Social Question

Vincent_Lloyd's avatar

Why are people so judgmental?

Asked by Vincent_Lloyd (3007points) July 27th, 2010

Why are people so judgmental? I mean when I was at comic-con on sunday I wanted to get furry ears, (either wolf ears or cat ears but wolf ears more) but my sister was saying “Wow. You’re going to be one of those creepy men when you grow up” So…I didn’t buy them since my damn sister made me feel bad about myself with her opinion or judgment on me…But I did buy my wolf tail that I wanted! But again why do people judge on something they don’t like? Or maybe just in general? (I’m not sure the Comic-con thing was really judging….was it?)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

43 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

Have you ever judged anyone – “that guy looks ugly/weird” “that girl talks too loud” “why do they dress so funny” ? Well, others do it for the same reason you do.

Vincent_Lloyd's avatar

Hm that’s a good point. Can’t say I haven’t but normally when in school or so the friends are the ones judging or so. You know things like “oh you look really gay” Or something that sorta relates to that. I just stay quiet…

MissA's avatar

Your sister probably made spontaneous comments and was having a little fun. Everyone judges…nobody is exempt. Listen to everything that comes out of your mouth for a while. Your judgements may not sound like others’, but they are judgements just the same.

You need to find the strength to not crumble when someone criticizes you…or, you’re going to have a chip on your shoulders the size of Milwaukee.

gorillapaws's avatar

It comes down to setting up rules so some people can seem cooler than others—which is ultimately related to getting laid, and the dynamics of natural selection creating social pressures in human nature/culture.

NaturallyMe's avatar

That’s a good question. Everybody judges though, and judging is there for a good reason, but when it starts getting arbitrary and hurtful for no reason, then it’s pointless. All judgements don’t need to be voiced, but some people don’t know where to draw the line. Also, many voice their judgement to you because they think it’s in your best interests, when in fact sometimes they’re just trying to make you more like them, because they think their way of doing things is better, which isn’t always the case.

lapilofu's avatar

I have no answers for you, only support. I have also found that people are very judgmental—most frequently about things which don’t affect them at all—and am unable to understand why.

zophu's avatar

Simple perspectives see all who don’t follow a narrow path to be flawed, even condemnable. I have an apparently unusual psychological trait where I can’t separate myself from the people I’m around as far as judgement goes. If they are at fault, I am at fault—if I am at fault, they are at fault. So, I never get the urge to judge people in any individual way. “Wonder why that person is like that,” is pretty much as far as I go. Well, I do recognize dysfunction, and that’s a problem, but I don’t link it to some supposed fundamental flaw in a person. Usually the only time I get over aggressive is when I see my own flaws in someone else—or I see something in someone else that emphasizes my own flaws. But that’s easily dispelled with a little time and I find that I never held the actual person at true fault.

an interesting video about having faith in people

meagan's avatar

I wish I knew. Sometimes on fluther when people don’t agree with something, they think its polite to beat the hell out of the subject.
I wish everyone would just mind their own business. Do as you please!

Frenchfry's avatar

I think she was just teasing you. You took t to heart. You should of bought the ears. Don’t let people get to you like that. Say Screw them do what makes you happy.

Your_Majesty's avatar

Because they think they’re the best,eliminating other people’s chance to prove their own different ideas. You should ignore those who try to judge you(especially if it’s without any rational reason) since most of us are independent. You got your mind,I got my mind.

Cruiser's avatar

It’s many times not the people who are judgmental, it is how you perceive yourself through the eyes of others. During those time when you are faced with stepping outside your normal comfort zone, being different even for a moment can be a challenge. You now look back with regret over not getting that something special you really wanted because of an opinion of your sis. It may have been her that didn’t feel comfortable around her bro parading around with his fuzzy tail for a day, but in the grand scheme of things weird stuff is just not all that weird anymore and people won’t remember that guy with the tail 5 seconds past the moment they see you and move along unless of course you were naked and your hair on fire and even then people will go…“Oh look at the naked guy with a fuzzy tail and his hair is on fire….let’s go get a ham sandwich….I’m really hungry”

Life is too short to not get your very own fuzzy wolf tail.

