This past weekend, I happened to catch a fascinating episode of Millionaire Matchmaker. The episode featured yet another man-child with too much money and an ego to match. But this specific millionaire had an interesting idiosyncrasy that warrants further discussion. The guy, who shall remain nameless, is a judgmental prick. This got me thinking about judgmental guys in general, and how to deal with them
First, let’s define “judgmental behavior”, because judgmental behavior frequently is confused with being opinionated. Being opinionated is when a person vocalizes their personal view of a situation: Heather woke up with a hangover. Hangovers suck. So Heather probably feels lousy. Here, the personal view is that hangovers suck and make people feel bad.
Being judgmental is something else. It is when one quality is extrapolated to make a complete conclusion: Heather woke up with a hangover. She must be an alcoholic. Here the quality of Heather’s hangover is used to judge the entirety of Heather’s personality. (From what I read, this is called a Fundamental Attribution Error – Psych buffs please correct me if I’m wrong).
So why are people judgmental? We will get to guys in a bit, bear with me.
I think there are two reasons why people are judgmental, and frequently the two factors intertwine in some way or another. First, people make judgments because they are afraid of different viewpoints. They are scared of being outside of their comfort zones, and therefore use blanket judgments as a form of control to keep situations in familiar territory. Secondly, and probably most importantly, people make judgments to mask their own insecurity. Judgments boost confidence because they make the person feel superior.
The reality is that everybody is judgmental at one point or another to a certain degree. We do it all of the time. We say things like “All Democrats are this way” or “All Republicans are that way”. We make overarching assessments on situations or people based on minimal, and sometimes inaccurate, information. The question is: Is there such a thing as being too judgmental? And, how do you know if the guy you are interested in falls into this category.
My personal view is that there is such a thing as being overly judgy, and that these types of guys should come with a big HAZARD warning on their foreheads. But how do you know if your guy is one of these? You should ask yourself if you feel like you will never live up to his expectations, if he is constantly gives you the feeling that he is disappointed, or if you are frequently scared that you are doing something wrong. All of these are signs that your potential guy is too judgmental, and therefore too harsh.
The reason it is important to be clued in to these signs is that prolonged judgment results in damage to your confidence, and a downward spiral of self-doubt. Therefore, if you are with a guy who is excessively judgmental, then you need to have an intervention with him. The long term ramifications of maintaining a relationship with such a man without some form of course correction are potentially damaging to your self worth.
The millionaire from the episode is still single, BTW.
Judgmental Grandparents comic via The Peak