Have you ever been judged by someone else incorrectly? Do you feel judged or unfairly perceived by someone in your family or outside of your family? What about after certain incidents such as having a loved one hospitalized or telling someone your loved one suffers from a severe mental illness?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. I have come to define judgment or judging as: the process by which we make unfair conclusions based on limited information about others. It is one of the most uncomfortable positions to be in as the object of the judgment or the associate to the object of the judgment. I have been in this position many times and most of us have.
The saddening reality is that people judge as a result of what I call “character deficits” which is often due to:
- Self-esteem issues: Individuals who have a hard time feeling connected and confident about their lives, abilities, and contributions often become judgmental in order to compensate for what they do not personally have. For example, a person who judges constantly often has insecurities and uses those judgments of others to make them feel better about their own “deficits.” This can be conscious or unconscious.
- Jealousy or envy: You may know someone who constantly envies others and has a difficult time being proud, happy, or genuinely supportive. These individuals obviously have “character deficits” and issues with self-esteem, but the one being judged rarely thinks of this.
- Self-righteousness: People who think they have everything in control and perfect are those who rarely have compassion on others, pre-judges everyone, and expects perfection (even if they claim they do not!).
- Bias: Individuals who engage in a lot of presumptions and discriminatory behaviors are those who pre-judge before actually getting to know the truth.
The most important thing to remember is that judgmental behavior is a red flag reflecting deeper issues. In other cases, being judgmental reflects an unawareness of attitude.
It is difficult to always feel that the world is judging you based on limited or skewed information. My great grandmother use to say something that I perceived to be rather silly, but now I see the wisdom in it. She would say: “while you have 1 finger pointing at me, there are 10 thousand pointing back at you.” In other words, while you are concerned about me, there are so many issues already wrong with you.
Despite this “personal psychology,” if you find yourself feeling judged by the world because of a family mental health concern or other issue, just remember that you are always better off for never playing into their judgments, allowing those judgments to control or define you, and ignoring the person who lacks great understanding.
Once you begin to understand why a person is judgmental, you can get in a better position to either cope with it or overlook it.
All the best
Photo credit: digitalart