Austinlad's avatar

“If you spot it, you got it.” It means what we judge and criticize in others is often part of us, too. We just don’t want to face it or deal with it in ourselves. From personal experience, I know it’s true. Test it out for yourself.

janbb's avatar

It’s an effort not to be judgmental. The older I get, the more I am trying to make that effort. Being exposed to other experiences and points of view on Fluther and elsewhere has helped me.

BoBo1946's avatar

“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”

Paulo Coelho

wundayatta's avatar

People judge because we are tribal creatures. We all want to be at the top of the heap. We all want the most status. Status is judgment. If I can tell you you are weird and I can convince others of the same, then I have taken a step up.

Of course, that step might not last long. If people eventually realize they could be in the same position as you are, and that your sister is a conniving liar, the tables could turn, and she could be on the bottom of the heap.

Everyone has their own strategy for attaining whatever status they can. Some people are compassionate and others are vicious. There are many other strategies. One strategy might work at one time and not work at another time.

In your case, your sister wants you to recognize she has power over you and that she is higher in the pecking order—in your family, if not in general. By not buying the furry stuff, you essentially agreed that she has more status. You let her control your behavior.

On the other hand, by bringing the issue to fluther, you are seeking to create a groundswell of virtual support for yourself. This, in the long run, may give you what you need to stand up to your sister, and perhaps put her in a place below you.

I have to tell you that in the long run, these sibling rivalries usually turn out to mean nothing. Blood is thicker than water, and as you get older, in most cases, you and your sister will be on the same side against the world. Although, there will still be little battles between you to establish your hierarchy. It takes a lot of compassion and friendship to agree to be truly equal.

CMaz's avatar

People are only “judgmental” if you allow them to be.

The question should be, “why do you allow other to influence your wishes and desires?”

NaturallyMe's avatar

@ChazMaz – because people’s judgements sometimes upset one. Other than that, it shouldn’t affect someone, unless they see the judgement in a positive light and wish to change something about themselves anyway.

CMaz's avatar

“unless they see the judgment in a positive light”
There by not being “judgment” but education.

Except in a court of law. Judgment is only judgment if you see it that way.
I am color blind to it. In most cases serving no purpose.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@ChazMaz judgement/education – now we’re just playing with words, but it’s still a judgement that upset you, but you choose to take it up seriously because after being judged, you realize something about yourself that maybe you didn’t realize before. It’s still judgement, and all that a judgement is is some else’s opinion of you, which can educational but still hurtful.
And, as much as one tries to separate oneself from people’s judgements, it’s not so easy – many are hurt or upset by things others say about them and cannot always simply ignore them without effect.

mammal's avatar

The judgment faculty is a defining human characteristic, the important thing is to know when, where and how to excercise it. Everybody is judgemental unless they are the mental equivalent of flotsam.

CMaz's avatar

“but it’s still a judgment that upset you, but you”
You see, judgment never upsets me. Because I do not accept judgment or even pay attention to it.

I am ALWAYS aware of what I choose to do or say.

“as much as one tries to separate oneself from people’s judgments, it’s not so easy”
I have to say, this is true for some. Ok many.

“cannot always simply ignore them without effect.”
Sure you can. “effect” is what you cause to or perceive to happen.

pennybooks's avatar

@ChazMaz im really confused on your use of education… elaborate please

NaturallyMe's avatar

@ChazMaz – yes i know you can choose to ignore the effects of what ayone tells you! It’s still not always as easy. :) Bottom line is, people have to think carefully before voicing certain judgements and opinions, most of these opinions just don’t need to be said…

CMaz's avatar

Lets get back to the question.

“my sister was saying “Wow. You’re going to be one of those creepy men when you grow up””

This being seen as “judgment”. When it was insecurity. On both parts. For the most part and for most people is nothing but insecurity, of their own doing, being directed back at that person that threatened you. Calling it “judgment” as a way to discredit what they are/were saying.
When it really should not matter to begin with.

For gods sake @Vincent_Lloyd was at comic-con. Get furry ears a wolfs tail a slurp out of the toilet.

If you do something and that information is not threatening, you see it as information. A “lesson”,advice or education.
It seems “judgment” it always brought up when an individual is “criticized” about their actions. Feeling insecure when acting out or wanting to act out on them.

