Social psychology states that one’s environment greatly influences one’s lifestyle. Growing up in two extremely conservative areas, Orange County and Colorado Springs, I was heavenly surrounded by a judgmental society. I grew up in this environment and assumed it to be the social norm because I hardly came across anyone that was not one-sided, high standard judgmental individual. A majority of those residing in these two areas were conservative (also known as very republican).
The benefit to growing up in this critical environment was that it helped me set a high standard for myself (to be perfect) and the downside was that at the end of the day…who can truly ever reach perfectionism? How does one define perfectionism anyway? Is perfectionism a one sided definition?
Both of my parents are very hypercritical folks: my Father could easily point out the imperfections of every one of my friends and if I gained a few pounds, my Mother was quick to advise me to go the gym. A huge part of me is grateful that they were so critical because it gave me an ambitious mentality to constantly better myself. Nonetheless, it was harmful in that I could never be content with myself or the world around me. I easily became a hardcore perfectionist; A big insecurity grew within me that told myself I would never be good enough because everyone would judge me as harshly as my parents did.
I take full responsibility for who I am as an individual and although study shows that one’s environment greatly influences them, I would be ashamed of myself if I ever blamed anyone for why things are the way they are. Moreover, why I am the way I am. That is because regardless of how someone influences me, I have the power to make the effort to recognize my faults and change myself.
Now that I ventured off into the “adult world” and have been blessed to encounter a diverse range of people, I have become a lot more open minded in comparison to my younger self. It is not that I threw away all my upbringings, it is moreover that I have incorporated my old self with my newfound identity.
I am extremely excited to further investigate into the question of whether or not all human beings are judgmental. Although some are evidently much more judgmental than others, my witness has been that a majority of individuals tend to pass judgments, whether that be to a higher or lower extent. Do we all naturally have a knack for passing our judgmental opinions, thinking they are facts?
In an article titled: “Why Humans are so Judgmental”, Lokemun Magar holds one’s pride to be the factor in why humans are incredibly judgmental. She sates we all have this thirst to constantly be right. We always want to feel as if we know a person or situation completely when in actuality, we barely even know them at all. She states that this pride within ourselves is our downfall as it causes us to look at circumstances with OUR values; everyone has different values…so whose value is “correct”? Yours? Theirs? How about no one’s? (lifepaths360.com).
Utilizing one’s judgments could be a defense mechanism in that by passing harsh judgment, it will make oneself feel better about their own values. Speaking from a former extreme judge mentalist standpoint, by looking down on everyone else’s lifestyle, it positively fed my insecurity. Those who harshly judge others have more “self-worth” as they are convincing themselves that everyone is imperfect, not just them. We gradually start to believe our morals are superior than others and if anyone else did not follow the same lifestyle, we are quick to classify them lower than us.
Journalist Ganelle Davis believes that people judge others because of a lack of empathy, a feeling of superiority and misinterpreting the intentions of others. She further states that the justice system has failed greatly as many innocent individuals have been wrongfully judged of a horrible crime. These wrongly accused individuals were pre-judged by their: race, gender, age, social status, etc. It is the presumptions locked in our brain that aid us in passing harsh judgments on others (lifepaths360.com).
Are all Asians chinky and short? I am a Vietnamese American who has huge eyes and am 5’6. Are all blondes dumb? There are many educated blondes at the prestigious University of California, Los Angeles. Are all men looking to simply have sex? There are many men that have preferred to wait for marriage. I just listed three common stereotypes and yes, although they are prevalent, they are not a fixed fact.
No one enjoys being told that they are too skinny, too fat, not pretty enough, and not smart enough. How quickly and frequently have those simple remarks came out of our mouths? I am fully guilty of stating all of those remarks, even when I barely knew someone.
Bottom line: mankind does not enjoy being critically examined by others. Often times we are being judgmental without fully realizing our wrongdoings. The most helpful tool of breaking this harmful cycle is for us to strive to be more compassionate and empathetic. We truly NEVER know someone or their situation fully; therefore, who are we too properly judge?
by Christina Tran