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Judging others


SamL

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A moment ago, I finished reading a story about the Michigan governor's State of the State address.  The story was addressing negative comments about her dress rather than her address and how this sexist double standard exists that... it's not a new type of story so I'll assume you know what I'm referring to without boring you by repeating it.  This type of outrage has always confused me.  I know a lot of folks who would say that sarcastically right about this point in the comment, but I'm not being sarcastic...I really don't get it.

 

We are NOT supposed to judge women according to the way they look.  Okay, I get that.  And then someone will say, "Oh my gawd, did you see the bride?  She is absolutely stunning!"  I wait for the fallout and it never comes.  In fact, if the bride accidentally overheard that, she beams and thanks them.  So it seems, judging women according to the way they look IS acceptable, but only if you are judging them in a way they like.  

 

"Oh my goodness, you are brilliant!" is okay.  "Oh my goodness, you are stupid!" is not.  

I'm not responsible for your feelings, is healthy thinking, but I should have said it nicer.

We shouldn't judge people by their past, but who is going to let the convicted child molester who did his time babysit their children?

 

Now granted, I'm on the autism spectrum but wtf...how do you folks reconcile this type of stuff?

 

I recently saw a post where someone here was looking for support for something they were thinking of doing.  While I was trying to figure out the best way to encourage them to go for it, comments started pouring in for this person encouraging them NOT to do it.  I waited and watched...and the OP thanked them for being supportive.  Once again, wtf?  If someone comes to me and says they want to quit their job and need some support (just an example), I would try and think of positive things about them quitting.  I'd say something like, "Well look, you've picked a great time.  Unemployment is at historic lows and companies are having difficulties finding enough people to fill their positions.  If you apply yourself, I'm sure you'll find another job in no time."  But apparently, the support they wanted was to try and talk them out of it.  

 

I tend to say exactly what I mean and get misunderstood all the time while watching others say exactly the opposite of what they really mean and be understood perfectly.  Hmm, this is getting waaaay longer than I expected... here's one more example:

 

So my little got a bunny recently (photos in gallery) and I was researching how much to feed her.  I found a family farm that had been breeding rabbits since before World War 1 and spoke to the owner, a woman who was in her late 50's and inherited the family business from her parents and grandparents.  After she gave me an initial breakdown, our conversation deteriorated.  Here it is transcribed:

 

Don't feed your rabbit too many carrots because they have a lot of sugar.

How many is too many?

Well, I only let mine have one a day.

And how much does your bunny weigh?

I don't know, why?

Well I mean, average domestic rabbits can weigh between two and twenty pounds. Certainly you wouldn't feed a two pound rabbit the same amount as a twenty pound rabbit.

Oh yeah, well my rabbits about average size.

I see, and are you talking about something like nantes or baby carrots?

What?

Nantes are arguably the most common carrot sold in North America – so think stereotypical carrot, whereas baby carrots come in one pound bags with twenty-five to thirty carrots in them – dipping carrots for dip. The difference in weight, sugar and calories between the two is about 20:1.

Omg it is exhausting talking to you Angel – I feel like I'm getting the third degree.

Yes, I understand – I feel like a dentist pulling teeth and I STILL don't know how many carrots to feed my bunny.

 

Okay, I didn't actually say that last line - but I certainly thought it.  Anyway, anyone have any thoughts?

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yeah look, everything is acceptable as long as you aren't physically hurting someone else. there is no such thing as a thought crime and people who advocate for such are manipulative hypocrites. don't think too much about it or it will drive you nuts. 

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Hello SamL,

 

I can understand your confusion.

I remember that my mother tried to teach me the difference by saying that most people like to hear something positive so it's acceptable to notice that without anyone asking - especially since a lot of people would look down on someone for "fishing for compliments" if they tried to get positive feedback. (Which is messed up in a whole different kind of way in my opinion but that's apparently how society operates.)

 

Negative comments on the other hands can be hurtful especially when someone tried their best so "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all" seems to be a widely accepted policy but you shouldn't lie when someone specifically asks for your opinion. It helps if you know the person because you'll have more points of reference about what's acceptable to them.

I think that about covers her advice on that topic and while it's not encompassing every possibility I've used it as a pointer in many situations.

 

For your example with the rabbit. I can understand why you would be frustrated but I'm guessing as long as not otherwise specified a breeder would talk about averages. Average bunny size, average carrot. It's very imprecise but it's probably not an exact science for her to start with.

