20 minutes | Dec 22, 2019

River & Osborne – Judgement

River & Osborne Judgement Recently, I posted on social media that this podcast was on hold. There were two reasons why I was going to stop producing these stories. The practical one was money, as I was short on it and I had trouble justifying the expense of hosting services. But, I have to admit, the real reason was fear, the one of being adversely judged by others. NARRATION BR: In the few episodes I have produced, I have reacquainted myself with the fact that when you put your ideas out into the world, people are going to judge you for them —for what you say and for what you don’t say. It’s inevitable. While it is said that actions speak louder than words, words still have great power. In my experience they can draw people closer but can also create a rift. It took some time to put aside those concerns and give this podcast another go. What I realised is that this project is a kind of medicine for me— it brings joy to my life and the process of making it helps me make a little bit more sense of the world I experience. For today, I want to keep exploring the idea of judgement. So, I’m heading to River and Osborne where I want to ask people what it’s like for them when they are judged and how they deal with it.  When I arrived, I watched a young woman panhandling for some time, she would walk up to someone, explain something for about ten seconds, and as soon as she was done speaking, they would shake their head no, and walk away.  This pattern repeated itself for the duration that I observed her. I thought about talking to her but I didn’t have the courage to approach her before she left. But, after a long internal pep talk, I approached a few people.  WOMAN 1 BR: I’m asking people today if they’ve ever experienced being judged by others and what that was like.  W1: Yes.  BR: So can you tell me a bit about that?  W1: Well, a girlfriend and I had a big fight and, she started telling everybody exactly what I said, and I kept my mouth closed and we’ve only started talking like recently, and that’s been about two years. So I felt judged by the other people who never came up to me and said, you know, did you talk to so-and-so meanly?  BR: So what was that like?  W1: What did it feel like?  BR: Yeah.  W1: You know, it was a bit disheartening cause we all sat over at the picnic table there and I just didn’t sit there anymore, which means I made different friends. So, but now, now I do no problem.  BR: Is it just human to judge other people?  W1: I think so.  BR: Yeah.  W1: I think so. I think it’s like gossiping about other people. Um, because when you gossip, you’re just trying to make yourself feel better.  BR: Is that right, that’s interesting, what do you mean by that?  W1: Well, you know, if you sit around with gossipy people and they’re talking about so-and-so and how much they hate them and all that kind of stuff, you know, you’re just trying to make yourself feel good about being a person, feel better, like superior. You know, I have a friend who, who can be, you know very judgmental and used all the old slangs and, I have told him that I don’t like it, but you know, I find by just not saying anything, he’s not going to have a reaction.  WOMAN 2 W2: I was talking to a colleague this weekend. She was telling me a story about a friend who’s going through a lot with cancer with their family. And, just some of the decisions that they’re making right now as a family for how to, how to go forward because it looks like it’s terminal and they have young kids. And so, you know, they’ve got to Go Fund Me going and they are asking for support from the community. And, I was just thinking, like how hard it is to understand the choices that families make in those situations. And how, you know, there doesn’t seem to be one right way to deal with those things, but, um, you know, you hope that people understand why you do what you do and that they support you, and don’t judge you in that. Because like, I think the husband has left his job to be with his family, and so they’re kind of relying on the kindness of strangers and friends. And I just thought, well, that’s a tough spot to be in, but it’s also, it would be hard if you’re worried about people judging your decisions in that time.  BR: Do you think people generally are accepting of how people live their lives and how they choose to live their life? I don’t know. I mean, I think it’s easy to look at it and say, I would do that differently or to judge how people live. I mean, I think people do it very quickly, make decisions based on their own context and experience. So, I mean, I’d like to think that, you know, people are, you know, willing to let other people make their choices and live their lives. But I’m not, you know, it depends. It’s not always, sometimes you have to deal with judgment for the choices you make, and I don’t know. It’s a little bit of both.  WOMAN 3 W3: It’s kind of a horrible feeling sometimes because you don’t know what they’re really thinking.  BR: Right.  W3: Cause like they’re always judging what you’re doing. They’re not happy with themselves, that’s why.  BR: What do you mean by that?  W3: Because, I find a lot of people, I don’t judge anyone, I don’t really care. BR: Right.  W3: I’m happy with myself to some degree, but not always, but if you’re happy with yourself, I don’t think you care about what other people are doing or not doing. I find that everybody has different ideas and we’re all different people, right?  BR: Right. W3: We all have to live here.  BR: Right. W3: So why can’t we be good, be good to each other. I treat people the way that I want them to treat me. How’s that?  BR: That’s perfect. That’s a good way to live.  W3: That’s the only way to do it.  BR: Alright. Thank you very much for talking to me. W3: No problem. Take care. BR: Ok, see ya.  WOMAN 4 W4: We actually had yesterday at work, I was wearing a top that maybe was too, showing too much flesh and because it’s winter, they thought it was not appropriate. So, but yeah I’ve had a few experiences of being misjudged.  BR: So what, what’s that like? What does that feel like? W4: It knocks my confidence, I guess. It kind of just makes you feel a bit embarrassed, I guess.  BR: What would you recommend to someone to sort of, how to get past that?  W4: I say you just be who you are. Accept how you act and obviously within reason, but I just think you shouldn’t let anyone else’s judgment worry you. You are who you are. You kind of express who you are, and you don’t let anyone impair that.  WOMAN 5 W5: You’re judged everyday actually, so I don’t know what, I know what’s that like, but it’s just hard to put it in words. It’s like, you’re, the other person is just not putting in an effort to know you. But they’re, just, it’s easier to repeat whatever stereotype you have in your head, rather than putting in an effort and going ahead and talking to the other person. It’s just easier to judge than to know, right? People just don’t want to put it in an effort. It’s just, yeah, if you talk to me for five minutes, you’ll know a little bit about me, but then,  do you have five minutes to talk to me? Nope. So, yeah, easier to judge.  WOMAN 6 W6: Well, right now, I’m currently panhandling for a living, unfortunately. So every single day people just judge me,  just because I’m panhandling, and they just assume that I do drugs, which I don’t. I’ve been in lots of abusive relationships and I’ve had my own apartment and I’ve had my own job many different times. Not having enough work experience, people thinking like even when I’m going to get a job, they’ll just assume that, cause you didn’t have a job for a year or something that you know that you’re not reliable. But it’s basically just been me letting myself get taken advantage of by lots of people and stuff like that.  I’ve kind of learned to just usually shut it out. I mean, there’s different, there’s good and bad judgment, right? And like those people who are just like, get a job, you know, it’s like I’ll pluck one off a tree. It’s, it’s not that easy, you know? Yeah. It doesn’t feel good most of the time, but yeah.  BR: So even in, even in trying to get a job, you’ve experienced similar sort of things?  W6: Yeah. Yeah. BR: What kinds of things did people say to you?  W6: What were you doing in between these two jobs? If they see a gap in your resume or whatever, and it’s…I’ve been, it’s like I was homeless so, or I was staying in an abuse shelter for a while. Like people, they just assume things, you know? Sometimes, I don’t know, a lot of people aren’t that open-minded, I guess. I judge people too sometimes, but I try and do my best not to as much as I can, treat people equally. It’s just kind of something that pops up in your head sometimes, you know, you judge them by their looks, or the way that their body language or whatever. I ask every single person for change, even if I think this person isn’t going to give me change, for sure. Cause sometimes I’m surprised. There’s some good people out there. At least they’ll respond to you, you know? BR: Does that happen a lot where people just ignore you?  W6: Yeah, it does. Yeah. But I’m okay with that. I’m g
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