As I was washing the dishes a few days ago, I had a lot on my mind. I was pondering why people judge others… I try not to do it myself, and sometimes my mind even forgets how harsh people can be.
Someone in my mom’s group recently posted a video. It was a woman talking about (complaining) how she did not agree with a couple of new parents who were asking for specific recipes on specific dates for their meal train.
Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it.
I thought the poster was asking if other mothers shared the same opinion as the woman in the video, so I shared my opinion. But one mother shut down all of our opinions with four words:
“This woman is toxic.”
Why People Judge Others
The judgment and hatred the woman in video spewed about someone that she, presumably, didn’t know very well is quite astounding when you listen to it with judgment in mind. In our daily lives, hatred and judgment are normal and unsurprising to us. But perhaps they should be surprising.
Through school, life and societal culture train us to listen to an argument and form an opinion. We listen to the message and use our experience, prior knowledge, training, and background to put ourselves somewhere on the spectrum of opinion.
The Things a Person Judges Show Their Insecurities and Fears
Opinions are informed by experience, and at their core, experiences are shaped by emotion. Think about this quote:
Two of the most moving and powerful emotions that we experience are love and fear.
But people don’t form opinions based on love.
If you love your neighbor, you don’t bother to judge them!
But if you have a fear or insecurity about a subject, you bet your ass you have an opinion on it.
My opinion on the video above is that I agree with the woman to a degree. I think it’s entitled to ask for specific meals in a train like this when people are volunteering their time and sharing a meal.
Yet, my opinion speaks to my fear of being a burden on people. Because *I* don’t want to be a burden on others, I have a tendency to judge others who don’t have that fear and feel free to ask others for specific things.
In my experience, people who are very pro-guns and fight against gun control have very overwhelming fears about protecting and providing for their families and people in their lives.
People who are against abortions often feel insecure about having children or their ability to procreate. (God, that sounds a bit Freudian, doesn’t it?!)
You could look at any number of issues to get to insecurities of a person.
I took a look at some of my other opinions:
Breastfeeding is best.
- I fear sickness because I believe breastfeeding can prevent illness.
- Not being able to provide nutrition for my children terrifies me.
Cry it out is practically child abuse.
- I am not experienced with having my child cry non-stop because both of my boys are good sleepers. People who use cry-it-out are probably at their wits-end and have tried everything else.
Religious people are avoiding the realities of organized religion (history, wars, hiding the truth)
- I have had experiences with religious people who were very close-minded and close-minded and extreme are two traits I do not wish for others to associate with me.
- Being stereotyped would feel awful.
- I fear using religion to put a bandaid on my troubles instead of facing them raw.
What can You Do
Sometime when you have a chance, take out a journal and write down some of your opinions. After each one, take a hard look at your fears and see if anything starts to line up.
I bet you anything they will.
The answer to why people judge others lies within our fears and insecurities. Just take a closer look.
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