A lot of people get pissed or mad about being judged by others, which is understandable especially when the judgments are hasty and come out of nowhere. Judging itself seems to have been put in a bad light, as seen when we’re labeled (or label someone) “judgmental,” “judge,” or the grammatically incorrect “judger.”
But the fact is that all of us judge, in that all of us determine the value, the quality, or the correctness of something. What’s wrong is taking our judgments against things or people and looking down on them or not even considering them worthy of anything.
Here’s a list of things that shouldn’t be taken against you, which is also the same as things that you shouldn’t take against other people:
1. Your job or career. It’s so easy for people to not want to be friends with those whose job or career path they don’t believe in or they consider bullshit. I’m sure you have some in mind as you read this. It’s so easy for people to say you’ve sold your soul for money or that you work for the “bad guys.” Well, you sure have and do if you’re corrupt—there’s no arguing that. But if you’re just in that environment making a living without committing a crime, who has the right to call you out? Money is hard to come by for a lot of us, so we go where we can. The case is the same when your job has nothing to do with your passion. Not all of us are so lucky enough to be earning from what we love, and a lot of people don’t even have the capital to start out on their own.
2. Your fetishes. If you have a thing for humping balloons, BDSM, feet, or what-have-you, no one should be avoiding you or mocking you thinking you’re cray. We have a thing for things, and most of the time we ourselves can’t even explain why we’re so into them; that’s normal—it doesn’t mean we’re sick or that something traumatic happened in our childhood. I mean, can you explain and justify why you’re soooooo into eyebrows? So what if they frame your face? Why do you want your face framed? Are your eyebrows the only things that frame your face? What makes you think you look good? Do you catch my drift?
It’s different if someone has a thing for child pornography. It’s rightfully a cause of worry. A child had to be abused for that porn to happen, and no one should be okay with abuse.
3. Your gadgets. Mainstream might find you cool for owning Apple products, but the true techies who buy gadgets for the specs will scoff at you for being an idiot. Don’t own an Apple product and considered uncool by your peers? Shrug it off if you don’t want to care ever, or buy one if what your peers think matter so much to you. We all have different priorities and budgets for our gadgets, and it’s wrong to belittle someone who can’t afford the expensive phones or would rather splurge on something else. Likewise, you shouldn’t insult or severely criticize someone who splurges on exorbitantly priced items. What if she wanted it so much she saved up for it?
4. Your past. We all did things before that we want to forget now. People change. However, that doesn’t excuse you (or anybody else) from taking responsibility for the effects of your actions and doing damage control.
5. Your looks. We didn’t choose to look like we do! Fine, we can now tweak some things about our bodies or faces by working out, going under the knife or having a laser treatment, or wearing makeup. But honestly, we all have our own ideas of the beautiful. We’ve no right to impose that on someone else or to mock someone for her “strange” features.
Note: The case is different for dress codes for someone’s event or a job interview. Following it shows you respect the host or the company, and doing otherwise shows you don’t. Naturally people will have a bad impression of you if you don’t follow the dress code, but that’s about it. Nothing personal.
6. Your accent. It’s a sign of where you come from and what your mother tongue is—again, something you didn’t choose and something you shouldn’t be ashamed of. People shouldn’t be mocked for their accents. Think about it: If you learned their language, you’d be moving your lips and your tongue in ways you’ve never done before and you’ll sound unintelligible to them. So don’t hate.
7. Where you shop. It shouldn’t be anyone’s business to give you hell for shopping in the ukay-ukay or in Zara (whether during sale season or not). Looking presentable in what you’re wearing is what matters most, so if anyone tries to make you feel bad, just smile and shrug. Some things don’t have to be dignified with words. To put it simply, why fight about something that for sure you’re right about?
8. Your taste in entertainment. This goes for music, art, movies, TV shows, and more. At least once (if not every single day of our lives) we’ve insulted someone whose taste is different from ours, and we’ve been insulted as well. You can be the type to like the easily digested mainstream pop songs that have zero dynamics and have bad mixing, the type who likes the more sophisticated classical or jazz music, or the type who’s stuck listening to the ballads of the ’70s to the early ’90s. There’s nothing wrong with any of those. People have emotional connections with what they listen to, see, or watch on TV. Calling them out for their taste isn’t right since you’re disregarding some important story, memory, or experience that they hold on to.
If you want to talk about culture and taste and how they affect people, go right ahead. Discourse is always healthy since that supports educating ourselves. Building walls and casting people away, however, are not.
Follow Stephanie on Twitter.