It irks me no end to know that everytime I move a muscle, I’m being judged. I try not to think about about it. But sometimes, it stares at me in the face and I have no choice but to confront it. I know that a certain level of judging cnnot be helped and sometimes may even be needed (like in an interview) but unwanted unwarrented judging really annoys me. Why? It’s as if I have to apologize for being who I am. The point is: I don’t see why.
I’m a unique individual inhabiting my own unique space in the world. Unless and untill I trample on another’s space or hurt them in any way, I don’t think I have to apologize. Most people would consider me a happy-go-lucky, loud, garrulous person. (Not that I’m not ever down. I have my ups and downs like any normal person.) I know that this is the way other people perceive me from the way people speak about me. Apparently, that’s not the norm. What is the norm? I don’t know. Someone some where is quiet. Someone (like me) some where is loud and garrulous. Someone (like me) some where has to be ‘tolerated.’ Someone somewhere laughs loudly (Hell, I do. So shoot me!) Someone some where is too tall. Or too short. Or too funny. Or too bald. Or too young…. the list is endless. I think that these characteristics are treated as character flaws. And that is what I disagree with. Imagine a world where everyone is exactly like the other. What kind of life would we have then?
Most of the time when someone makes a comment that makes me feel judged (good or bad) I ask why. I want to know the reasons. Why, today someone made a comment that my relatively quiet neighbour at work has to tolerate me. (Not the exact words, but this is pretty much the gist of it.) Tolerate because he is quiet, and I’m not. I still don’t get the connection. How come no one asks me why or how I have to tolerate him? (I don’t have to. He’s a nice guy.) So, I had to get to the crux of the matter. I tried asking them, ‘So, what does XYZ have to tolerate?” The answer quite simply is me. But no, the person just shut up. As if he/she knows that he/she is wrong or has spoken too much or maybe I have heard too much. Why can’t people just let other people be?
Most of the jokes that I have heard about me are centered around judging me. Some people ask, “Why are you taking this so seriously? This is just a joke.” I have nothing to tell them. Not because I don’t have an answer, but how do you tell people that, “Hello! I don’t like being judged. Not even in jest.” Or “Don’t you know? I’m not what you judge me to be.”
I guess all of us do some amount of judging at any given point in time. But I feel that judging prejudices a person’s perception of another’s abilities. I’m not flawless. I have judged and I have been proven wrong. I have graciously accepted it too. But I try consciously not to judge. Each time, I’m lean towards making a judgement, I check myself. I say to myself, “Maybe I could be wrong.. Maybe it’s a bad day. I hope things get better.”
A certain amount of judging is necessary for survival. Like when you need to decide if the guy who is following you can really hurt you. Or if the client really likes your work. Or if that good-looking guy is really interested in you. But it’s the petty judging that makes me feel belittled that really irks me. It’s neither helpful nor constructive, and certainly makes me feel uncomfortable. Moreover, I don’t think I have to explain why I am the way I am to anyone.