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Signs Your Friends Are Too Judgmental

by Ossiana Tepfenhart 5 years ago in list / friendship / advice / humanity

If you're feeling like you are being critiqued by your clique too often, look for signs that your friends are too judgmental.

There are few things worse than feeling shame or judgment. Being judged makes us feel uncomfortable, wrong, and desperate for acceptance. It's just a bad vibe that makes us question ourselves - even if we're usually very calm and confident.

Most of the time, we expect our enemies to talk badly about us or even try to shame us. But, what if the people who are doing the majority of the shaming and judging are the people that we call our friends?

Depending on how bad it is, you may want to consider getting new friends. Being overly judgmental of others is often an sign that someone may be a toxic person to be around - or that they're guilty of the very "sins" they hate others for.

You feel like you constantly have to impress your friends, or they'll ignore you.

Though this could be due to some inherent insecurity that you have, if you're usually a very confident person, this could be a sign that they're being very judgmental while keeping it subtle. If you notice that they give you judgmental glances, drop off talk when you do something they don't like, or make caustic remarks about your habits, they're definitely doing that on purpose.

If you feel like you literally are hanging onto your friendships by a thread, it could be because they're purposefully making you feel that way as a way to have power over you. Only toxic people would do this, so if you find yourself walking on eggshells to please them, you may need to ditch them.

They've straight up berated you for doing something that wasn't perfect by their standards.

Obviously, there are some things that a person might do that do deserve to be put on blast - such as sleeping with someone else's spouse, neglecting a pet they volunteered to petsit, or stealing. But, this isn't the kind of behavior that we're talking about.

Friends that are overly judgmental may give you verbal beat-downs for things like feeding their kids regular food instead of organic, or refuse to invite you to a party because you gained weight. They may even yell at you for things that are out of your control.

If you're on the receiving end of this, please understand that you aren't at fault - they are. They are being abusive, mean bullies. Nobody deserves that kind of treatment, so, for your sake, cut them loose.

When you hang out with them, you often feel worse than when you were alone.

Sometimes, it's all about the way people make you feel. If you feel judged and hurt after spending so much as an hour with them, then chances are that you're not overreacting. They may be overly judgmental - and they probably aren't good friends, either.

You know for a fact that you can't vent to them, because it will end up getting spread everywhere.

Don't ask why, but this is a common pattern among people who are very judgmental. People who like to judge, criticize, and shame others often tend to adore gossiping. To a point, it can even go hand in hand with judgmental remarks.

The problem with people who are gossip-prone is that they aren't trustworthy. Unless you're okay with being totally unable to trust people who are supposed to be your friend, you'll start looking for other friends soon enough.

When you tell them that what they're saying makes you feel uncomfortable, they shrug it off.

Photographed by Bianca Valle

Two very common was overly judgmental people will deflect people's attempts to call them out on their behavior include saying things like, "Hey I'm only kidding..." or "Oh, what, I don't have freedom of speech?"

In some cases, they might want to turn it around and say that you're being unreasonable for expecting them to shut their mouth. They may also say something along the lines of, "Hey, I'm opinionated. Can't I have an opinion?"

They are totally entitled to have their opinion, however, there's no natural rule that says that you have to tolerate their rudeness. Sometimes, the only way to get them to stop is to get up and walk away - and that's not a failure on your end, either.

If anything, it's establishing boundaries that require respect and healthy communication.

Your friends only hang out with others who are exactly like them.

Most people who are very judgmental don't have many friends, primarily because their constant critiques and judgments make it nearly impossible for them to make friends who aren't exactly like them. If you notice that everyone in your clique has the same opinions, wears the same stuff, and talks down about anyone who might be remotely different from the group, you might be dealing with a very judgmental group of people.

Moreover, those who are judgmental to the point of toxic also may have a lot of people who uesd to be friends with them. Why the past tense, you ask? Well, it's because people got tired of their catty remarks and ditched them - much like you probably should, too.

They seem to relish their ability to put others down.

Illustrated by Norah Stone

A lot of judgmental people will say that they're only "asking out of concern," or say that they "just think they should voice an opinion," but in reality, they aren't the least bit concerned about what their target's really feeling.

Most of the time, it's clear as day that they seem to be taking some enjoyment out of their mean remarks and their judgmental behavior. If you're getting this feeling from their behavior, it's definitely time to switch friends.

Sometimes, your friends exclude people "just because."

Illustrated by Michaela Early

Though there are some legit reasons why you want to keep a person at arm's length, when you notice that your friends are excluding people for no reason at all, you have to question why. This is often a sign that they're doing power dynamic plays to make themselves feel better about themselves.

The funny thing about this is that people who do this also might turn on you at a moment's notice if you start standing out for one reason or another. If you're wise, you won't hang out with people who would be so messed up that they have to exclude people just to hurt them.

Your friend has serious insecurity issues.

People who pass judgment on the smallest little things tend to be people who are very unhappy with themselves or their lives.

Jealous that others seem to be content with the way that things are going for them, they will start to pick on happy people in their crowd to feel better about themselves - most often about the very things they're insecure of themselves. This is called projection, and it's a common phenomenon that often causes bullying to happen.

You can't save your friend, but you can save yourself from their toxic behavior by limiting time with them, setting limits on what they can say, and possibly trying to have a talk with them if the situation calls for it.

Your friends judge people on appearances, the designers they wear, and the people they know.

Illustrated by Anna Sudit

Unless you're working with a bunch of celebrities, this kind of behavior shouldn't be the norm. If your friends won't deign to see themselves in the presence of a person who doesn't own the right car or shoe brand, your friends are being way too critical and way too shallow to actually be good friends.

Real friendship is built on a foundation of trust, personality, and beneficial interactions. If all they're looking for is a fellow Barbie doll for their playset, then they aren't friends; they're people who probably can't be friends to anyone but themselves.

You've had to hide who you really are to keep them as friends.

Friends love you for you - not for who they want you to be. If you can't be yourself around the people who you call friends, they aren't really friends of yours in the first place.

You deserve better than to have people who don't understand you and don't like you as your clique. It might be time to start meeting new people in your area, don't you think?


Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of New Jersey. This is her work account. She loves gifts and tips, so if you like something, tip her!

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