Just what makes us so judgemental and is it getting worse?
Over the holidays, we had the wonderful delight of blocked drains (on Christmas Eve…timing eh) … fortunately it was only the kitchen sink, so not all was lost and we managed to avoid doing the washing up in the bath!
Nevertheless, it was a bother and something you want to get sorted as quickly as possible.
So the first step was to head to that fount of all knowledge…YouTube…
and I have now seen more videos of blocked drains than I would ever care to see again, but what struck me were the comments… so many were judgemental, nay even accusatory.
‘Don’t pour fat down the drain’…’you’ll get a fatberg’… ‘it never happens to me I pour it into a milk carton’!
Now admittedly I do like the odd stir fry but I am certainly not pouring fat down the drain, and don’t even own a chip fat frier… but there I was feeling guilty like I was living back in the 1970’s on a diet of fish and chips…
And then thinking about it, these types of judgemental comments don’t end there…
If your clutch goes or brakes fade on your car… again something that needs to be fixed… yet not only do you have to face the price, but also the comments… ‘it is the way you are driving’, ‘didn’t you notice 6 months ago?’… so now my driving is not up to scratch either… a bad, fish and chip, eating driver…!
It is of course different if you have asked for an opinion, a view of what to do, but sometimes it is hard to turn the switch off and you offer the opinion anyway (and I am sure I do this too)… it is even worse online.
Yet, the bigger question here is not really my wounded pride (I’ll get over it!), but why are we so judgemental… offer these ‘friendly’ suggestions, and stating the obvious doesn’t really help anyone.
In real life we all make mistakes and mainly know how we could have done something differently, that is how we learn…. next time. The real priority in the moment is getting it fixed.
This applies back in the world of business, finance, and overdue accounts too.
Yes, we all know it is often better to not borrow the money, but if you already have, something happens and you cannot pay it back… what is important?
‘Helpful advice’ on what you should have done differently… or adequate support to get it addressed?
Fortunately, the Financial Services industry has moved on massively in the last 10 years, and even more so today in the UK with a focus on good customer outcomes… but there is still a way to go, and indeed more generally regarding how we treat customers, employees and friends.
So as we start the year a reflection on being pragmatic, trying to help people on a go-forward basis, not so much time looking back and certainly trying to not be quite so judgemental.
Something to add to my to-do list for the year… now off to get my sausages out from the oven.