Candid, not Candied

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Day 3 :: Being Judgmental

Whenever I hear the word 'judgmental', I replay the scene from the movie English Vinglish where Sridevi asks her niece to explain what the word means.

Now while the scene is not for discussion today, the word judgmental sure is. Of late, I realised a few things. I started seeing things with open eyes and mind. I have started observing people and their behaviour. What keeps them interested, what makes them skeptical of others, why do they say what they say... and so on are some of the subtle observations that I have started making. No i am not studying psychology or any mind related studies. It's just that in the year that went by, I experienced people in all different forms. They were the same people that I knew. Some were old acquaintances and  some recent friends, some relatives, some strangers!

People are selfish. All of them, with varying wavelengths of being selfish. When I say selfish, I don't mean they are bad. I mean they have (all of us really, knowingly/ unknowingly) an intrinsic need to assert themselves in every action and situation, regardless of their involvement with the said issue. They go lengths in proving how you are wrong and how what they say is the real and correct. Ever had to listen to unsolicited advice? The part where they make you feel you are worthless and how your decisions are least effective?

People are judgmental. They often jump the gun and come down to a conclusion, which throws you at the wrong side. Their judgments lead them to believe what you have done does not fit the bill. People fail to see your perspective. They have hardly walked in your shoes, but they are at the forefront solving your problems for you, for free. Well, not so free, you are the one paying the price - listening to them and feeling stupid!

You might say why would you want to listen to people. True. I never want to do that. It's they who welcome themselves into our lives and start a sermon. Sometimes you are only too polite to ask them to shut up. Reasons could be that they are elders, teachers, bosses, parents, best friend, siblings, relative that you once idolized. And sometimes, it is better to let them speak than explain why you are correct. Yes, with all that pent up frustration, you might explode one day in their faces. Then again, they get judgy, and call you imprudent.

Under the pretext of giving you suggestions, they want you to walk the path that they have mapped out for you. Isn't that dominance? If you adopt their method, you make them happy; but if not, you are in for some serious debates. Say something does go wrong despite their warnings, you are doomed for life!

Well, that is how it is. You keep quiet and you have to listen to endless discourse that in your life and setting will make no sense! You say something and you are labelled - arrogant, foolish, disrespecting, hungry for trouble etc. You are just not allowed to follow your heart and heed to your mind!

Just to quote a safe example - I recently had joined a FB group for new moms. Earlier it was all good. New moms helping out other new moms with baby related / non-related advice. Things started turning sour with comments pouring in not as a reply to the post but as an insult to some other comment made by another mom that did not conform to the general POVs. And yes, the comments were humiliating making blind assumptions and accusations directed at that mom. It spread like a virus. There was mess on every post. Demeaning words at ever step. No moral policing helped. Later the policing also started to get icky! Needless to say, I am not longer a part of that group.

 Where do I stand in all this? I have started to make conscious efforts in keeping my mouth shut. No unsolicited advice, no matter how well I know the issue. No judging people. I believe that whatever a person does, does so with ample thought behind it. Who knows, that might be the best possible option available to him after considering his pros and cons. Why should I pass a comment at his situation when his outcome is not affecting me? I have stopped caring. Not for their sake but for my own.

I don't care if someone buys a second hand car. I don't care if someone's not had a baby after 4 years of marriage. It is not my responsibility to care for them and certainly not my life to analyse the reasons for the same. Why should I bother? The intention behind the entire non caring status is not to judge a person. The moment one starts judging, immediately the person who is being judged gains inferiority! You lower their stature in an instance without discerning if they deserve it or not.


  1. I agree with you generally.The dictum should be not to give an opinion unless sought for.In the matter of comments and FB,the rule should be to -to tell the truth,to be pleasant,not to tell the truth if unpleasant and not to tell the pleasant if untrue.

  2. Totally understand what you feel Purnima. I have been there too. Similar situations - annoying behaviours, foot-in-the-mouth situations, judgmental people, true concern or just a show-off, it's all part of a parcel. So my thought process has now changed this year - Stay away from anything or anyone making you unhappy. They don't deserve this much importance. :) Keep blogging


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