 

It reminds me of how when I'm baking I used to be stressed to get the amount of ingredients exactly right (according to the recipe) but deviating from the recipe by small percentages is usually imperceptible. It's relative. And e.g. my grandmother had enough experience when she was trying to explain stuff to me that she wouldn't use recipes most of the time and say things like: you'll need a good dollop of this and heat the oven to a good middle temperature. Those instructions had me completely lost at first but watching her for years I know now that a "good middle temperature" is something close to the average temperature a cake might need. Like if some recipes will recommend this temperature and others one that's twenty degrees higher pick the average of that and my granny would most likely be happy with the "middle temperature" that you've chosen.

 

Similarly the breeder probably had a certain bunny and carrot size in her head but didn't know how to express the ratio. Very inconvenient but it might have been best if you could watch her feed a few rabbits and get a basic impression about that ratio.

 

I hope some of what I said made sense to you. I can't really think of anything else right now but maybe we could talk more in the future.

 

Best wishes.

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It's confusing, I think, because these things are not black and white. There are a lot of gray areas. Personally, I do judge people and I'm not ashamed of that. I also accept that others judge me. I wish people would stop pretending that they don't judge, because it's a natural thing and everyone does it. Now, what irritates me is when someone sees something I did 7 years ago in a completely different living situation and maturity level and they judge who I am know and assume I will repeat that action. But again, grey areas, because in some cases it might be accurate to judge someone like that.

 

We are NOT supposed to judge women according to the way they look.  Okay, I get that.  And then someone will say, "Oh my gawd, did you see the bride?  She is absolutely stunning!"  I wait for the fallout and it never comes.  In fact, if the bride accidentally overheard that, she beams and thanks them.  So it seems, judging women according to the way they look IS acceptable, but only if you are judging them in a way they like.  

 

"Oh my goodness, you are brilliant!" is okay.  "Oh my goodness, you are stupid!" is not.  

 

I'm not responsible for your feelings, is healthy thinking, but I should have said it nicer.

 

If you give someone a compliment, it boosts their confidence and makes them feel good. While, if you say something negative about their appearance, they may lose confidence and feel bad about themselves. So that could be translated as: You said something that benefited me, and I thank you. You said something that hurt me, so I disagree with your actions. Then it gets more complicated because you have people that will ask for your opinion, but if your opinion isn't something they like, then you are rude and mean. Which is really annoying and an example of an action I would judge someone for lol. On the other hand, you also have people who ask your opinion and actually appreciate it whether it is what they hoped for or not. 

 

Then you can add in how you say something. 

Do you like my dress?

A. No, it looks like a trashy trash can of trash.

B. No, I don't.

 

Now, if you see someone walking down the street and you think their outfit is terrible, I don't think it's right to voice that opinion so that they hear you. But what's wrong with going home and telling your significant other what you saw? I don't know.

 

We shouldn't judge people by their past, but who is going to let the convicted child molester who did his time babysit their children?

 

I feel like judging someone on their past is such a gray area that it's almost a case by case sort of thing. 

How long ago did said action happen?

How much has this person matured?

What was going on in their life that resulted in said action?

Do they still hold the same morals as when they did said action?

Have they grown as a person?

 

A convicted child molester will probably always have those desires lurking inside them somewhere, whether they served their time or not. That is a kink, so to say. So I follow the concept that even if they suppress it, they will still be interested deep down.

 

However, if at 22 someone was immature and financially irresponsible, that doesn't mean that in 4 years they will still be that way.

 

If someone was a well behaved and ambitious teenager, that doesn't mean they deserve credit for their past if they turned out to be an adult who doesn't try hard at anything and constantly makes bad decisions.

 

But if someone was addicted to hard drugs in the past, I would be skeptical of whether or not they could handle being around those drugs without giving in. 

 

I recently saw a post where someone here was looking for support for something they were thinking of doing.  While I was trying to figure out the best way to encourage them to go for it, comments started pouring in for this person encouraging them NOT to do it.  I waited and watched...and the OP thanked them for being supportive.  Once again, wtf?  If someone comes to me and says they want to quit their job and need some support (just an example), I would try and think of positive things about them quitting.  I'd say something like, "Well look, you've picked a great time.  Unemployment is at historic lows and companies are having difficulties finding enough people to fill their positions.  If you apply yourself, I'm sure you'll find another job in no time."  But apparently, the support they wanted was to try and talk them out of it.  

 

People sometimes ask for support on their decision when really what they mean is they need support in making a decision. Also, sometimes people ask for support on a decision when they actually do want you to tell them the opposite. An annoying reality. Kind of like someone saying "Just admit it, I'm so ugly." but actually wanting a compliment.

