I had this really bad ass blog set up for you guys and then my laptop froze and it didn't save the second half of my work which was pretty upsetting, I ended deleting everything which I later ended up kicking myself for it because I could have just started where I left off instead. I now have to start completely from scratch again. So the topic was about women being so brutally judgmental against each other. Most times without even knowing the other person. Sometimes it's between family and lastly it's actually happening in the workplace. I'm going to give you all three examples of these scenarios, the strangers, the family, the workplace.
Around Thanksgiving I found myself at the check out lane in front of a lady who was having the hardest time getting her wallet out to pay while trying to get two out of her three children to stop running and screaming. She had six bags worth of groceries, two of which revealed a box of fruit rollups and a bag of Cheetos, the very items she would probably be rewarding her children for the display of bad behavior they displayed at the grocery store. Not my place to judge right? Maybe her babysitter backed out. Maybe her husband left her to run his own errands. Lots of maybes and possibilities as to why this lady chose to come alone during one of the busiest holidays for groceries stores with three very misbehaved children.
So there I am judging her lack of control over her kids and her inability to have her fucking wallet ready by the time she hit the front of the register. I fought the urge to tell her something with all the bones in my body because after all, I don't know her or her situation. and I just wanted to get my almond milk and bananas using my ready to go apple wallet on my phone and get the hell out of there.
No research needed for this part of the story, since it was my own personal experience. but I on top off all the reasons I was judging her, I managed to stop and say to my ever maturing self, why the fuck do I care what's going on over there with her mess. It's definitely not my mess, and to be honest this was more of a challenge for myself to 1. be patient (she was after all taking up some odd my valuable time) and 2. Learn to stop myself in my tracks to judgeville. I didn't know her, those weren't my children (thank God) and after all was squared away, I got my almond milk and bananas.
This one is always a tough one. because you can't unfamily your family in the same way you can unfriend a friend. but you can most definitely never speak to them again or see them again if that is what you wish. Nonetheless, this story is a fun one. For most of you that don't know, I had surgery a little less than a week and a half ago to remove a tumor that was hanging out in my back. Literally hanging out.
Months prior to the surgery, before I had the insurance to afford to have the tumor removed. I tried to do my self-centered cousin the favor of returning the dog she had originally gifted to us because she was too lazy to care for her in the first place and only because her equally self-centered children were requesting they have the dog bag. Unfortunately the dog did not qualify to fly, since she would be barking the entire flight and disturbing the passengers (this was an airline policy). I had made an effort to contact her several times via text and calling her cell phone to no avail. I noticed though, that she was happily replying to all her friends on facebook. So I took to facebook to reach out again and let her know I was trying to talk to her about the matter at hand. Now, I'm old school, I don't contact my family on facebook, I call them if it's important or shoot them a text if it's just a random question but I do not take to social media because I feel it's a little impersonal (is that a word? oh well, it is now), to reach out to my family members that way and I feel that I should be extended the same fucking courtesy.
So one thing led to another and we ended up in a fight where she called me a "humpback wale" because I had a tumor sticking out of my back. The very tumor that was removed a week and a half ago. I shot back by making fun of her squirrel like teeth and then called her an uneducated bitch in regards to the tumor on my back. I was very hurt by this, not that she had called me a humpback wale but that as family we should be concerned for one another and as borderline millennials we have the capabilities to learn more about other people's health problems and be curious and sensitive to learn about what's going on with the other person, considering we have a cousin with Down syndrome and obviously a deaf person in the family who is slowly but surely losing her hearing as she ages. Like, what the fuck are you thinking? insulting me is insulting the millions of people who develop these tumors, fortunately for me a benign tumor but not everyone gets lucky. My cousin chose to use that as a way to hurt my feelings, which she failed because mostly I have no feelings and I knew better than to be hurt by it in a personal level. Hence the "uneducated bitch" comment. Then she tried it again by calling me bipolar, which is also incorrect, it's called OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I clapped back by saying "I atleast had a job and didn't live off my husbands pockets". I felt majorly sorry for her because she got everything wrong and it was quite laughable because I would later (that same day) decide not to return the dog. I vowed to sell her than return her. but of course I just kept her. The dog would have a much happier home with me anyway and wouldn't be neglected had she been returned. In the end these were all horrible, just terrible things to say to each other.
