There are a lot of things that people are socialized to look down on that aren’t all that bad when you take two minutes to think about them. But the problem is that people are hard-wired to make snap judgments about others when it’s none of their business.
First, we want to make sure they are trustworthy. “If we don’t feel we can trust someone, we instinctively feel the need to protect ourselves and our interests. We respond to the warmth of a person, their openness and authenticity,” Francesca Forsythe writes at The Learning Mind.
Second, we want to know if someone is worthy of our respect. “This question revolves around how competent we deem a person to be. This comes from the qualifications or specific expertise and experience,” Forsythe continues.
Being that just about everyone we encounter is constantly making judgments, it’s our jobs to seriously consider which ones we all allow to affect us. Conversely, it’s also our responsibility to be conscious enough to avoid being reflexively judgmental of others.
Both are very difficult tasks.
A Reddit user by the name fren-z703 asked the online forum a question that plays perfectly into the problem of snap judgments outlined by Cuddy. The Redditor asked, “What things are frowned upon for no obvious reason?”
The post received a ton of great responses and a lot of them dealt with social behaviors that others may deem untrustworthy such as being quiet or going places alone. But what’s so bad about keeping to one’s self?
There were also a lot of responses where people are judged because they make decisions that show a disregard for status. Some people think that people who are unconcerned with status aren’t worthy of their respect. When, in reality, it may be the height of enlightenment.
Here are 19 of the best responses to the question, “What things are frowned upon for no obvious reason?”
“Spending time by yourself that is intentionally ‘non-productive.'” — myaskredditalt21
“Getting the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu.” — fizzytangerines
“Getting help for anything.” — gliitch0xFF
“Going out alone. Anywhere. Park, cinema, restaurants. All my friends and relatives think I’m weird, but I just want to have some good time with nobody I know around.” — North_15
“Confidently being quiet/silent.” — Celq124
“Certain jobs. If you tell someone you’ve been a janitor for 6 years there’s a good chance their response will be a frown.” — Jabber-Wookie
“Calling out sick when you’re actually sick. Especially when it’s more than one day.” — Snoo-6071
“Not having an opinion on a subject.” — flacocaradeperro
“Off-brand clothing. Who cares if I’m wearing Bobos, I don’t have $300 to spend on Jordan’s and even if I did I wouldn’t. My daughter is entering middle school this year and is so nervous about her clothing not being in style. We do the best we can getting her name-brand things bc kids are fucking mean. Luckily my triplets don’t give AF.” — Fun-Oraganization8742
“Going to a movie by yourself. You literally sit there quietly watching a screen for hours. I usually catch them by myself, but people act like I’m disposing of a body when I do that.” — yankstraveler
“As a dude, ordering a sweet and fruity alcoholic drink. Sorry I don’t like to drink isopropyl, give me my ‘Bahama Mama,’ and shut up.” — gummby8
“Talking about your salary. Frowned upon and people think you aren’t supposed to do it but that’s just the man trying to keep your pay as low as possible!” — Mister_JayB
“Having a slightly different sleep schedule/ability than others. My god, the number of times I’ve harassed by Boomers for “staying up late/all night” when I stayed up 1-2 hours later than them, slept in the same amount, and maybe didn’t have breakfast with them. They act as if I’ve murdered a child.” — ephemere66
“Being a recovered addict. There’s so much stigma towards the disease of addiction and people see you as a monster when in reality you’re just trying to be a better person dealing with a mental illness that overpowers you if you don’t learn how to control it.” — csrlmnv
“Men watching their own children. We usually get the ‘Oh babysitting today are we?’ No Karen, I’m doing what a parent is supposed to do and taking care of my kids, maybe if you’d pay a bit more attention to your demon spawn it wouldn’t be trying to choke that goose to death over there.” — Rare-Outside-8105
“Being a male in the early years education sector. When I was an ECE teacher (Early childhood educator) I had a male collègue. Parents etc were always worried about him with their kids—but he was a better teacher than most. He used a rough and tumble play approach and kids loved him. He also taught them boundaries and consent at a young age because a lot of kids weren’t listening to ‘keep your hands to yourself.'” — Apprehnsive_Oven924
“Taking care of your mental health.” — ABAxStorm
“Wearing your pajamas all day when you aren’t going anywhere. like bruh do you want me to step into a suit and tie for literally nobody, if im gonna be in my house sleeping all day then im gonna look like it.” — SeaShark14
“Choosing to not have children.” — ParfaitOrganic3597