No one is perfect. Despite our best efforts, we all sometimes behave in questionable behavior while criticizing others for doing the same thing.
A recent thread on R/AskReddit called out humanity’s pension for saying one thing while doing another. A user asked, “What does everyone criticize but still do anyway?”
The responses were delightful yet cringe-inducing because, yes, we all sometimes misbehave. But we give ourselves a pass while condemning others.
The top response speaks to the question on a profound level. We all make judgments, but we often harshly criticize others for doing it.
Redditors were quick to point out that the key here is whether you speak your judgments or not. “Judgement is automatic. The brain does it whether you want to or not. Keeping it to oneself, however, is a choice,” replied one.
It’s OK to judge. It’s an innate response to circumstances. However, it’s essential to understand that your brain is making a snap judgment that may or may not be correct and to keep some of those harsher instant judgments to yourself.
There are a lot of good reasons to criticize the Nestle company. They want to turn public water into a commodity, and their baby formula scandal allegedly caused malnutrition and death in thousands of infants.
The harsh truth most of us accept is that we still give our money to this horrific company. “People criticize Nestle yet still buy Nestle,” responded one user. Others said that many giant corporations are immoral, and it’s nearly impossible not to purchase from them.
If we don’t have anything nice to say, we shouldn’t say it all. How many of us live by our mother’s advice every day?
We know gossiping about others is wrong. We know we shouldn’t do it and get upset when people whisper about us. However, most of us have given in to peer pressure and smack-talked others at some point in our lives.
Many respondents consciously tried to shift the way they talked about others. “I’ve started making efforts to talk people up behind their backs,” offered one, while another said they’ve “started trying really hard not to say anything about someone that I would be ashamed to say to them.”
“Being stingy with money,” responded one user. “I love charity in concept, but having people walking up to me asking for small amounts of money annoys me so much more than it really should.”
We all want to help our fellow man, but none of us want to give up our hard-earned cash to do it. It makes sense, though, when most Americans are just one emergency away from total ruin.
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The Dumbing Down of America
Many people complain about how stupid the average American is while actively ensuring the problem worsens. One Redditor said they see parents complain about the education system while doing nothing to promote learning at home. “Parents bear some responsibility for their child’s learning. Stop dumping it all on teachers and the government,” they added.
Others pointed to the root of the problem: education isn’t well funded, and people don’t want their taxes to go up to support it. “Or actually invest in those teachers/government?” they questioned. “Seriously,” they added, “of all the various uses of taxpayer money, education is near the top when it comes to Return on Investment.”
Who else uses social media while complaining about what a cesspool social media is?
“I hate social media. It’s such a time suck when I could be doing better things like reading or learning something or going outside,” said one Redditor before admitting they keep returning for more.
We all put stuff off for later. But some of us judge others for doing it.
One Redditor said it’s effortless to make excuses for yourself when you procrastinate, but we generally don’t extend the same understanding to others. “It’s also easy for people to make excuses their own procrastination while calling others lazy. When IM procrastinating, it is because my anxiety is flaring up, or I forgot, or I got too busy. When YOU procrastinate, it’s just because you’re lazy,” they said.
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We may believe we’re above the basic tribalism that rules primates, but in reality, most of us aren’t.
The dissonance is especially apparent in politics. “It boggles my mind when I see left-wing and right-wing say these things and call out echo chambers, yet they are both literally in their own echo chambers agreeing with people who link the way they do,” said one user.
Shopping at Amazon and Walmart
We all love to hate on the two mainstays of American retail, but most of us still shop there on occasion.
Some said it’s a matter of affordability. “I try not to shop there as much as I can, but when you make $13.50/hr, I just can’t afford other places,” they admitted.
Others replied that Amazon often has the things they need that they can’t get elsewhere, so it’s hard to opt out of the service.
We all know pollution is harmful, but we still own cars and drive them everywhere. Many of us take long-distance international flights, which also produce a ton of pollution.
Some said the problem is urban planning. “In America, it is nigh impossible to live in a city and not own a car. You simply can’t have most jobs without a car,” stated one. Others blamed corporations for pollution but were reminded that corporations wouldn’t pollute if people didn’t buy their products.
“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions,” according to the quote by author Stephen Covey.
We’re all guilty of being hypocritical at some point in our lives, often without even realizing it. To err in this way is human.
Humans Can Be Harsh
Do you agree with Reddit’s assessment of things we all do but judge others harshly for? If you saw yourself in some of the comments, don’t worry, we all do it. We can try to avoid it in the future by thinking critically before we act, but even the best efforts sometimes fail.
It’s okay to be human and to make mistakes. All we can do is keep trying.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.