Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Are you provoking people to judge you?

You had a fight with your partner just before you left for work. You had a frown on your face, all the way to office and as soon as you got out of the elevator,  an office trainee bumps into you. You snap at her. A few minutes later you hear her calling you a *meanie* to her friend. You walk up to her and yell at her, "Before calling people names, find out where they are coming from! Don't. Judge. Me."

You are tweeting emo 18 hours a day. Your tweets seem partly suicidal. After three days of reading all that, someone asks you to relax and go get a life. You snap at them, saying they have no clue what you are going through and they have no business judging you here.

Fair enough? NO.

Don't mix judging with forming an opinion about you based on how you are reflecting yourself. Assuming that a person is of a particular religion, so shall behave in a stereotyped manner is judging. Assuming that a person is a man so will lech, or a person is a woman so will be a bad driver, is judging. Seeing a fat person and assuming that they overeat, is judging. Making fun at people's physical attributes like maybe, thick lips/big forehead/thick nose is judging ~ behind that face might be a person better than you can ever be.

Generalising is judging. Generalising without any provocation is judging. One cannot  go around misbehaving with everyone they meet and then say I come from a broken family. A stranger wouldn't know your family problems. A stranger would have their own problems, as well. Does it mean that they can misbehave with you as well, coz hey! we are not judging anyone!?

One thing today's youth is quick to blurt out is *MaH lIfE, mAh RulEs. DoNn JuDgE mE*. Really? So if you think it's okay to dress inappropriately, bunk college and make an ass of yourself, no one can dare to correct you? Because, it's your life? Judging that you need help (or maybe some caning) would be wrong? Oh, please!

I will never, ever judge you based on how your parents are, what locality you grew up in, what school you went to, how much you scored. But I might judge you if you don't respect your parents, if you misbehave with elders, you lie, or you cheat. I might judge you if your parents sent you to the best school in town, but you still can't form a correct sentence in either English or Hindi.

I will never judge you if you are dark or fair, but not taking care of your skin is not right either. I will never judge you if you are fat or thin, but over-eating as well as forever dieting is not right. I will never judge you if you don't speak to me in English, speak to me in what you are comfortable with. I will not judge you for being the person you are .... but, please do not behave as your mind finds fit, and then blame it on your past & problems.

Judging is wrong. Very wrong. But hiding behind it and trying to get out of all your bad behaviours is equally wrong. Yes, I would never know your story until I have walked in your shoes. The same holds true for you. But, this is a society we live in and a certain amount of decorum is expected. Please don't use your life's bad experience as an excuse for your poor behaviour.

'Coz if you do that, I might judge you. 

Use your life's experience to make yourself a better person, not a pain in everyone's ass.

Disclaimer: I know the above has counter-points as well, and a few valid ones too. While I would love to know everyone's fair view on this, please do no pick one or two rare scenarios as an argument. This is a very general post and has nothing to do with anyone living, dead or hanging somewhere in between.
I shall be writing another post on the flipside ~ why not to judge. Umm, soon! :-)


  1. WOW wonderful, I share the same sentiments and I get really bugged with people branding a certain cast or religion.

    We are human beings and our behavior can be influenced by our environment however it's not a excuse for us to behave in a certain manner. We still know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. Some choose to use flimsy excuses for their inappropriate behavior

    1. I wish more people realise this. As a nation, we are too prone to categorising people based on sex, religion, community! Like a Gujarati staying in Delhi, would ask me, a Bengali, if my hometown is Kolkata. No dude, it isn't. If you are not in Amdavad, why do I *have* to be in Kolkata? So many assumptions! :)

  2. Very sensible words, Sam!
    I have seen a large number of people (both from our generation as well as today's youth) who think that they hold an unlimited privilege to be "understood" or "not judged" even when their actions are clearly unjustifiable. And much as I hate being judgmental, I have to show them a mirror at times.
    Your post sums up my thoughts to near perfection.
    Well-written! Hope to see more from you! :)

  3. Wow, that was really well put! Some of these thoughts have run through my mind at times, but I don't think I would have been able to concisely put them down so well :).

  4. Judging is wrong. Very wrong. But hiding behind it and trying to get out of all your bad behaviours is equally wrong.

    Well said.
    Realizing you have been wrong and apologizing for it can always help change people's judgement about you.
    Also to remember , you will always be judged based on every action. But you have to be good always. consciously or not.

    1. Exactly, at least try and put your best behaviour forward, in front of everyone. If we are still judged, oh well, can't do much. But misbehaving and saying 'oh I didn't mean it that way' or 'you don't know my problems' is just being a coward. :)

  5. Judging especially on social networking sites comes really easy. I have faced that and seen ugly things especially on Twitter. But Yes I let people judge me and tell me what they think. Its interesting to say the least. Always good to know what people really think of you. Good or Bad. This is purely my perspective.
    Most people though never really say things out. Just because they think it might hurt the other person. For me, that's more infuriating than actually coming out and judging me!

    1. It does, indeed. Someone says something and it's easy to brand and come to conclusions and just randomly tweet one's own views on that topic, instead of talking to the person directly. It indeed is. Hence, better to ignore and move on. One might feel victimised, but it could be the other way around too.

      No one knows the other, hence easy to assume on social networking sites. But at the end of the day, what strangers think doesn't hold any importance, because, real life. Yes, that and the people there are important. :)

    2. Easiest is to stay out of the social networks and thats what I did! :D

  6. I totally agree with your thoughts, especially our tendency to hide behind a generalization and abuse too when the need arises. But in a way I think we are conditioned to think that way as well... "oh his mother died when he was 5 so he turned out this way...", "oh.. she won't amount to much, her brother is a wastrel"... we tend to talk about others in such generalized manners that it tends to grow on us... Being fair and objective is really hard and more often than not, we would rather go down the generalizing way because it makes good gossip at best.

  7. judge ppl and do what? we have no right to judge anybody unless we have power to change it...everybody's behavior depends on his environment and circumstance, if we cannot help them then we should not judge too....each to their own thoughts..nice post :)

    1. Indeed!! That's another important side to this coin :))


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