 

I tend to say exactly what I mean and get misunderstood all the time while watching others say exactly the opposite of what they really mean and be understood perfectly.  Hmm, this is getting waaaay longer than I expected... here's one more example:

 

So my little got a bunny recently (photos in gallery) and I was researching how much to feed her.  I found a family farm that had been breeding rabbits since before World War 1 and spoke to the owner, a woman who was in her late 50's and inherited the family business from her parents and grandparents.  After she gave me an initial breakdown, our conversation deteriorated.  Here it is transcribed:

 

Don't feed your rabbit too many carrots because they have a lot of sugar.

How many is too many?

Well, I only let mine have one a day.

And how much does your bunny weigh?

I don't know, why?

Well I mean, average domestic rabbits can weigh between two and twenty pounds. Certainly you wouldn't feed a two pound rabbit the same amount as a twenty pound rabbit.

Oh yeah, well my rabbits about average size.

I see, and are you talking about something like nantes or baby carrots?

What?

Nantes are arguably the most common carrot sold in North America – so think stereotypical carrot, whereas baby carrots come in one pound bags with twenty-five to thirty carrots in them – dipping carrots for dip. The difference in weight, sugar and calories between the two is about 20:1.

Omg it is exhausting talking to you Angel – I feel like I'm getting the third degree.

Yes, I understand – I feel like a dentist pulling teeth and I STILL don't know how many carrots to feed my bunny.

 

Okay, I didn't actually say that last line - but I certainly thought it.  Anyway, anyone have any thoughts?

 

A breeder that should know the answers to your questions, but doesn't. So, they got frustrated talking to you because they didn't want to admit they didn't know things. Nothing wrong with your side of the conversation, they just didn't know the answers / didn't feel like participating in a conversation about rabbit care that was more specific than what they are probably used to. 

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Well about the rabbit thing, it makes sense that you want to know exactly how much to feed the rabbits, especially if they can only have certain things in moderation, such as carrots.

 

I would suggest maybe if possible looking online for other bunny owners and see if there is a group you can join to talk to. There are many groups online for many different things. For instance my neighborhood has a group on Facebook to discuss things like garage/yard sales or things happening in our area.

 

I'm sure there are some groups online whether on Facebook or even just googling it. Hopefully you find your answers. Hopefully someone can help you figure it out.

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Guest CharlieFPG

I would say that, the best way to deal with such situations is being assertive. This broadly means stating your position and opinion, when asked or when it is a topic on a group, such as this forum on a firm but polite way.

 

You will however find people that are unable to accept assertiveness because they just want to hear something specific, you cannot help that; so as long as you are polite enough, you will have no fault. It's their loss for skipping sound advise in exchange for flattery.

 

"Assertiveness is a social skill that relies heavily on effective communication, while simultaneously respecting the thoughts and wishes of others. People who are assertive clearly and respectfully communicate their wants, needs, positions, and boundaries to others. There’s no question of where they stand, no matter what the topic. From a cognitive standpoint, assertive people experience fewer anxious thoughts, even when under stress. From a behavioral standpoint, assertive people are firm without being rude. They react to positive and negative emotions without becoming aggressive or resorting to passivity. Individuals who are high in assertiveness don't shy away from defending their points of view or goals, or from trying to influence others to see their side. They are also open to both compliments and constructive criticism. Assertiveness is often associated with higher self-esteem and confidence. People can improve their assertiveness through practical exercises and experience."

 

Source https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/assertiveness

Edited by CharlieFPG
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I would say that, the best way to deal with such situations is being assertive. 

 

I do not think this is the issue (said politely but assertively :) )  For instance, recently while commenting on a news story, I asked the question in the comment section...well here, let me go get it and cut and paste:

 

 

 

 Why do reporters continue to ask people questions who they know do not respect the truth? The only thing that I know for sure when she speaks is that it can't be trusted. I mean, it might be true, but how would I know? How would anyone know?

 

I got a response.  Here it is:

 

 

 

 

Because if you lie under oath, it's perjury, a felony, and will send you to prison.

 

Now I'm stuck.  Does this person really think that you are under oath when you talk to a reporter?  Or is their reading comprehension so poor that they can't understand?  So I look back and re-read my question.  Doesn't appear to be any fifty cent words.  The longest words are 'questions' and 'reporters' - they couldn't have misunderstood those could they?  The sentences don't see overly complicated.  How do I continue this conversation without insulting them unnecessarily?  

 

And here's the thing - this type of response....I hear it every day, in nearly every conversation I have.  I hear it in nearly every conversation I listen to that other people are having.  My eyes glaze over and they continue talking like everything is perfectly fine.  Here's a ridiculous example that I witnessed - ridiculous but it really happened.  I was playing poker at the Bicycle Casino in L.A.  Typically two players sitting next to each other will share a small table for drinks, their cell phone, or what have you.  The cocktail waitress showed up to take orders and Player One looked down at the table and saw a Coke sitting there.  You could see the confusion on his face as he tried to remember if he had ordered it, eventually turning and asking Player Two next to him if it was his.

