We all do it.
We don’t think we do. But we do.
Pass judgement, that is.
We use our pre-determined dogmas to judge someone.
He’s looks shady.
They were such a jerk to me – I bet they are really terrible in real life.
These are just a few examples. There’s tons more, and they are not as benign.
I’d wager the majority of us are guilty of it. I know for me, I hate Facebook because it enables the behavior for me. I can scroll through people’s pictures and read their posts and make my own judgments. It feeds jealousy and strife, too. It’s real easy to sit on one’s couch and make a snap judgment or decision about what is happening in someone’s life when we don’t know the true story.
It can also become a habit.
I am using Facebook as my example, simply because it is the medium I am normally in when I feel these emotions happen. I will be trying to just catch up on friends’ posts, when I see one picture and I am passing judgement.
The funny thing about social media, is it makes it easy for us to judge.
We see people posting their political ponderings, letting everyone know their thoughts on who should be elected; they share memes they believe to reflect their ideals on everything from gun control to feminism. Photos that are heavily edited are shared via Instagram, so we search through unedited photos our friends are tagged in to see if they look fat.
And, our ‘friends’ do the humblebrag, where they “don’t want to come off as bragging, but let me tell me how great my day/month/year/life has been.” It makes us all feel nauseous and want to throat punch some of these folks. But, the reason is, it makes us feel less than. We’ve come to make social media a habit of comparison that leads to subsequent inferiority.
A husband gives his wife a bouquet of flowers for “no reason” or — wow! — a diamond tennis bracelet. Or a husband posts continually on his wife’s page about how much he loves her, how beautiful she is, and the only one for him. We feel like our husband doesn’t love us enough.
A female posts constantly about how she is “killing it at the gym” and has lost 15 lbs already. We feel fat, inadequate and jealous.
A female posts “in a relationship”, then a few days later, changes it to single; then, a week later, it’s changed to back “in a relationship.” We think she must be promiscuous, insecure, and unstable.
Truth of the matter is, what’s posted on social media and presented superficially within our interpersonal constructs are just one side or piece of the person. Not everyone goes around shouting their problems to the world. Not everyone introduces themselves by way of stating they have issues with social skills and may not know how to engage people in conversation. (Or, maybe they have a disorder which makes it difficult to know how to communicate properly.)
The husband who always talks about how great their wife is may be encouraging them because he knows she struggles with low self-esteem and insecurity. Maybe her past was full of being told she was stupid, not good enough, and worthless. Maybe he vowed to tell her daily how she was none of those things.
Maybe the girl at the gym who’s lost 15 lbs has an eating disorder. Maybe the only way she feels worthy is when she is a certain jeans size or weighs a certain thing (I am guilty of this feeling and have struggled with eating disorders all my life; I am not the girl posting I am at the gym, but I am the one feeling fat and ugly because I am not working out). Maybe someone called her fat and made her feel bad about herself. I tend to hope it’s more along the lines that she is trying to better herself and make better eating choices, but often it involves external forces.
Maybe the girl who’s relationship status fluctuates is in an abusive relationship and her status changes because she keeps going back. Maybe she is extremely lonely and trying to find someone to love her. Maybe she changes her status to keep a stalker from bothering her.
The truth of the matter is, we don’t know the real reason behind what people post or do on Facebook or other social media. But we sure do judge it. It has become a favorite past time in a way and really, it’s hurting us.
When we spend time passing judgement on someone else, we are blocking our heart from being open to that person’s story. We are saying we know all we need to about that person (or our ego is, anyway). We are also limiting ourselves– how we judge is often the method in which we are judged.
Should I mention we are being hypercritical and negative and it dirties our spiritual field? It does. How many times have you sat there judging someone on Facebook and felt…dirty…afterwards? I know I do.
So let’s strive to focus on how we can better ourselves. How does someone having an attentive husband, weighing less than us, or being in a relationship affect us? It points out the areas we are feel less-than in. What’s the best way to change that feeling? By taking inspired action to better ourselves and make positive changes.
It’s hard to have the time to notice what is happening in someone else’s life when you’re busy improving yourself. I’d love to help you take these steps. Contact me today and we’ll start today.