The only “REAL” judgments are ones with absolutes attached to them. A judgment to pay alimony or restitution or to keep a distance, enforced and binding.

Learn to do things and express yourself for YOUR pleasure and desire alone. Then it does not matter at all (most of the time) what others think or say. Making it all a non issue.

I mean you can judge me all you want. I won’t and don’t see it as that. If I smell any “threatening” concern you might have. It will become a talk to the hand moment. Leave a message, I will get back to you.

Judgment is is only empowering to the strong when given that authority from the week. Otherwise it is just lip service.

Flowergurl's avatar

I have an in-law that is extremely judgemental and critical of everyone and everything. Just yesterday she was making horrible negative comments about the wife of a friend who had just passed away hours before. When a person is so judgemental, I believe that it is a way for them to elevate themselves above others in order to make them feel more secure about their own inadequacies.

pennybooks's avatar

People are judgmental because it’s in human nature to categorize and understand their surroundings. However, it would take more than a life time to understand everything as they are, and so we make judgments to categorize things in accordance to our established knowledge base. This idea of connecting an outside stimuli with prior knowledge is important because it determines the type of judgment, as there are both positive and negative judgments.

How I deal with judgments: They are only judgments, only a split second, uninformed,lazy way of analyzing something. People will criticize and judge no matter what, and you can’t change that, so deal with it. Judgments are like a word answer to a thesis question. So, young one, hold your colours against the world and enjoy your furry habits, if that is what you wish.

Judgments can be very wrong, even if its a positive one;

eg. a group of wandering travelers are very weary. they meet a person who offers them a place to stay and food to eat for very cheap. along with that, he offers to provide transport to their destination. he seems quite nice and they judge him to be a good character. however, when they are sleeping, he traps them and eats alive them one by one, and forcing the remaining to witness it. also sodomy and necrophilia.

moral: judgments are only judgments; they aren’t always accurate or precise

BoBo1946's avatar

I judge! For example, the coach that does not call the time-out and loses the game and i make desparing remarks about him. I’m second quessing the coach’s judgement. Most people do this. That is a form of being judgemental.

Also, i’m judgemental. I don’t always agree with everything my son does. But, i keep my mouth shut and show tolerance realizing that I’m flawed also. He does the same thing…i’m sure he see my faults (not really, i’m perfect..loll), but tolerate those flaws.

In reality, are we all not judgemental to some degree? The “kicker” is tolerance! I’ve enough problems with myself without pointing out other people’s flaws!

le_inferno's avatar

People are judgmental because it’s efficient. Doesn’t mean they’re always right, or never proven wrong.

BoBo1946's avatar

excuse me….I’m always right!

BoBo1946's avatar

I’ve always been judgmental of “old maids!”

Old lady, 85, a virgin, about to die. wanted her tombstone to read :
The engraver shortened it to: ” RETURNED UNOPENED ”

naconasong's avatar

I try to treat everyone with love and not to judge anyone. The good book says that only one is here to judge and we should love everyone as we love ourself. I get so sad when people say oh gosh look at that stinky homeless man he stinks. I feel sad and say he would probably love to take a shower. Maybe we should offer him some place to stay and some soap and shampoo and a toothbrush and a comb and some food for his belly. They look at me as if I am crazy. Still I think love is the best way and that is how we should look at others, we should never judge a book by the cover or a person until we have walked in their shoes and not even then it is not up to us to judge just to live our life as best we can!

Robot's avatar

human nature really in my opinion. but to a point of course
after awhile its just annoying and/or fucked up

lapilofu's avatar

@le_inferno I disagree with your assessment that being judgmental is efficient. It seems to me that making and sharing value judgments about the way other people conduct themselves takes a lot more energy then it takes to not make those judgments.

gorillapaws's avatar

@lapilofu I interpreted @le_inferno‘s comment to mean that the social norms that result from people being judgmental help keep things running smoother.

lapilofu's avatar

@gorillapaws I guess we’re splitting hairs here, but I don’t think stereotyping is really the same as being judgmental.

Although, it occurs to me that you could be talking about it being efficient in that being judgmental leads to the efficient creation of things like laws. Which is. Interesting.

zophu's avatar

It’s funny how people use terms like “tribal” and “human nature” to describe the cause of people’s chronic ill behavior. Tribalism worked much much longer and a lot smoother than civilization has. Human-nature is what you see in people who have their basic needs fulfilled and are a part of a culture that is close to nature (not trees and wildlife necessary, just nature.)