 

Player 1: "Is this your Coke?"

Player 2: "No thank you, I already have one."

Player 1: "No, nothing for me thank you." (to the cocktail waitress)

At which point Player 1 picked up Player 2's Coke and started drinking it.  The table was on Player One's right hand side and, as he was right-handed, when he was dealt the next hand, he very naturally transferred the Coke to his left hand to free up his right hand to grab the new cards being dealt to him.  Deciding to play his hand, he set the Coke down on the table closest to him - which was now the table on his left-hand side.  The cocktail waitress showed up right about now with a Coke but couldn't remember who was to receive it (no one actually because Player One thought he already had a Coke and Player Two actually did have one when she was here last).  

Waitress: "Who gets the Coke?"

Player Two looked down and found his Coke had disappeared. 

Player Two: "Where did my Coke go?"

Waitress: "Right here silly, I just got back." as she set the new drink down rolling her eyes at me in camaraderie.  

 

So many things went wrong here...I mean, she brought a drink even though no one had actually ordered a drink.  There was no effective communication on anyone's part.  I have a sense of humor...and stuff like this is funny for the first million times or so, but then it just gets old.

 

P.S. I want to add - here's the part that's the toughest to take: There were nine people playing poker at the table and a dealer.  That's ten folks plus the waitress.  Everyone, whether they were participating in the conversation or just witness to it, didn't catch anything amiss.  That's when I feel I have fallen down the rabbit hole...everyone heard the exchange and it just went in one ear and out the other.

Edited by SamL
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To the "don't judge woman by their looks":

in professional setting I at least prefer to be seen just as a professional, nothing else. Obviously that is ridiculous desire as it is impossible. Other people either see me or read what I wrote or hear me speak. Only really rarely there is no personal contact of any sort and they only see what I have produced with no idea about me. And it is also sort of lie as I want to be seen as a person, as me. I want to be accepted as who I am wherever I go as you can't just push yourself to side and become only pure professional.

 

I could go on for hours easily with all sort of examples, studies and so on which show that your gender or how you look has massive impact on how others treat you or deal with you or how they see you. It is the ugly truth of our "equal society". Me in body of a woman is treated differently than if I was a male. Me being female means that I have been raised differently than my male counter parts. And when I say 'differently' I mean just that, sometimes it means more negative outcome for me, sometimes more positive than if I was male.

 

It's easy to say don't judge someone based on their looks but we all do it. In fact we even should do it: if someone looks to be super emotional, aggressive and carrying some sort of weapon, yes, please, judge that person to be high risk for you and act accordingly. That judgement is more likely to keep you alive and well.

 

Where it gets nasty or frustrating is when you feel that you are judged wrongly. Or that you are treated differently just because of something you can't affect, like your sex or hair colour. But I would still try to understand why people judge me as they do and if there is any good reason for it. It helps to cope with being judged wrongly. ( Like if there was murderer who looks like me running loose, I would understand why people might look me bit longer than usual and take few steps back from me. Would it be nice for me? No, but I would at least try to understand their reaction. It would be natural and even good reaction for them. Would be frustrating as hell but sometimes life is, you just need to deal with the cards you have been given ).

 

Judgement is tricky thing. But I would evaluate what the risks with the judgement are. Judging child molester? Good thing as if the risk of damage that could happen for innocent child actualises, it is bad. Like really bad. If then again the risk doesn't actualise: well, one person might have felt bit bad. Which is worse? In that case some hurt feelings don't really matter to me as the possible damage done to a child is beyond horrible. And I would also assume that someone can't really change from being childmolester into a "normal" person. So, risk is high in that way too.

Judging a woman to be airhead because of the way they dress? Bad as what will I gain even in best case with that judgement? And what damage does that judgement do in worst case? And what is the likely link between ones dress and their intelligence level or mental maturity ( or whatever one happens to see as opposite of being airhead )? How high the correlation with those two features is?

 

But life is not totally black and white, so before judgement we can also test things. We can see for example how the person is and only with more data make the judgement. Like in the possible-airhead case: if there is time to get to know her, try to leave the judgement and assumptions for bit later. Then you anyhow should know better as more data, so it is more about how things really are than what your prejudices are about.

