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Are Judgmental People at Risk for Discrimination Lawsuits?

Updated on January 31, 2016
CEO of AOL Tim Armstrong getting interviewed
CEO of AOL Tim Armstrong getting interviewed | Source

The Questions We Ask

Do you judge people as soon as you see them? If you do, then how does it make you feel? Are you guilty of being cynical about someone when the opposite might be true. Finally, how far do you judge people and is it relatively minor or significant?

We know people judge you as soon as they see you. In fact, it's the first thing people tell you when preparing for a job interview. You must look the part otherwise your chances of getting hired are much lower.

Other cases of being judgmental range from the innocent to the devastating when legal action is involved. Legal action usually results from either character assassination or a defamation of character where slander and other false accusations arise.

People often don't realize just how serious accusations are, and false accusations are often brought up because of our initial judgement placed upon someone we don't even know very well.

This begs the question of how judgmental are you exactly?

Well the answer lies in how you treat others everyday and whether or not you care about how other people feel.

We Judge the Outside

What are your first thoughts when you see an overweight man who is sloppily dressed? My initial thought would be that he eats a lot of fast food, lacks willpower, and is possibly lazy (certainly when it comes to exercise).

But maybe he has a thyroid condition, got let go from a prestigious job, and is either unemployed or works a minimum wage blue collar job. You would never think that right away, but that's our nature as human beings. We always think the worst until we really get to know the person.

Now imagine in another scenario in which you are seeing a highly attractive woman with a curvy figure and other added assets along with model like features. What would you think now?

Her beauty is the first thing most people would notice, especially men (well they'll eventually notice her stunning facial features). Perhaps they'll feel she's some sort of model that's high maintenance, vain, and not too bright. Worst of all, they might only see her as an object of lust instead of a person.

In reality, maybe she's a surgeon or works a skilled labor job. She may not care about how she looks most days and prefers the small over the immaculate. She could be your ordinary female persona, but people may never view her in that way.

Like I stated, they'll likely question her intelligence particularly if she has blonde hair with some work done. It's disgusting to think people view others that way, but even those examples are relatively tame.

Yes they may be sexist and focus mostly on physical traits, but things only get worse from here on out. I have yet to touch on the next level of character judgement, and this level is often the surprise that no one expected to happen.


When Judging Becomes Life Changing

In this section we start getting into the stereotypical nature of different people with additional emphasis regarding sex stereotypes as well as racial and cultural stereotyping.

Do you believe you have the ability to identify a serial killer from a high school teacher or a rapist from a physician?

Imagine meeting someone who looks like a lawyer, is articulate, well-mannered, charismatic, and charming. They seem like a fantastic person right? Well how would you feel if that same person actually turned out to be a brutal murderer.

(Side Note: Notice how the description above will make people assume the murderer is most likely male even though that wasn't directly stated.)

It's not your fault for assuming they were a great person, but it teaches us a vital lesson about perception. Employers hire those types of people, completely unaware of how dangerous they are yet they'll never give a second look to someone who is highly qualified, good Samaritan but once served a minor prison sentence.

They also wouldn't look at someone who has ear gauges, tattoos & piercings everywhere that's dressed in black despite having a 4.0 G.P.A. and outstanding qualifications. Again we see how our perception gets tested, and it often doesn't end very well.


Would You Hire an Ex-Convict

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We Hate People We Don't Know

Why do some people already dislike someone they don't even know?

There are men and women who won't talk to the opposite sex just because they don't look the part. For some women, if you're not physically attractive or muscular enough, then they'll either ignore you or throw insults in your direction.

Men can do the same to other females at clubs and bars though it's fairly uncommon to see that occur compared to how females may treat other males in terms of rejection. And no this isn't sexist because historically and biologically females are far more exclusive than males when it comes to selecting a partner.

Bottom line is that we might hate someone just by looking at them, and unfortunately this includes other cultures, ethnicities, and races, which challenge social and legal issues.

We often feel that we have the ability to judge someone internally because of their facial expressions. We are more drawn to someone who is smiley and friendly than the opposite.

However it may turn out that Mr. Smiley is deceptive and engages in criminal activities while Mr. Frowny is actually extremely helpful and kind. People's facial expressions may indicate certainly personality traits, but they aren't strong enough to identify the person's inner self.

