Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why are We So Quick to Judge People?

Judgement. How do we define this word? Not very easy to define, is it? When I think of the word “judgement” the first thing that comes to my mind is court cases where a judge passes judgement after listening to the case and then whatever the judge declares is legally binding on both parties. Well, I asked Google to shed some light on how it defines judgement, I was only shown the legal and court definition of the word. This made me ask myself, why is it that we, as human beings, think that we have the right to hold our own amateur courts all the time against our fellow human beings and behave as if our judgement is legally binding or something on the person we so quickly passed judgement on?

How many times it has happened that we have learnt about a difficulty in a person’s personal or professional life and we’ve, without having the slightest clue about the inside story, passed comment or passed judgement on them? Put forward our own theories about the reasons behind their difficulty and our own solutions about how to solve it and our own judgements about all the people involved. Why do we think that we need to interfere and act as if we are right in our lame judgements when clearly we don’t know what the inside story is. It is a fact that a lot goes behind closed doors, after all.

Other than that, we are passing judgement on people’s preferences and appearances too. Like for example, “You like green, you must be a nature lover” or “You like to wear a lot of black, you must be a very emotional person”. What sense does that make on any level? Why do we have any business passing those judgements? Or judging people on their taste in music, like “If you like Metallica you are a rebel” or “If you like Linkin Park then you are depressed.” Appearances too. I myself have heard people say stuff like, “She is good looking so why did she get divorced” or “He is looking like that, yet he expects to achieve this?” This is not just mere stereotyping that is going on here. This is something else. That this person is definitely like this simply because they possess this particular trait or that particular type of appearance.

Why are we so quick to pass judgement like this on other people? Don’t people realize the consequences of their actions? What impact their judgements will have on other people? Or don’t people ever think how they would feel like if they were judged like that?

I myself, personally, have been a source of judgement for other people. People have constantly passed judgement on me for various reasons. To my appearance, to my grades, to being a shy person. You name it, it has been judged upon. The consequences for judgement are quite dire. Those of us who have been at the receiving end of judgement know the consequences all too well. The consequences of judgement are all too real and hiding in plain sight, so no need to go into those details here.

This all brings me back to my original question, “Why are we so quick to judge people?” and even after writing those several paragraphs on the topic, I still have like absolutely no answer for this question. However, I have managed to develop several theories on this topic. First, I think it is simply because they can. The attitude of, “I can say this to you, so I will because I can”. Like I have noticed that in several Indian plays, they have a character whose sole purpose is to pass judgement and she (I am yet to see that character as male) behaves exactly like this. Second theory is ego. Just to show that I am so much better than you and I am above you, people pass judgements. Or maybe people pass judgements because they have like gotten too much time on their hands.

My message would be that before someone holds their own court and passes their own judgement, they should think, “Do I even have any business saying this?” And they should look at the consequences. Words are powerful, use them wisely. Your judgement, which took you only like five minutes to pass, may harm and stick to a person for a lifetime. Your judgement may haunt a person forever. Your judgement may hurt a person. Your judgement may make a person rejected by the world like they have no place in this society. Your judgement may harm the behaviour of a person. And the list goes on. So please think twice before you judge someone.


  1. So true.....we are judging every small thing that comes across our way...questioning the purpose of its creation....that's what we grow up with....World would have been a better place without prejudices and judgements.