 

I don't think saying someone is pretty, is judgement. It is compliment or politeness. So, totally different thing. It is just nice thing to do which can up lift someones spirits. ( Even mostly I don't get that stuff as seems super fake and more like forced social rule than actual truth one says. But I come from culture whare it is super rarely done and then it always has a meaning. Not this social media "most beautiful!" commenting when the other person looks more as humpback whale than person, which to me always sounds like sarcasm. Not to offend humpback whales, they are awesome but most of us prefer to look like humans still )

 

 

 

Anyhow, people are tricky and often you need to be a mindreader with them or know some ridiculous social rules that honestly speaking make no sense. But I think really skilled person is able to give advice in such format that person looking for just compliments or such actually can stop that and take the advice in. It's super hard and sometimes maybe even impossible.

 

People also are ( mentally ) lazy and bit stupid often. And we just love simplifications. And often even the smartest pople just don't think as their mind is occupied with something else. Like last year I was in Rome and saw halos there ( rare! ). I had my massive camera there with me, taking pictures of them, I pointed fingers to those and so on, trying to be super apparent that something amazing was going on there. Still no one looked up and noticed what I did. They were occupied with whatever they were doing.

 

About the bunny thing: I wouldn't give a full carrot daily to any bunny. Carrots are like.... chocolate bars for bunnies :p Awesome but not that healthy, but still hard to say what is too much. But as it is SAID that they are unhealthy I just prefer giving something that is SAID to be healthy as then no big risk. Bunny anyhow won't suffer from not getting carrots. Like my own bunny mainly just gets the peels and I eat the carrots myself B) ( Poor bunny even I do eat quite lot of carrots, so... happy bunny still ).

 

 

Edit:

We all should have some sort of model on how world works. We can simulate in our heads what will happend if we do a, b or c. Like with the brides dress, you have already plenty of data that people are happy when you compliment them. You also have data that they are not happy if it is negative feed back they get or just something that does not fit their world view. So, what I try to do is create as good model as I can from world, so then I can simulate the outcomes. And choose based on outcome how I act or what I say or should say.

 

Like with giving advice: what is the point of giving good advice if the other person is incabable taking it in at all in the format you try to give it? Then it becomes more helpfull to just give even 1/10th of the advice as long as it is in format they can take it. As outcome is: with the good advice they learn nothing, and with the poorer advice they learn at least something.

Edited by baby_k
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Society accepts the judging of others when it's positive. Same with stereotyping. It's awful and racist when it's negative but widely accepted if it's positive. I think a portion of this can be associated with virtue signaling and being tactful. It's also built into us and has numerous benefits and everyone does it. Social comparison, deciding whether or not to cooperate with someone is instrumental in building successful societies and research suggests it promoted the expansion of the human brain size. Judging is also a way to avoid dangerous people. Profiling has been used to catch many criminals, it's also been used to harass many innocent people. Judging is also accepted if it helps further one's agenda. You mention judging people based on their past. We're seeing a cultural shift in which celebrities, politicians, and employees are being torn apart in the public square for things they did several years ago. And in most cases, it's something they already apologized for and dealt with the consequences. I think this is largely to do with identity politics and mob mentality, though. It's certainly beneficial to those groups and expanding their size. It's interesting to watch

 

As for being straight forward and often misunderstood,  I assume that has to do with being analytically minded. Not everyone thinks that way. Same with being truthful. Some find being tactful more important than truthful. Others disregard being tactful, typically, those who think analytically. And some try to be tactful while being truthful. Empathy may also play a role in this. Those less empathetic will communicate differently than those more empathetic. 

 

Also, some people aren't actually looking for solutions or advice they just want attention or to be heard. Some can read between the lines, others can't. Some live in black and white, some live in the grey area. We also live in a very narcissistic society. While the person may be genuinely asking for advice, the person answering may be more wrapped up in themselves than the person they're offering advice to. If the majority are not providing the requested support then I would assume it was clear to most that it was something negative or leading to such. 

Edited by Revurx
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I'll read through comments and reply more later, quick response for now!

 

Did you say you needed info on rabbit care and how much to feed yours?

Say no more!: http://www.longislandrabbitrescue.org/diet/

I can send you a PDF version as well. ^^

 

The most pertinent info for now is to please feed your bun hay! Unlimited amounts!

I would also say, not a good idea to ask a rabbit farmer how to take care of rabbits. They breed them, not keep them as pets - care for those two purposes are very different.

 

Feel free to ask me any rabbit care questions! I'm no expert but I do have a spiel on pet-rabbit education and I have connections to the above linked rabbit rescue org (where I got my bun!) and they're wonderful for information. They get most of their info from House Rabbit Society, which is super reputable as well. More later if you're okay with me giving my rabbit education spiel!

Edited by MysticSand
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