This image was originally posted to Flickr by Gexon. Image sourced from Wikimedia Commons
We're often told not to judge a book by its cover. Yet we are often quick to accept or dismiss people based on the clothes they wear, the colour of their hair, the sound of their laugh, the food they like to eat, and well, anything really. But why? Why are we so quick to judge each other? We can and often do get it wrong, but that doesn’t seem to stop us. Do you find yourself judging people you don’t know?
I do try incredibly hard NOT to assign value judgements to people based solely on their appearance, but I think judgement is human. We have to judge who is safe and who is a threat. I don't think it's possible to avoid judging based on first appearances, but it is possible to keep an open mind, and to acknowledge that sometimes our judgements are really off course.
Judging is a common trait found in all people.
It is part of human nature to 'sift' what they feel comfortable with.
Even Animals judge.Some dogs will go to one stranger, yet the other they will have nothing to do with.
It is also a tool, by judging others, people find a common ground e.g. A young man with punk hair & earrings may not have anything in common,with a guy who is dressed in a conservative way.All people judge, even the young guy with punk hair.
The judging of people like backing up in a lift because someone is dressed in a colourful way, given the age of that person doing the backing up...can be as simple as fear of 'different'.That is a very common fear, because it will in some way challenge 'convention'.It happens with people who just can stand 'different', it brings all kinds of concerns to their thinking, or lack of.
They are the ultra conservatives, and their is no moving from their ridged thinking.
I did a test once, I wore my uniform into a shop, and was treated with a lot of respect.
A week later, I went without the uniform and I could have been invisible.
( After that I stopped wearing the uniform - because I hated what had happened).I refused to have people treat me any different ever again.
I never put that uniform on again.
It seems to be in human nature to make a snap assessment of other people based solely on appearances. It isn't always right, but it can be helpful. People generally dress how they want to, and portray the image they want to portray, so I think you're only seeing what someone else is projecting, and if they're projecting an "I'm tough so don't mess with me" image, well, it's probably because they want to.
I was on the receiving end of this just the other day. I got into a lift with an elderly lady who looked at me with apparent fear and disgust and backed as far up against the opposite wall as she could get. I think it was the blue and purple dread locks that did it.
I was going to say I don't judge people on their clothes and hair just because I don't look down on punks, metal fans etc. but I know there have been times I have dismissed a woman as a bimbo because of the way she was dressed, which is both unfair and sexist.I suppose everyone does it to some extent.
Its really hard not to judge. I think that we have a need to categorize everything and everyone that we see or come in contact with. We are accustomed to judging food, clothes, movies and other things before we see wear or taste them, so its not that hard to do it to a person.
This practice helps us to deal with people we have never dealt with before. Judging I think will sometimes help in self preservation. It gives us a basis on which to gravitate to things and persons that are good for us and avoid people or things that we deem are dangerous for us.
Sometimes we get it wrong but other times we get it right.
I will continue to carefully judge (but not condemn) until I am informed otherwise.
I think it is human nature to want to feel superior so we judge others with a critical eye to find anything in them that can make us feel better about ourselves. "I wouldn't wear THAT in public; his hair is too long; her legs are fat; his teeth are crooked; she's too old to wear shorts" . . etc. Sad bunch we are.