Our rampant judgement of others is not only allowed but required by hierarchalism. The notion that certain types of people are fundamentally better or more deserving than other certain types of people is a necessary meme for any civilization to function. And that meme requires everyone to be judged to a significant degree.

It’s not tribalism and the nature of humanity that are the problems, it’s our separation from those things. Not that we should go live in the woods, necessarily, but we should organize our system to support more voluntary cooperation and less profitable fragmentation. Then we wont be so inclined to find a specific slot in the matrix for everyone, including ourselves. Then we wont have to worry about people deviating from the presumed norm so much, and wont be so inclined to judge them much one way or another.

wundayatta's avatar

@zophu Um… I don’t believe I said that judging was ill behavior. Although, I don’t happen to be judging human behavior, since I don’t think it’s something we are responsible for, at least, on a grand, trans-humanic scale. Certainly I believe individuals are responsible for individual behavior. Even so, there is much underlying our behavior, I believe, that we are neither aware of nor capable of controlling.

I think it is important to understand these things, especially if you are going to build a cooperativist society. We have to consciously establish values of equality and monitor ourselves carefully to make sure everyone feels an equally valuable member of the community. The Quakers have a fairly good system for this.

Education theory also suggests something similar. If you get everyone to speak up right from the beginning, they are more likely to feel free to speak throughout the course, and you will get better ideas and better learning when everyone has an equal chance to speak. Sometimes it is necessary to employ one of the not-so-good ideas in order to build the sense of community. If everyone understands this, they won’t complain so much when it happens, because they will know they will get their chance.

This is a pretty advanced form of social development, in my opinion, and it is not one that many people understand. The knee-jerk reaction is the idea of the survival of the fittest. Competition is where it’s at. Many people overlook the amount of team-building that is necessary for an organization to be competitive.

But, yeah. I think we need to understand the nature of judging, and understand it is important. What we are really talking about is our feelings about the judgments. That depends on where the judgments come from. Many are legit, but some are just manipulation. Those are the ones I want to remove from our culture.

mattbrowne's avatar

Why do people judge other people thinking these other people are judgmental?

lapilofu's avatar

@zophu What’s your evidence that “tribalism” worked smoother than civilization? My understanding is that people today live a lot longer and have to work less hard to feed themselves.

zophu's avatar

@lapilofu Tribal systems worked for millions of years (for us and our various ancestors) if I’m not mistaken. People apparently didn’t live as long as we generally do now, and they certainly worked more than the average office jockey; but tribal cultures must have generally been much more stable than the civilizations we have seen wrought with instability throughout history.

Many more civilizations have come and gone than the ones that are here today; and not all of them were wiped out by the more “ambitious” civilizations. A hunter-gatherer, (I prefer the term forager), spends less calories per calorie gained than a farmer does. So, essentially, the work that was required to keep a tribal system going was more efficient than the work that required to keep a more civilized agricultural system going. Not that that applies today with our farming technology. But it represents the foolishness that civilization was founded upon. I already implied the foolishness that civilization’s spread was based on. And now we’re seeing the climax of these foolishnesses, growing ourselves as a cancer of the natural systems we are dependent upon. And I’m not just talking about the organic environment. Our natural psychology is collectively neglected and abused.

Civilization is not as reliable a system as tribalism was. We can’t go back to traditional tribalism, of course, but we can certainly learn from it. The key difference is the hierarchies of classes we use to organize ourselves now that were absent in tribal systems. It’s what enables people to see entire groups of people (sometimes even the group the person belongs to) as less-than-human. That is the origin of the irrational condemnation we see.

It’s a very civilized thing, prejudice.

lapilofu's avatar

@zophu Interesting! I’ll have to read up on this.

zophu's avatar

@lapilofu To be fair, I’m sympathizing with a book called Beyond Civilization by Daniel Quinn that I’m currently reading. And even without the book, my cynical nature would still make me biased on the subject. So, a grain of salt.

lapilofu's avatar

@zophu A book recommendation! I’ll have to pick it up. Daniel Quinn’s a smart guy.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther