that label others as such.

Just because someone isn’t your flavor doesn’t mean they deserve the same labeling behavior you blame them of.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blondesjon well then you may go ahead and think I’m ignorant, I am okay with that..but I will definitely stick to thinking those that discriminate against others and refuse to be open minded as ignorant…and before you go ahead and say that discriminating against those that discriminate is hypocrisy, save it, I’ve heard it before and it is not at all the same thing, imho…I do appreciate your point though…Pleeeeenty of people aren’t my flavor, they don’t have to be..I was just trying to answer the q honestly and provide reasons for my judgments

Blondesjon's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir . . .mission accomplished. . .we all looked at you.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blondesjon you did? well that wasn’t my mission

wundayatta's avatar

I wonder if language is playing a role in this discussion. @Blondesjon What is the difference between “judging” and “reading” for you?

Blondesjon's avatar

One involves handing down a sentence. The other involves interpreting sentences.

wundayatta's avatar

I think a lot of people use “judge” as in judgement, which is more like interpretation than handing down sentences. Interesting.

OohSuzanna's avatar

I judge people by the way they treat staff at restaurants and stores. I think it’s a good indicator of how humble or polite a person is by the way they acknowledge people that wait on them. I could never date or be friends with someone who was unnecessarily rude to a waitress, or left a mess for a worker in a store to clean up because “that’s their job”.

filmfann's avatar

How they write. Frequent misspellings and poor writing indicate a poor education or concentraition skills. Drivez me nutz.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann I think it is concentration.

filmfann's avatar

@JLeslie Rule of thumb for any criticism of spelling must include at least one speling error.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann I am generally a rule follower :). I did it the other day on fluther, corrected someone and spelled something incorrectly myself in the same sentence. I corrected myself with another post afterwards once I noticed. I received a bunch of lurve for finding my mistake.

sakura's avatar

I have terrible typiing skills and I am often too eager to post to proof read, but I am getting better!

sakura's avatar

oops! typing

filmfann's avatar

@sakura You’re waiting for your “bunch of lurve”?

sakura's avatar

@filmfann NO way!! Just thought I’d add my bit of sarcasm, I wouldn’t stoop so low !! Lurve has to be earned through good answers, I respect that sorry for bad attempt at humour!

filmfann's avatar

@sakura Some people just fish for lurve by answering in the most popular way, or by trying to be funny. I think there is nothing wrong with that in this country, The Greatest Country In the World!

sakura's avatar

@filmfann Which country would that be? Because there is great competition with good old RAINY Britain (NOT)

Pterydactl's avatar

How they react when eye contact is made. First impression always stays with you forever in my opinion.

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