There is a reason why sentences like “No one can judge me but God” exist. Because the opposite is the case – everyone is judging everyone. It almost seems like human nature; Magazines are filled with it, office gossip in the coffee room is fueled by it and family sure seems to be great proponents of it. I don’t think any one needs to be reminded to judge people. I have never heard anyone say: “Hey – don’t forget to judge her”. On the contrary we always have to remind people not to judge one another, for example our own friends.
How did that come about? Is that just a part of the human DNA? Were we cave people gossiping around the fire about how people behaved?
Perhaps we were. One thing is for sure – people have been in packs for a while. And we currently are in a very large pack called a society. Society is built with rules for each other to coexist. It can be simple things on what we consider polite to more complex things, like entire relationships with people. We are not born with these rules engraved in us. No one is born taught not to burp in a meeting, or to say thank you or even just hello and good bye. For example learning and knowing that talking to your boss should not be like a conversation you have with your mother.
There are so many rules its hard to remember them all. We are all struggling to keep up with the rules that when someone else slips up, it is a nice reminder that others have a hard time sticking to them too. This makes us happy, its almost a relief that we are not alone in this battle to keep up to society’s expectations or perhaps signs of other people slipping up even us the brief belief that we are doing better than others. So we gossip about them, we find some happiness and comfort that we are not alone in our struggles around the many society rules.
We get caught up in judging others, that we tend to forget that we are slipping up on a continuous basis ourselves and we are no better than the people we gossip about. Gossiping or judging, its just finding joy in people’s misfortune. Will it help you feel better? Perhaps for a minute. But generally, negativity does not breed positivity. You might for example be reminded that other people are also talking about you the same way you are talking about others. Your judging energy can be spent better instead on doing something that makes you feel better about yourself. The more you focus on making yourself happy and limit your dependence on external factors to make you happy, the more sustainable your happiness will be. And the less you will care about how others are doing, the less you will judge them and yourself.