10 things judgmental people do that rubs others the wrong way

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Being with someone judgmental is no fun. 

And it isn’t fun either if you’re the judgmental one because people likely hate your guts (even if deep down, you mean no harm).

Why does the world dislike critical and opinionated people so much?

In this article, I will give you 10 things that judgmental people do that rub others the wrong way.

1) Saying “just sayin’”

“Just sayin’” is the get-out-of-jail-free card judgmental and opinionated people say so people won’t react negatively to whatever harsh opinions that come out of their mouths.

To a judgmental person, words are just words and hey, they’re just trying to be honest…so others shouldn’t “overreact”.

The thing is, it’s not necessary for people to hear what’s on our mind—especially if they’re not really uplifting.

It’s annoying because, if someone really must say something, then they might as well own it instead of saying “just sayin’”.

They should give people the freedom to react, especially if what they’re saying is offensive or wrong.

If this is you…

Instead of saying “just sayin’”, say “forgive me if this sounds too forward” or “sorry, but I just have to say this.” 

At least by acknowledging that you could sound rude, you’re showing that you’re accountable for your words and that it’s not the other person who’s “too sensitive” if they react.

Just making a simple change can have a tremendous effect on how you come across to others.

2) Having an opinion on anything and everything 

Judgmental people—as annoying as they are—are some of the most observant people you’ll ever meet. Some of them are very gifted writers, painters, and philosophers.

They love to analyze, imagine, and express. And it’s the latter bit that most people find downright annoying. They love to express, and they express their opinions as if they’re fact.

It’s like they have an itch. 

They have to share what they think about big things like the nuclear power and small things like the way someone cooks their eggs. And this, understandably, can rub many people the wrong way.

If this is you…

If you’re ever in the mood to offer your opinion, then focus on the big things—like wars, climate change, etc—instead of the small and more personal ones. That way, there’s less chance people will feel personally attacked.

It’s also a good idea to practice active listening, this guide explains how

3) Giving unsolicited advice because they’re “concerned”

Some judgmental people are actually the way they are because they care too much. But this makes them toxic, even if their intentions are good.

They’d give others “golden tips” on how to live life as if others’ lives need fixing, and they’re the ones who hold the key.

They can’t just keep quiet when they enter a messy house, for example. They’d say something like “Oh wow, there’s a typhoon here” or “How can you live in this place?”.

They’d then go on and on giving tips on how to organize a home. 

It doesn’t even cross their mind that it’s possible that the person who’s living there doesn’t find it messy at all. Or that they’re going through depression.

If this is you…

Don’t try to fix people, as much as possible, unless they ask for it. 

But if it does seem like you really have to say something, ask permission. Ask “Do you want to know what I think?” or “Need my advice?” or “Need help?”. 

4) Giving harsh feedback on others work because “it’s for their own growth”

Judgmental people, because they’re extra passionate and detail-oriented, form strong opinions fast.

At the same time, they have a high regard for their opinions—as if saying them could improve the world dramatically.

Now, not all judgmental people are wrong with their opinions. Some are really spot on and indeed, giving others their feedback could help them improve their work.

But people are sensitive and emotional creatures and getting negative feedback could crush one’s motivation and hope fast.

We don’t want to be slapped with bad feedback…at least not without warning. It can kill dreams and damage one’s self-esteem. And that’s why people generally stay away from judgmental people.

If this is you…

Try to learn how to give feedback without offending people.

5) Making assumptions and making it seem like they’re 100% fact

Without knowing the big picture, judgmental people can make a novella out of the limited information they’ve gathered.

They see a bald married man giving a female colleague a gift? They assume that they’re cheating. They’d even go on to say that balding men are the ones who are more likely to cheat because they’re insecure.

They won’t bother knowing the full picture because to them, what they see right before their eyes is too obviously true, and there’s no need for more evidence.

If this is you…

Every time you find yourself creating narratives in your head, remind yourself that you’re not seeing a clear picture. There are many possibilities of why things happen and why some people act a certain way. 

And even if you think you know someone by heart, they can still change at any moment…and that means you can still be wrong.

6) Being closed-minded 

Most judgmental people are the way they are because they’re very confident in how smart, sensible, and perceptive they are.

