How To Spot And Manage Judgmental People.

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People who are judgmental and people are problematic psychologically. Judgmentalism involves making negative assessments of other people and thereby enhancing their sense of worth by comparisons with the (supposed) lesser status of others.

Judgmentalism involves finding satisfaction in seeing others fail because theoretically, it shows that they are better than you are.

Often people who tend to feel morally inferior feel relief when they look at others fail. By comparison, they see themselves as not so bad after all. Those who are judgmental participate in one-up-manship.

There are many different types of judgmental people, but most of them are also critical of themselves and probably most importantly feel judged themselves. That might be hard to believe, but it’s usually the cause of this type of behaviour.

Types Of Judgmental People:

  1. The Critic;
    There are those who criticize us from a place of sadness and pain as opposed to kindness. These people are the ones who rarely add anything valuable or constructive and seemingly want to make noise to get attention.
  2. The Hater;
    We all know at least one Hater. He spends an inordinate amount of time following your every move. He sits on the sidelines, heckling, yet raptly paying attention.
  3. The Competitor;
    Yes, the competitor. It can feel like they’re everywhere. Every accomplishment you make is never good enough for the competitor. Plus, these types of people are often stealing your good ideas and maybe even trying to take credit for your innovations.
    Competitors exist not only in the working world but also in all situations where they see the outcome as needing to have a perceived winner.

There is a well-known book written around the concept of judgmentalism. How Full Is Your Bucket? By Tom Rath and the late Dr. Donald Clifton.
To sum it up, we all have invisible “buckets,” which get filled with positive feelings from a supportive and accepting upbringing, kind words, and good actions. But people who have “empty buckets” for whatever reason will often try to make themselves feel better by making others feel worse, i.e. by dipping into your bucket. Unfortunately, this type of behaviour only succeeds in making both people feel bad.

The critical thing to remember and focus on is that many judgmental people who continuously criticize are coming from a low place with an “empty bucket” (lack of confidence, envy, low self-esteem). Sometimes it can be easier if you view and hopefully understand their lousy behaviour through this lens.

However, ultimately it’s you that you need to protect and look after when faced with judgmentalism and judgmental people. So let’s look at some tip-offs and toxic behaviour of people who judge.

Signs Of Judgmental People:

  1. Making a lot of negative moral evaluations of others.
  2. Having a moral mindset skewed towards themselves.
  3. Jumping to negative moral conclusions about others; being inclined to believe the worst.
  4. Being quick to move from judgments of “This action is morally wrong” to ones of “This person is morally corrupt.”
  5. Acting and believing that they somehow know what so-and-so did was wrong even though they don’t know anything about the context of so-and-so’s actions or the person themselves.

Overall, it’s important to remember that judgmental people have distorted perceptions of other people, of themselves, and of what matters most in living life. Judgmentalism feeds on and engenders a lack of sympathetic understanding of others, and often links with other related character flaws: hypocrisy, self-righteousness, malice, insensitivity, and the enjoyment of negative gossip.

How To Manage Judgmental People:

  1. Acknowledge the pain. It’s perfectly acceptable and even healthy to privately acknowledge and accept that you’ve been hurt and upset.
  2. Accept your aroused fears and insecurities. Don’t try to reason with yourself, merely accept your feelings.
  3. Don’t take it personally. Realize that their behaviour belongs to them, not you.
  4. Don’t believe them, often judgmental people exaggerate or lie.
  5. Focus your attention on other people who love and support you.
  6. Reframe it.
  7. Look beyond the obvious.
  8. Use your discretion when showing your vulnerabilities.
    i.e. Don’t expose too much of yourself. It’s always wise to exercise judgment around how much you share.
    As Brené Brown says, “Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share, ‘Who has earned the right to hear my story?’
  9. Set boundaries diplomatically. Say no when appropriate.
  10. Say: “Thank You” and terminate the topic.
  11. Change the subject.
  12. Change the topic with an ally’s help if one is present.
  13. Refuel and recharge.
  14. Don’t sink to their level.
  15. If all else fails, walk away and keep a healthy distance.

2 thoughts on “How To Spot And Manage Judgmental People.”

  1. We are all judgmental to some extent. It certainly is one of my curses at times. Understanding why it happens is an important start to understanding how to change it.

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