Problem with Judging Others’ Identity
Some people claim to not judge others, but there is always a time when they are down-sizing the people around them to make themselves feel better. “They are, after all, merely confessing to something that our culture upholds as a virtue: the struggle against the self. People are generally less likely to admit to being more harshly critical or judgmental of others than of oneself” (Eisenstein, “The Problem with Judgment.”).
Personally, I am not the one to judge, but it just naturally happens in some occasions. I find myself seeing someone else rude or annoying based off first appearance, just exemplifying my attribution errors. Everyone is the same way when it comes to first appearance, they either like you or don’t. People find many ways to down-size others, whether if they say it in their heads or out loud; it just comes naturally.
I have grown up in such a diverse community that I have not found a reason to judge people as harshly as others. I will admit that I have joked around with my friends making racial slurs, but they say jokes back to me as well. Some people are very quick to judge if someone is “out of the norm” or “not seen fit” within their social spectrum. Someone could have red hair and people would say that they are Satan’s spawn. I think people find it easier to judge others because it is a scapegoat from the reality that other individuals judging them. No one knows another strangers background or influences, but they are so determined to say something without hesitation.
Living in a bilingual household I am often told that I need to meet my Asian parent’s expectations, but that is completely false. Some people judge my family, but do not realize the struggles my parents had to endure to get me to where I am today. I am not the idealistic stereotypical Asian that everyone perceives others to be, but I have grown to take judgement as a joke. It’s not necessary to belittle myself off other opinions, even though I know people constantly make judge me every day. I do not take into consideration when people make assumptions based off a first appearance because I would do the same. Some people would feel offended, because sometimes criticism is harsh.
Discriminating and Stereotyping Issue
People like to decide on discriminating and stereotyping others because it gives them an easier outlet of conveying their thoughts. Racism is a common form of judgement, people judge by the color of someone’s skin color. My friend who is from Trinidad always gets called Indian, which is a common misconception, but Trinidad is such a diverse country with many different ethnic backgrounds. Someone could be from Haiti and another individual could identify them as a black African American based off a passing glance. Social appearance gives people another reason to decide someone else’s identity. Some people don’t care what they wear, but it can be taboo or weird to others, which leads to a source of judgement. Socioeconomic backgrounds can hinder someone’s first glance judgement call. People see Muslim women with hijabs quickly associated them with terrorists which can be very offensive because not all Muslim people are from the middle east. A big misconception in society is religion, there are many different religious backgrounds that people practice that can be misidentified.
Gender, race, family, and personal preference all tie into how everyone identifies themselves, but everyone is different. It doesn’t matter how someone views themselves, at the end of the day everyone is the same. The problem is that people judge off of social acceptance, if someone does not tie into their personal views then they are considered abnormal. For me personally, my family and friends impacts me the most into creating my identity. My family came into America with nothing and made something with their lives to give me a better opportunity in the world. It has been difficult growing up in a household where I still had to help my parents with everything, but it has helped me become a better person and has help me decide on what I want to do. For others, their gender or personal preference can tie into how they identify themselves. Some individuals who are a part of the LGBT community are not accepted by people who have a fixed viewpoint and see them as abominations to society. People identify themselves as how they see fit because it is what makes them happy, but there are others who want to judge without getting to know the person.
How certain people perceive themselves can be misinterpreted by others, people think that they know someone’s identity by just looking at them. They already have a set image of the person without any potential background knowledge or personal experiences. The problem with this is everyone is different and no one really understands each other. When people read our identities differently than we perceive ourselves they are believing in a falsehood about our self. They continue to believe a statement that they formulated in their own mind. This can lead to misconceptions about someone that we have not spoken a word to. By these means, people are less likely to interact with one another. Why live in a society where someone is not accepted for being their true self? The only way someone can find out about another person’s true identity is through communication. Communication is an important part of our culture today. It brings together the speculations one may have about someone and the actual truth about that person.
Conflicts from People Judging Others
Many conflicts arise from people judging others, some take it to extremes that can cause others their lives. The Pulse shooting in Orlando was at a gay club and a man who was against gays shot down the club leaving many people dead “…after the massacre at Pulse, the gay club in Orlando, Fla., where 49 people were killed and 53 wounded…” (Kaleem, “Some Ask if U.S. is Safe for Gays.’). Some people take judgment more severe than others and let it play with their emotions. It gets to the point where people become depressed and dysfunctional which leads to many casualties. To lessen the sting of judgement “Some people try to develop virtual hard shells so they feel the sting less intensely or less often, but there’s a significant cost to this approach. Because we can’t filter which emotions we feel, we sacrifice real connection with all our emotions” (Green, “How to Lessen the Sting of Criticism.”). The People lose the ability to connect with other individuals and even themselves. According to brilliance inc. some steps to lessen the sting are to notice and name the negative meaning, reorient by being reminded of the truth, be transparent by being honest, and thanking others for their judgement.
Dealing with Others’ Identities
The honest truth is that no one can hide the fact that they are judging someone else, it comes naturally. People decide on others’ identities based off many factors such as skin color, religion, and socioeconomic backgrounds. In reality, an individual’s identity is a collective combination that ties in their family, race, and personal preference. A first glance or first appearance can make or break someone’s judgement call, but how the person perceives it can influence the situation.