There's no way of knowing how someone is going to be like without getting to know them directly, but sadly people would rather just look at the cover than read the book.

What doesn't make sense is why we continue to do this (meaning judge) when we get judged by others. Shouldn't we be more sympathetic and understanding given how people view us?

Apparently not because a person who is judged for being unattractive has the audacity to judge someone else for that same reason. The hypocrisy is really becoming like the 8th deadliest sin.

Source

How Bad Do You Feel?

Are you remorseful for being so judgmental? We see this all the time on talent shows (see video above).

You see a person, think you know what they're all about, and end up with egg on your face. The last thing you want is to feel like an idiot.

But now naturally there's also a level of guilt we feel, but it doesn't stop us from judging someone next time. So we might feel a little bit guilty, but in the end it comes and goes. We oddly enough get a little bit giddy when our initial judgement of others turns out to be correct, and we feel the opposite when we turn out to be wrong.

Some people may tell me that it's impossible not to judge someone and that may be true.

However instead of assuming only one judgment about a person, we should consider a few more.

This won't stop us from judging the next person we see, but we'll begin to turn the first few pages of their book. We may not like the introduction or the summary, but at least we've opened our minds a tad and at least made an effort to look beyond the cover or exterior.

Do You Judge Others Right Away?

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    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 2 years ago

      New World Translation

      Mt 7:1“Stop judging that you may not be judged;

      When we judge another at the same time we are being judged, because as written

      New World Translation

      Ro 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

      we put our own sin under the scope of our heavenly Father.

      So this we should not be doing if we know

      What we need to be forgiven for.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 2 years ago from North Carolina

      Great topic for thought. I try not be judgmental because I hate it when people do it to me. You have lots of great hubs and I look forward to reading them.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you for the responses. I too look forward to reading your hubs they look fantastic.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      it is bad to keep judging on others, people will gradually hate you for being nasty

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      They will grow tired of your thoughts and feelings after a while, if not immediately so agreed.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 23 months ago from Washington, DC

      I think it's natural to judge each other based on the stereotypes that become part of our belief system. This is an important subject that should make us all step back and see how our bigoted thinking clouds our perceptions of each other. We really have to work hard at not being judgmental, being more compassionate, more accepting of differences, and practicing agape love. Voted up and useful.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 23 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you for the read. I wanted to shed a light on people's thought processes when it comes to how we view others. I feel that we are opening up a minds gradually every year and that's reflected through the social issues we're challenging. There's still much work to be done though, but I think it's a lot better now than say 20-30 years ago even if others don't agree.

    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 21 months ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Great article and a good topic. Unfair and fast judgment has destroyed many good people's lives. Thanks for this article. It reminds me not to judge others but to love them as I love myself.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 21 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you for the feedback. Judging is an ugly thing everybody goes through, but the worst is when people are unfairly punished or destroyed as you stated.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 21 months ago

      I hope I am not judgemental , but I will ask questions to people who are , and ask them how can you tell people to get right with the morals written in the bible , when they are breaking them .that is call hypocritical.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 21 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Hypocrisy gets under me skin so bad; I can't stand it. People act like they're holier than thou when really they constantly make the same mistakes they're judging you for. It's mind boggling how anyone could live in such a fantasy world.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 21 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Chris.....IMHO, it's next to impossible (or it SHOULD be) to literally "judge" someone upon first meeting them. One would need to be completely paranoid or extremely defensive to judge automatically.

      On the other hand, to some degree, it's human nature to have a "feeling" about someone or at least form a simple opinion. I'm sure you realize what I'm saying. There are people who give off vibes like a neon sign sometimes......both positive and negative.

      but again....this is far from placing judgement.

      The reality is Chris, all any of us have to do is think back to a time and a person we met for the first time and what we may have thought. Then compare those thoughts to the authentic person whom you come to KNOW after awhile.

      I believe we'd all find that those initial opinions of someone are like a crap shoot......sometimes we are right, & sometimes we're way off.

      What always to comes to mind for me are the incidents when I couldn't warm up to someone and felt uncomfortable.....but as time went on, we became fabulous friends! OH...and the opposite has happened as well!

      Moral of the story?? Don't ever judge! Great hub, Chris!..UP+++

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