I see myself as Little Miss Perfect, though all the three adjectives used to describe is never anywhere close to my personality! It is a pure figment of imagination that I am smart, kind, passionate and flawless, extremely chivalrous and responsible, well all the nice words that you can find when you look up a dictionary! With this apocryphal demeanor, I masquerade on a benchmark that may resemble the Nityananda with all the possible Is and Mes to gauge other people!
Tattooed bodies, short dresses, overdose of makeup, a swaggered walk, a smile that I thought was contemptuous, an answer that sounded snappy, a celebration that looked mocking, a glance that seemed sly, profound and animated discussions that cold shouldered me….Partners, friends, peers, spouse, children, parents, siblings, students in that perennial loop of “what do they think of me and what do I think of them”? Numerous instances and reasons to judge and to take for granted, branding them as “so and so”, to look at someone with unease because of colour and weight, to tweak our language and accent to suit others, to keep up with the joneses in terms of the dress we wear, the music we listen to or the Telly series that we watch.
Am I nice and good all the time to strut pompously and to consider, criticize and arbitrate others’ reactions and responses? What gives me the credibility to like and dislike, to view and review dispositions and temperaments? Is it fair to compare and contrast and ostracize someone because he or she does not match my expectations? Or why is everyone better than you?
Judgmental behaviour is a defence mechanism that raises its ugly head to protect our ego from hurt, pain and afflictions. It is a natural tendency in many to come to hasty conclusions, draw parallels and not seeing the positive side of people and situations. There are compartments, shelves and disks in my brain that categorize, stack and store people as haughty, indifferent, proud, insolent and stupid.
The real me is raw, unsophisticated, gullible and expectant, a set of idiosyncrasies that do not qualify to be judgmental of others or be anywhere close to that. The impulse and inclination to assume, surmise and postulate human behaviour is catastrophic to our inherent self. Anger, anxiety, hatred, isolation are all consequences and the aftermath of looking at people in a prejudicial manner. Fault finding, nitpicking on people, actions, ideas do take a toll on our self-esteem. It clouds our minds and comes at a time of insecurity, jealousy and fear of losing out to somebody. Often, it is inferiority that causes us to be judgmental, a feeling that we are better in comparison by condemning some action and behaviour. This does not motivate us but on the contrary pulls us into an abyss of seclusion, extreme rejection and isolation. We tend to compare the best quality or attribute in an individual to ours and woefully fall short in the measures.
Hindsight is definitely a good teacher and, on many occasions, I have felt the need to expunge and obliterate this feeling of veiled perceptions of natural order that seemed so disorderly! Forming opinions and hastening to have one up -man- ship and moral superiority leads to being hypocritical and self-righteous. Judging an action often latches itself onto the person and separating the action in that situation from the person becomes important to avoid a backlash of counteraction and resentment.
People often fall short of our expectations maybe due to inconsistencies or because the situation warranted such a response and passing judgements have repercussions that can-do irreparable damage to relationship and ruin lives. Trying to be a perfectionist can also lead to being judgmental as the yardstick is the imperfectionist you. Overly sizing up someone normally clouds the best traits in that individual and swept under the carpet of criticism, the unpleasant sticks out much to the chagrin of all around. Being judgmental goes to self -destruct mode as one tries to bolster the sagging self esteem and worth by condemning others and it is all pervasive making the brightest days to go bleak and bothersome. Overcoming the fear of rejection, becoming less self- conscious, chucking comparison leaving them behind and accepting critical feedback can be a good therapy for this subjective irrational thinking!