Last appointment with Dr T, as well as all that went on with my mother attending the appointment with me, we also talked about my social anxiety. One of the questions she asked me was regarding as to whether or not I find myself judging people. She explained that the reason she was asking is because sometimes people who have social anxiety are constantly judging who they meet. Therefore the conclusion is reached that people must be judging them as they do others and anxiety arises as a result. I told her I wasn’t sure. Since then, I’ve been mindful of whether I do this or not. The outcome is this- I’m ashamed to admit I’ve realized just what a judgmental person I am. It’s terrible. I will judge people on what they wear, how they behave, what they look like, their perceived level of intelligence… In fact, when I walked into my appointment with Dr T on that day, upon glancing at her particular choice of clothing, one of the first thoughts entering my head was, ‘What is she wearing?!’
What’s worse is that I’m not perfect, far from it in fact. So I really have no right to judge her, or him, or you, or anyone else I meet.
Of course, I’d never outwardly show or put a voice to these judgments. I’m too polite for that, and care far too much for others’ opinions of me. So if I was judging someone, they’d never have a clue.
I’ll hazard a guess that I’m not the only one who judges people, but like me, they also keep their judgements to themselves. So how do I know what level of judgement is considered normal, and what is excessive? And is judging people really a characteristic of having social anxiety?
When I look at my father and aunt as an example, they are far more judgmental than me. My aunt especially. Some of the comments she makes are outrageous. I’d give you an example, but I’m afraid I may indirectly insult someone as a result. I mean, her comments aren’t directed at me, and even I feel offended by some of what she says.
I’m not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, someone qualified to make a diagnosis, but I’d say that both my father and aunt most likely do not struggle with social anxiety. Unlike me, they have no qualms about making phone calls, approaching people, asking others for assistance, just to name a few.
So is there really a correlation between judging others and being socially anxious? When I look at myself, I may think, ‘Yes’. When I look at the examples of my father and aunt however, I think, ‘No’. So maybe that proves that after all, everyone makes judgements on others, it’s human nature. And it isn’t necessarily solely a characteristic of social anxiety.