Everyone is a little bit judgemental. We can’t help it, it’s just human nature!
Some people make it very obvious when they’re judging you. These people don’t tend to be the nicest, kindest souls.
But most people do everything they can to hide the fact that they’re judging you.
Sometimes, they’re still being a little cruel. Other times, they just can’t help themselves!
Either way, it’s good to be in the know about these things. If someone is secretly judging you, there might be small, subtle signs that give them away.
Like the following 10!
1) They’ll smirk at others while you’re talking
First up, if someone is silently judging you, they might not be the only ones.
Judgmental people tend to form a “clique”. I.e., a group of people who share their love for judging others!
When you’re talking to people in this clique, someone who’s judging you might smirk at someone else in the group.
It’ll be quick and almost unnoticeable – but it’ll definitely be a passing of judgment! And a sign that they’re probably going to talk about whatever you said later…
2) They’ll say nice things in a patronizing way
Another sign you’re being judged is if someone starts patronizing you – and badly!
In my experience, people patronize by being overly nice or supportive. Like if you told them you got a promotion at work, and they respond with something like:
“Oh wow! How incredible! Aren’t you clever! What a big achievement for you! You must feel so good about yourself!”.
It all sounds nice. And sure, this person might be nice, really. But they might also be patronizing you. And silently judging you…
3) They’ll snigger when they think you can’t hear/see
Someone who’s silently judging you won’t always be in a crowd or clique of people they know. They can just be on their own.
Instead of smirking at others across the table, they’ll snigger to themselves after what you’ve said.
They might do it quietly so you can barely hear it. Or they might do it when they think you can’t see them.
Either way, it’s another sign that someone is subtly judging you for whatever you’ve just said or done.
4) They’ll ask lots of questions (particularly ones they already know the answer to)
Sometimes, people ask questions they know the answer to in an attempt to catch you out on a lie. Other times, they do it to make you feel embarrassed.
When it’s the latter, they’re silently judging you – there’s no mistake about it.
Say you’ve been engaged for three years. Someone you know is well aware of this fact. But they continue to ask you if you’re engaged, when you got engaged, how long you’ve been engaged, when the wedding date is, etc., etc.
These aren’t just general inquiries to make conversation. They are silent judgments of you for enjoying a long engagement without a date in the diary yet.
5) They’ll stay quiet after you’ve finished speaking
Have you ever answered someone’s question and just had them stare at you afterward – saying absolutely nothing?
Sure, they might just be socially awkward. Or waiting for you to continue speaking. But they might also (more likely) be silently judging you.
Why? Because some people use their silence to make you feel uncomfortable. Or to make you feel embarrassed by something you just said.
Like if you made a joke and they didn’t find it funny. They might not say they don’t find it funny. But they’ll just stare at you, saying nothing, until you or they change the subject.
Or if you shared something personal about yourself. They might stay quiet because they don’t know what to say. And they’re silently judging you a little bit for what you’ve just said…
6) They’ll be expressionless when you’re talking
Another way to spot whether someone is silently judging you is to watch their expressions when you’re talking.
Sometimes, a person might stay completely expressionless when they’re judging you for what you’ve just said.
I won’t lie, I even do this myself sometimes! When someone at work would badmouth someone else, I wouldn’t show any movement on my face.
I’d simply listen to what they said, all the while staying very quiet – with no smiling, nodding, mm-hmms, or otherwise escaping.
This isn’t always a sign that someone is judging you. They might just be listening intently to your story. Or they feel comfortable enough to relax their face around you!
But it might also be a sign that they’re silently judging you for what you’re saying…
7) They’ll make slight facial changes
Remember when I said you need to watch someone’s expressions to see if they’re silently judging you? Well, that applies here, too!
Some people aren’t very good at hiding their emotions from their faces. I believe the saying goes, “They were their hearts on their sleeves”.
These people will try their best to hold back their judgment, disgust, shock, or other emotions from showing on their faces. But they might not be able to…
So you might catch a slight movement that gives them away.
It might be a slight eyebrow raise. It might be a slight widening of their eyes. It might be a small pursing of their lips. Or it might be a little flinch of disgust.
Whatever it is, it’s a judgment. And it’s a judgment they’re trying desperately hard to hide!
8) They’ll look you up and down
OK, maybe this one is quite obvious. But maybe it isn’t! Because most of the time, someone who’s silently judging you won’t do this when you’re looking.
But they’ll almost certainly look you up and down.
People do this when you’re watching to make you feel small. When you aren’t watching, they’ll do it because they’re taking in what you look like.
And most of the time, they’re judging something about your appearance – whether it’s your shoes, jeans, jumper, coat…
9) They’ll stare at one thing about you
When someone is silently judging you, they might not be so obvious as to look you up and down. Instead, their judgment will be way more subtle.
They might stare at just one thing about you. Or they might keep looking at that thing.
Say you’re wearing quirky or dirty shoes. They might stare at your feet for a lot longer than they should.
Or they might keep looking down at them while you’re talking – or even while they’re talking.
Usually, this kind of behavior is intentional. They want you to know they disapprove of your footwear. But of course, they won’t want to be obvious about it.
If you ever called them out on it, they’d deny it. Because their behavior is so subtle, what proof do you really have?
10) They’ll bring up random things about you
When someone is silently judging you, they might bring up certain facts about you to make you feel insecure.
Or at least, to make you feel embarrassed and like you have to explain yourself.
Like when I saw a girl my brother briefly dated on the train one morning. When we met again at a family gathering, she told everyone how she saw me on the train the other day “sitting in the priority seat”.
There was no need for her to mention that I was sitting in the priority seat. She brought it up to subtly let me know that she was judging me for it. And, of course, to make me feel embarrassed about it in front of my family!
If someone is silently judging you, they might bring up things like this about you, too.
Sometimes it’ll be when you’re in a crowd. Sometimes, it’ll just be one-on-one. Either way, the outcome is the same. It’s a silent judgment for something you’ve done.
(Oh and by the way, I was only on the train for two stops and it was empty!).
Like I said earlier, everyone is a little judgemental sometimes. I’m sure even you have judged many, many people you’ve met in life!
Just because you’re judging someone else, that doesn’t make you a bad person.
Sometimes it makes you a little mean, but sometimes it just makes you human.
Either way, if someone is silently judging you, the best thing you can do for yourself is let it go.
If you want to learn from things and be better, reflect on your behavior and start making a change. But if you’re pretty happy with who you are and what you’re doing, don’t let other people’s silent judgments hold you back.
After all, it’s your life, not theirs!