I like how we are very quick to categorise people.
Oh that’s a smart dressed person . .
Can I roll my eye enough at that giggly teen 3 tables away?
Omg! they can’t keep their hands to themselves, get a room guys !
90% people agree to have had these thoughts and the remaining 10% say they didn’t are lying.
It’s not even funny how these judgments creep up. How quickly we categories people based on one behaviour, one action or one choice.
I decided to take up the challenge to understand how judgemental I am. As a psychologist I am shocked at how many I have and how easily they surface.
I am taking the liberty to mention only those that made me cringe at myself and I am comfortable putting out.
The first one crept in at 10:00 in the morning when my client refused to confirm appointment. At first I was like typical Mumbai. Time here is always subjective. As each one of us has his or her own time which in most cases is always late by 15-50 mins.
So judgement- people in Mumbai don’t know how to follow or respect standard time
They say everyone deserve a piece of mountain top. Even in this city where one can’t find one’s own tree to sit under.. nor can one find a tree actually.
So I evolve… industrial revolution evolution, my mountain top is a rickshaw ride. This is where I take time off, plan my day and clear my head. Today as I looked out I saw a group of guys at the small smoke shop. One of the boys looked irritated and fanned the air In front of him when smoke blew his way. I smiled at the thought…, no starch that … I smiled at the judgement I passed. That’s a girly guy.
My judgment siren when ‘ eeew awww eeeew awww’ like a ambulance in traffic. I am a girl I like to smoke. Not liking smoke in your face has nothing to do with gender. I did cringe at this one. The smile faded. The feminist and non judgmental side of me was ashamed, clicked their tongue at me while nodding their heads.
This is how deep the ideas of feminism and masculinity are one action or one expression is enough for me to judge a person’s gender conformity.
My next judgement was a positive one but I would still prefer not to have it as a categoriser at all. A NGO that I consult for to establish a mental health Centre send in their co ordinator. So we could discuss some fine logistic details. In came a girl, crisply dressed and on time. I immediately liked her. We spoke not only about logistics and mental health Centre but soon about public awareness for our respective fields. The meeting changed to a casual comfortable chat.
My judgement here was – a well dressed punctual girl is smart. That judgement made me accept her and be less critical of her. Would I be the same to another girl who came in late with the hair in the air like I always wear mine? I would like to say yes. But I do know that’s a lie.
However, do we judge only others; fortunately and unfortunately no. As I was waiting for my last client to come in. I knew he wouldn’t keep his appointment. I began questioning my self. Maybe last time I made a reflection he wasn’t ready for. Maybe my style of therapy is not best for him. These questions and more quickly led me to pass the judgement, I am not a good adult therapist. This is my anxiety cycle with adults counselling. I get anxious- I tell myself I am not good at it – then I don’t believe in my skills- I refer my clients to someone else. So I never do well with adults and thus the self fulfilling prophecy fulfils itself.
I reach home exhausted and my pet jumps up and down with excitement and runs away to sleep. Quickly a magnitude of emotions jump up with Worry as their Commander in Chief. I ask my mom a list of questions and all of them in hindsight are blaming.
I asked her if she bath Ally (my pet) again?
Did she give that crazy massage again?
Did she carry Ally upstairs again?
After the fourth or fifth question my mind goes ‘ eeeew-awww eeeew-aaawww’ I see the judgment I have against my mother, that she will mess up.
So I ask her what happened to Ally why is she so sleepy? But I could see the damage was done.
Ally was just tired as she had gone to the doggy park and had ran for a good hour chasing other dogs.
Judgments are inherently interesting, but they do way more damage than good. While I was rereading or proof reading my rant, I felt that most of the paragraphs seems incomplete. I have left them unexplained or with no plan to combat them. Maybe on purpose so these judgments haunt me. Maybe cause I don’t have the answers to how to change them. Or maybe cause I believe knowing about them is half a battle won. Or maybe cause I am placing my faith on my internal red light ambulance siren to help me recognise them better and let them go through as soon as possible without causing damage.
They are not who you think they are,
not that you really give a damn.
Your judgements hurt people from the inside out,
but I guess that’s really all this life is about.
You play life as if it’s one big game,
but the consequences you create are never the same.
Everyone holds pain inside,
you’d see that if you really tried.
Judging people is pointless and cruel,
sometimes all it takes is a small amount of fuel
to make someone explode
or choose the wrong road.
One small word, harsh or kind,
Can work wonders to someone’s mind.
You can help them or destroy them,
crush them, or mould a perfect gem.
Build them up or break them down,
make them smile, make them frown.
It’s really up to you, and the choices you make,
So before you judge someone….