And so when they have formed their opinion on something, they’ll stick to it because to them, their opinion = truth. 

It’s not like they deliberately don’t care about the opinions of others. They’re just not aware that there is that possibility that they could be wrong. They’re smart and wise, after all.

If this is you…

Have a habit of asking yourself “But are you sure?” everytime you feel sure about something. If you’re still convinced, ask yourself “Are you really, really sure?”

Keep questioning your convictions…and eventually, you’ll train your brain that not everything you think is true.

While confidence and self-assuredness are wonderful traits to have, it can be dangerous if it’s in excess.

7) Making other people’s business their business

Judgmental people are naturally curious about the lives of others.

They get excited thinking and talking about other people’s relationships, finances and career standing, and most of all—their problems.

They want to put other people’s lives under a microscope. It’s just their hobby and it makes them feel good doing it (probably because it makes them feel superior).

This rubs people the wrong way because if you’re the subject of their scrutiny, it can make you feel disrespected

And if you’re the one listening to their assessment on other people’s lives, it can be annoying especially if you’re not the type who enjoys gossip.

If this is you…

While it’s tempting to say “just stop doing it”, it’s not easy to break a habit. 

The first step is to cut off the source (bye social media, bye friends who gossip). Then try to replace this hobby with another hobby—something that truly excites you.

8) Gossipping because they need to “assess” and “share”

Gossip…well, I need not explain how it can rub people the wrong way.

But what makes judgmental people worse than the regular gossip folk is that they won’t even consider it gossip. 

Instead, they think they’re doing it simply to share, investigate, and assess (because hey, they care!).

Indeed, they could have good intentions, but gossip is gossip.

No one really likes their lives being “unpacked” and assessed by anyone—not even by their concerned friends. It’s just disrespectful.

If this is you…

Remind yourself, again and again, that when you’re talking about other people, it’s likely gossip. 

If you truly care about someone and you want to discuss things with them, invite them and talk one-on-one. Otherwise, just try minding your own business.

9) Spreading pessimism when no one needs it

Judgmental people are usually pessimists or else they wouldn’t rub people the wrong way. After all, who doesn’t like getting genuine praises and positivity?

They’ll sputter “harsh truths” because they feel the need to “say it as it is”. 

They wouldn’t even care if the only thing people are clinging to is hope or that someone is struggling—they’d “say it as it is” because no one else will.

They feel it’s necessary for people to know the negative side of things so they’ll make “better decisions”…as if they’re God who already knows the outcomes of things.

If this is you…

While your intention might be good—you probably just want to warn people—most of them probably know the things you’re telling them…and they don’t need more negativity.

But if you really must say something, use gentler language. At the very least, try to say “I think” or “It’s just me”, to make the receiver feel that you’re just indeed expressing an opinion, not a hard fact.

10) Thinking others are just “too sensitive” to hear the “truth”

Many judgmental people rub people the wrong way not only because they’re judgmental, but also because they tend to gaslight people.

They’ll say things like “Hey, I’m just being honest” or “It’s time you grow up” or “You have to learn to handle the truth.”

And this is actually very infuriating for most people because this behavior is just plain rude.

Worse, they’ll even get offended if people get offended. And that’s because they believe it’s their right to express to you how they feel about you. If you call them out, they’d say something like “Wow, I’m just trying to help you and I’m the bad guy? Okay…”

If this is you…

If you find it hard to stop expressing your opinions, at least respect people when they set their limitations or express their frustration and hurt towards your judgmental behavior and words.

It’s their reaction to your actions and words, and you should just use it to learn more about people so you can further improve yourself.

Final thoughts

In this world we’re living in, we can use a little tenderness.

And while being brutally honest and critical are sometimes necessary, most of the time, what people really want is acceptance.

Maya Angelou said, “People will never forget how you made them feel.” 

If you want people to feel good around you, then you have to learn to be less judgmental.

And if you’re with someone who’s judgmental, confront them about it but be a bit understanding. 

Most of the time, they just can’t help it because they’re probably raised by overly critical parents, and some of them actually have good intentions. You have to be the bigger person as they try to become better.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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