The reality is that each and everyone of us judge each other every day.
We make quick decisions about others based upon appearance, the type of car that is driven, or how polite one may or may not be. Our quick judgements and gut responses have been known to save individuals from serious situations such as being robbed or injured. We make judgement calls for survival. Sadly, our quick superficial judgements can also prevent us from establishing positive relationships with others.
Please don’t act as if you are not someone who makes judgements.
A friend recently shared that her regular Zumba instructor had to be out. She heard from others that the fill in instructor taught a kickboxing class and automatically expected the class to be difficult. Upon arriving to class, she was surprised to see that the instructor was overweight and certainly didn’t look like someone who would be teaching an exercise class. She certainly didn’t feel that was after an hour of trying to keep up with the instructor and receiving a serious workout.
After the class, another student shared that the instructor had lost 150 pounds. My friend commented how natural it was to look at the instructor and think “She’s overweight and needs to workout.” rather than ” She’s working out and has lost 150 pounds.”
Do you find yourself judging others in any of the following ways?
- The shy woman is perceived as snobby. (Shyness makes it very difficult to open up to others)
- The overweight individual is thought to be lazy. (Maybe they are like the example above)
- The Coworker who is always late to meetings doesn’t care about the job as much as you do. (Do you know what else is going on in their life?)
- People living in expensive houses don’t know what it’s like to need anything. (Regardless of income level, individuals have struggles.)
When does judging move to the point of making one a mean
girl woman? Although I make a purposeful point to not talk about others,I know there have been times when I have taken on the role of a mean girl. It hurts me to say that. I’ve been on the receiving end of mean girl comments. However, there have been times when I found myself either initiating or following along on conversations about someone else. There have even been moments when I excluded someone.
Sadly, I’ve become aware of how often the comments of others include harsh and critical judgments of others. I’ve heard someone describe another in physical terms that were unnecessary. I’ve listened as the media inundates us with judgments about how women should and should not look. I have even acknowledged my own personal mean girl voice which criticizes my weight and how I am doing.
Judging others gives us a commonality to discuss. It makes us feel as if we belong or that we are somewhat superior and don’t have things as difficult as someone else.
We rarely discuss the success of someone else. Perhaps that is because it forces us to consider our own situation and if we are doing enough?
Although we will never be able to stop the fact that we judge. We do have the power to stop what we do with the judgement. Becoming aware of the judgemental thoughts is the first step. Preventing ourselves from sharing our judgement with others is the next. Not participating in others judgmental / mean girl conversations is yet another.
This week I challenge you to become aware of your judgemental thoughts. Do they serve a purpose? How does it make you feel?
When do you think judging others makes one a mean girl?