We’ve all met that self proclaimed non judgemental person. The one who very confidently can tell you that they do not, under any circumstances judge people. They tell you how awful it is to judge someone else and how it something they would never dream of doing. Then they throw the curve ball, the extra judgey curve ball when they start to tell you about Jane (‘the one down the road with too many kids than she can handle’) and the saga outside her house the other night and how awful it must be for her kids and how could she do that sort of thing in public! Boom. There is is. They judged.
Judging is part of our make up and I honestly believe we all do it whether we mean to or not. We all have different opinions and obviously the majority of the time we believe that our own opinion is the correct one. But. And this is a big but. Judging is still a bit of a crappy thing to do to someone when you shout about it from the rooftops and when you only have limited information.
Recently across my social media channels I have noticed a rise in people requesting for other people not to judge them. It makes me a bit sad that they have to say that, that they feel so judged by the people in their phone that are feeling the need to voice their opinions on that persons life.
There are people who feel judged by being open about their mental health, money worries, marriage breakdowns. We should not be judging these people. However, there is also the flip side of all this becoming more of a common occurrence. There are a lot of people that are coming out and saying that people are judging their lives to be perfect but actually this, that and this is happening and it’s not all rosy. Surely these people shouldn’t be so naive as to look at an Instagram photo and think that the woman in it has no worries at all in her life.
Don’t we all, on some level have sh*t to deal with?
What worries me is the pure fear that people have of being judged and the people that are being so outspoken with their judgements that they are making us uncomfortable our own lives. Surely the bottom line that you never really know what is going on behind closed doors. Unless you are close friends with a person chances are you know about 10% of their life. So in this case, I don’t think it is okay to judge them. Why, all of a sudden is it okay to have an opinion on someone elses life just because it is through a screen? The people that are sharing their stories are being brave and putting themselves out there, often to help others. They certainly aren’t doing it to be judged.
Take this Instagram photo of me and the kids. How would you judge it? A happy, smiling Mummy? Two happy kids? Perfect Thursday morning by the looks of it. My make up is on, I’m dressed and I have time on a school morning to sit and get the kids to have a selfie with me? All of those things would be true judgements but often with judgements like that that have been made very publicly against other Mummy bloggers recently have come with resentment or anger. Yes, right at the moment I took that photo I was feeling okay. However, I am a Mum with anxiety, I am a Mum without one of my babies in my arms, I am a Mum who is tired, who has life worries and one judgemental comment is likely to tip me over the edge. How do the people behind the screens shouting about their opinions about those other bloggers not know that they haven’t just tipped that blogger over the edge? How do they know that they can handle the judgement or the nasty comment? The point is, they don’t.
So if I am saying judgement is a normal part of the human make up but I am also saying in a lot of cases it is the wrong thing to do, what are the rules when it comes to judging the people around us? Honestly I would say it is not judging what you see. The mum in the supermarket losing her rag at her toddler, the man around the dinner table that is sat quietly and coming across rude, the woman on Instagram with her perfect living room and photos of luxurious holidays. Those are all the things you see but what if the mum in the supermarket is there because she couldn’t stand to be indoors with her threenager any longer? What if the guy at the dinner table is battling anxiety demons just to be able to say one tiny thing? What if the woman with the fancy living room gets small pleasures out of taking nice photos but behind the scenes she is a victim of domestic violence?
You just don’t know.
I suppose what I am trying to say is don’t judge what you see, judge what you know. And if you don’t know a lot don’t judge. More than likely if you knew the back story your judgement would be entirely different anyway.
We don’t know everyones stories. We don’t have to know everyones stories. Just because we are in the age of social media and over sharing doesn’t mean we have a right to everyones life and it certainly doesn’t mean we get to judge it.
Judge not what you see but what you know.