Based on the topic though, it's my personal opinion that women are a lot harsher to each other when they are related than when they are complete strangers or co-workers. I think it's that very fact that we are so comfortable with family, like taking a bite out if your tia's taco, while she slices a piece off your steak dinner. We become so comfortable with having no respect for anything really; personal space, wearing your clothes, eating your left overs which clearly had your name marked on the foil and, like our topic, judging one another.
I did some research on this topic and almost every article I read mentioned that women felt judged mostly by "appearance" and "looks" they receive from other female co-workers that were interpret as judgmental or which made them feel awkward according to a text study done by Dr. Sarah Riley, Reader in Psychology on Inc.com.
The results: Though 53% of women felt they received looks that made them feel judged. 11 of those texts said they received looks that made them feel happy or appreciative. The remaining 5 texts were neutral. The article mentions that in the workplace women may be kinder or harsher depending on region or cultural differences. Bullet number one on Riley's study suggests that women may not be as vocal in meetings if they felt judged or inferior to other women as the meeting takes place. The article also suggests ideas to ease the situations by trying to assume the best. but also suggests that the real key might be calling out the looks and bringing it out in the open.
I am more of the calling you out person than assume the best person. Because of my deafness, and endless speech therapy classes growing up, I have learned a little more in depth about body language and face expressions than the average person, which pretty much let's me interpret a look pretty accurately. Also, being from the deaf community I have learned that we are less likely to hold back on making a comment. Not a judgment, but a comment. For example, someone who is completely deaf and has only known deaf people all his life is more likely to make a comment to someone else that they have gained weight and not be considered rude. That's just the culture of deafies. but because I can still hear quiet well on my left ear with the exception of some pitches, I have been crossed with both the deaf and hearing community. So I definitely I understand rudeness and I try to be sensitive to those who can hear perfectly. They can't help their ignorance or inability to pick up a book, or now a days open up a browser and do some research on deaf culture.
In the same way, I am both Mexican and American, I have been crossed in both cultures where my Mexican side actually is more dominant but not to say that I am not properly integrated into the American culture. I feel lucky to be sharper than the average person, to be able to communicate via sign language (in a basic but essential level), to be able to read body language and face expressions more profoundly than the average person, to be able to speak, write, read and understand both Spanish and English in a high lever of proficiency. Shit, I know people who struggle with both Spanish and English. Like, what the fuck homie? You gotta pick one, you can't be bad at both.
Now lets' go back to the calling out example in Riley's study. I once called out a co-worker for laughing in my face when I told her I couldn't make a phone call for her because of my deafness (because my current hearing aid system wouldn't allow me to hear properly) and I mentioned that I had a doctor's note). I mentioned the note so that she didn't think that I just simply didn't want to do the work. Even though I was protected by the HIPPA law and didn't have to explain anything at all to her. and I was the now who pushed for a phone to be added to my station thinking I could be more useful to my co-workers with a phone. but to me it was a way to also establish trust and openness between one another. Of course after her laughing reaction how could I trust her to be understanding and not feel judged by her if I ever need to say anything in the future.
Turns out the whole thing backfired and I was made to be the bad guy, I was the one with the attitude, I was the one who isolated myself from the (non-existent) "team". I became the one who had to make the effort and not the very people that were discriminating against me on a scale that is very much protected by law. Discrimination based on disability.
In the end, we all do it. We all judge based on our own metric or our own belief of what's right or wrong. and it is true that all this depends on regions and cultural differences since it's also been studied that women can be kinder to each other in other regions. We pick up the tabloids and read about female celebs taking a tumble on the red carpet, wardrobe malfunctions, post-baby weight. We are taught by society that humiliation each other, being mean to each other and judging each other is completely normal. but how do we change this? how do we avoid judging the stranger at the grocery store, or stop the nasty family feuds? How do we fix corporate culture and cooperation for the wellbeing of the workplace? There is still so much work to do in order to undo all the damage that's been done between women interactions. It simply has to stop but it's also not that simple.
Like always, thank you for reading, please feel free to comment, send me your ideas thoughts, stories. and don't forget to like and share.