By Rachel Puryear
We all dread them. The comments, the glares, the attitudes. The drama, the unnecessary screaming. The way they make you feel like you’re never enough, and always doing everything wrong.
Yet, none of us can seem to completely avoid them.
I’m talking about highly judgmental people.
So, what do I mean by highly judgmental people? Doesn’t everyone make judgments sometimes?
At times, we’re all guilty of being judgmental, at least to an extent. None among us reserves judgment of every person, or of every situation, all the time.
Besides, there are some situations and people of whom we perhaps even should be judgmental – such as where someone is regularly cruel, selfish, greedy, and oppressive towards others around them.
That said, though, some people are judgmental frequently, and as a strong element of their personality; rather than just as an occasional and perhaps merely annoying tendency. There is a distinction between those who are highly judgmental, and those with a more typical level of being judgmental.
Much as we might try not to let the judgments of the most judgmental of people get to us, that can be easier said than done. When we’re around highly judgmental people frequently, their effect can be a lot stronger than if we are rarely around them.
Therefore, it’s important to see them for who they are, rather than what they might believe themselves to be – as seeing their flaws more readily might help in coping with the damaging effects they can have on others.
Accordingly, here are some common traits of highly judgmental people – as well as disturbing tendencies they can have, which affect everyone:
Highly judgmental people live to point out flaws. Well, those of just about everyone else but themselves, at least. Especially the flaws of those who don’t think, look, and act the way they do.
You can never even be good enough for them. Even if you’re perfect, they’ll still come up with something to complain about.
Self-Righteous and Believe Their View is the Only Right One
They believe that they are right, while everyone else is wrong. They are virtuous, while everyone else is sinful/irresponsible/lazy/indulgent/foolish and so forth. They think that only their views and priorities are valid.
They are also quick to condemn anyone with different views, and even believe that those who see things differently than they do deserve to be punished, and to suffer.
Rush to Make Assumptions
They are quick to believe the worst about people, especially those who look and think differently than than they do.
However, if others treat them the same way, then they believe that they are being far more victimized than anyone else has ever been. They don’t see the irony in that, either.
They tend to believe they are better than others, and sometimes even that everyone and everything on this green Earth was made for their use and disposal. They tend to lack a sense of give-and-take, or of a collective responsibility to be part of a social contract for the greater good – as opposed to just good for themselves.
Nothing is Good Enough
They are never satisfied. Don’t even try. They can have far more than their fair share, they can even have everything, and it won’t be enough for them. They are like black holes.
Sacrifices and concessions to them will go unappreciated, unacknowledged, and definitely unreciprocated. They’ll still feel like they got a raw deal, that others got something they didn’t, and that they should have more. The hardest of proof and evidence won’t convince them otherwise, they’ll say they don’t need to see it, they know it’s false.
Narrow-Minded, Can’t See Other Perspectives
They think they are right, and anyone who doesn’t see things the way they do is simply wrong. They think it’s on everyone else to adopt their worldview, rather than trying to reach any mutual understanding with other people. They also really, really don’t like change of any kind.
They lack empathy for others. They of course want others to empathize with them, endlessly, and to see things their way. But they don’t think they should have to do that for others.
They are deeply hypocritical, and they hold themselves to one standard, and others to another. For those who look and think differently than they do, they will also tend to hold those people to an impossible standard.
They will think nothing of shouting down and doing everything they can to hurt people who do things that go against their beliefs – and yet, they think nothing of doing those things themselves.
They believe that they are excused from their own behavior that they condemn in others, and they will have an excuse that may or may not be valid – yet, they don’t think that others should get such mercy, even if they have the same excuse.
They think it’s always different for themselves, and that no one else deserves as much leniency and slack as they do.
Complaining a Lot
They are endless whiners. Of course, they don’t want to hear others whine, and will be very critical and judgmental of others’ troubles. But they feel entitled to unconditional sympathy from others.
They take a negative view of just about everything.
They never forgive, and they never forget.
To them, they’re never in the wrong, though. But even if they were, you – according to them – would be unreasonable for holding such a grudge against them, even though they would feel like of course they had every right to hold such a grudge against you.
They love to tell other people what to do, and believe that they are the best ones to make important decisions about other people’s lives, too.
They don’t believe that others should make any decisions without consulting them first. The fact that they know nothing about most other people’s lives doesn’t dissuade them in the least from this, either.
Lack of Responsibility for Their Own Actions
They believe that they’re never wrong, and in any event, anything they do wrong is someone else’s fault, and they always have an excuse ready.
Not that they’d accept the same excuse from you – only they get to make excuses, and no one else.
Jealous and Resentful
No matter how good they have it, they cannot stand to see someone else doing better than them. They hate anyone who has anything they don’t, even though they would think you were ridiculous and cruel to hate them because they have something you don’t. They’d tell you that you were a crybaby, too.
They can’t stand to simply let others be happy, enjoy themselves, and have good things in life. They always want to meddle with it.
Prone to Prejudices, and Fundamentalism
The word “prejudice” means to judge without knowing, and pre-judge. Which is exactly what highly judgmental people do.
Therefore, it should be no surprise that they tend to be very bigoted, and also prone to having strongly authoritarian tendencies.
Such people often claim to be very religious, but they’re drawn to the worst kind of sects and churches. They ignore the teachings of figures they claim to worship – for example, the part where Jesus said to judge not, lest ye be judged.
Instead, they claim that religious teachings support their views, and give them an absolute right to also force those views onto others, even though their views are actually opposite of the teachings of the religions they claim to follow.
This is fundamentalism.
It’s also very closely overlapped with many forms of bigotry, including racism, misogyny, and anti-LGBTQ views.
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