If you want to be respected in life, say goodbye to these judgmental habits

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I must admit—I used to like judgmental people.

Heck, I was a judgmental person myself!

Back then I thought it meant that they were smart, witty, and cool.

But the older I got, the more this kind of behavior started chafing on me. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I’ve been idolizing a*holes.

And though they’re well-liked within their bubbles, most everyone else hates them and wants nothing to do with them.

Trust me. You might feel like you’re cool if you’re a bit like them, but if you want to be TRULY respected in life, then you must say goodbye to these judgmental habits.

1) Getting involved in gossip

Gossip used to be one of my favorite pastimes.

There was just a sort of dark pleasure in hearing about everyone’s darkest, slimiest secrets.

My heart used to race when my friends said juicy stuff like “Guess who’s pregnant!” or “OMG, someone’s cheating!”

But it all came to a head when I noticed my friends’ attitudes towards me change.

The culprit? 

Gossip

About me. 

Gossip that, while false, changed the way my friends saw me. 

To make it worse, people stopped trusting me when word got out that I was a gossip.

I was never truly able to make new friends again until I moved halfway across the country for college.

So if you’re a fan of gossip, here’s some advice from me: Stop it. 

Nobody will trust you or respect you for it. 

If word comes out that you listen to gossip, you’ll have to work extra hard to regain their trust.

2) Dishing out hot takes

Here’s my hot take: Nobody likes hot takes.

And moreover, nobody likes people who enjoy dishing out hot takes, even if you claim to “take no side” or that you’re being “neutral.”

Everyone will secretly hate your guts, especially if in spitting your hot take you made light of something that’s more nuanced than it looks.

Every single hot take is basically you throwing away people’s respect for you in exchange for five minutes of fame.

If you must share your opinion on the latest issue or controversy, it’s important that you treat it with care. 

Try to understand the issue from all sides, to be respectful, and to consider others’ feelings and sensibilities each time you speak.

3) You’re prejudiced

You get anxious around poor people because you’re afraid they’re going to rob you, dig up your garden, or even stab you.

And when a disabled person applies for work at your office, there’s that voice in the back of your head that wonders “What if I’ll just be babysitting them?”

It might feel dirty to admit that you have biases, but the truth is that everyone does—even the best people among us do.

But where respectable people bury these biases and try to work against them, you go along with them.

You try talking your neighbors into refusing that poor person who was trying to look for a place to rent, and you’re extra hard on the disabled employee.

You might feel that you’re justified in acting this way. Maybe you tell yourself “well, the world is a harsh place”.

But people are not blind. They will see what you’re doing and lose respect for you

4) You act like everyone’s savior

I have an uncle who believes that he’s some kind of enlightened guru.

He always thinks like he has the problem for everyone’s problems, and isn’t afraid to talk about it.

I personally did my best to make sure he never hears about my relationship troubles because every time he did, he would go on a full-blown lecture about how I messed things up or how I’m always chasing after the wrong men.

The sad thing is that while he believes himself to be a gift from God himself, everyone else—his own siblings and children included—think that he’s an insufferable prick.

It’s easy to end up like him, unfortunately. 

It’s easy to hear about someone else’s problems and think that you have all the solutions.

So if you want to be respected by the people around you, humble yourself. 

Remind yourself that you’re not enlightened, or a mind reader, and that there’s a lot you simply don’t know.

5) You jump to conclusions

If every single college dropout you’ve met is a bum and you heard that your sister’s about to marry a dropout, you’ll immediately think “oh my god, she’ll marry a bum!”

It doesn’t matter that you’ve never met the guy, and even if he proves himself to be a hard-working man.

This one is hard to look out for. 

Humans are inclined to think in patterns. We like to conclude “1 2 3” with “4”.

I’ve been quick to make judgements before. I would dismiss people before I even got to know them or get mad at my friends because “I’ve seen this pattern before!”

I’ve since learned that it’s hard to respect someone who thinks in black and white—someone who doesn’t bother about nuances, who doesn’t listen to explanations, who thinks their truth is THE truth.

So if you want to win people’s respect, don’t jump to conclusions.

6) You rarely change your mind

As a rule of thumb, judgmental people like to think that they’re better than other people.

Older, wiser, better informed and significantly less flawed. 

How could they not, when spotting and judging other people’s flaws occupies them day in and day out?

Back in the day, that’s most certainly how I used to think of myself.

I would automatically dismiss other people’s ideas without giving them the benefit of the doubt. In fact, I refused to listen to them unless they had “proof.”

People barely tolerated me back then, I now realize. 

Being hard-headed is not the same as being “principled” or “strong”, and it won me no respect.

And it’s not just me. Old people who insist on being stubborn aren’t exactly held in high regard either.

So if you want to be respected, learn to be more open-minded. Set aside any ego you might have and don’t be afraid to change your mind.

7) You don’t treat poor people and rich people equally

It’s probably not your fault. 

Society has taught us that we should be wary of the poor. We’re told that they want to take advantage of us.

At the same time, we’re told that we should worship the rich. We’re told that they want to help us.

Think of how you’ve been acting. 

Have you been giving the rich special treatment? 

Do you smile a bit wider and act more respectful to people who are rich and successful? And do you tend to ignore the poor?

Well, here’s some bad news for you: people don’t like this.

They’ll write you off as someone who cares more for money than people. 

Whether or not that’s true, if you want respect, you must learn to look past whether someone’s status and just see everyone around you as people.

8) You’re a whiner

“The staff wasn’t smiling!”

“Ugh. Your mother is so controlling!”

“Our neighbor is so lazy he can’t even mow his lawn.”

It’s perfectly fine to complain once in a while. But ten times a day, every single day? And worse—being completely judgmental about it?

Nah. 

You won’t be liked or respected that way. No one wants to be around a whiner, much less a judgmental whiner. 

People would rather be with those who try their hardest to see the good side of things and have the grit to tolerate minor inconveniences.

9) You’re too hard on others

Do you often belittle and scold the people closest to you? Do you say “Ugh, You’re so stupid!” or “Why can’t I get this right?!”

Well, this behavior doesn’t gain you any respect.

People don’t need to be judged for not being enough and not doing enough.

It’s not like the people around you are dumb. 

We all know how hard life can be, and the last thing we want is someone who reminds us of that fact every other breath.

What people actually need is someone who can give them comfort—someone forgiving and accepting enough to make living a little easier.

Nobody is obligated to respect a downer. 

But being a light in the dark—someone who can help keep people’s spirits high no matter how bad life gets? People respect that.

Final thoughts:

Being judgmental is, in the end, something that won’t win you any real respect. 

You might get attention and you might feel temporary satisfaction for “being honest and raw”, but trust me when I say that this doesn’t really mean much.

Judgmental people, from what I can see, often end up growing bitter and lonely as they grow old. 

Nobody wants to introduce their best friends or classmates to their racist grandpa or their overbearing grandma.

Those who have abandoned these habits I’ve described, however, grow old gracefully, surrounded by friends and family who love them for who they are.

Breaking free isn’t always easy, but if you start changing your habits now, you’ll slowly regain the respect of others.

Eliza Hartley

Eliza Hartley, a London-based writer, is passionate about helping others discover the power of self-improvement. Her approach combines everyday wisdom with practical strategies, shaped by her own journey overcoming personal challenges. Eliza's articles resonate with those seeking to navigate life's complexities with grace and strength.

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