People who are quick to judge others usually have these 13 insecurities

I struggle with overly judging others and have for a long time. 

At my worst I have looked around and found something “wrong” or “not good enough” in almost everyone around me. 

Upon reflecting, I realized that my focus on judging others came about from my own feelings of unworthiness and frustration. 

It’s not that judging people is always wrong: for one thing we all do it in small and big ways. 

But a habit of judging and looking around at what we don’t like is usually the sign of problems inside. This article takes a look at the reasons that people become too focused on judging others and do so too quickly. 

Let’s dive in… 

1) They feel low value

People who struggle with their self-worth often project their insecurities onto others by criticizing them.

They try to get rid of the feeling of not being good enough by focusing on all the things that are “wrong” or able to be mocked and put down about somebody else. 

By judging and trash talking others, they get a small burst of feeling better. 

As Andrea Darcy explains:

“Often we judge others because deep down who we judge the most is ourselves. We lack confidence, have low self-esteem, and hide it by projecting all our insecurities onto others.”

2) They dread rejection 

Those who live in fear of rejection often judge others as a defense mechanism.

They don’t want to be rejected, so they preemptively judge and “reject” others first. 

This self-sabotaging behavior seems illogical, but at a deeper subconscious level it makes sense:

The individual deeply fears rejection, so they protect themselves by already pushing other people away. 

3) They’re extremely worried about failing

Individuals who are obsessed with avoiding failure often judge others frequently and rapidly. 

They find something to critique and slam in everybody who walks through the cafe or everyone who talks to them. 

By framing everyone else as basically a failure who’s not doing well enough in life, the chronic judger feels a slight sense of calm. 

They maintain a sense of control and superiority by reassuring themselves that it’s others who are doing much worse than them. 

4) They’re damaged from childhood trauma 

Childhood abuse and mistreatment (including chronic neglect or being in a deeply codependent family situation) does lasting damage. 

Those who are still climbing up a steep hill from the wounds of childhood will often resort to snap judgments of people around them. 

By slapping a denigrating label on everyone else, they feel (temporarily) slightly relieved at knowing there are others worse off, uglier, stupider or less successful than them. 

“If something like childhood abuse has left us mired in shame, putting another person down can make us feel we aren’t the most worthless person in the world,” notes Darcy

“For a moment, someone else is.”

5) They have social anxiety 

People with social anxiety often judge others as a way to cope with their own discomfort in social situations.

“Hey, look at that guy with his shirt buttoned up all the way to the top button,” they chuckle. “I wonder where he is on the spectrum. Probably off the charts.”

And so on…

In truth, they’re feeling terrible and nervous about their social value and being well liked. 

But by throwing shade about somebody else they get a tiny alleviation of the insecurity. 

6) They feel ugly

Individuals with body image insecurities tend to judge others based on physical appearance.

They do this to feel better about themselves.

The smallest imperfection, mole or body weight issue in somebody else is something they note.

Even if they don’t mention it to others, their judgment of somebody as lesser due to a physical imperfection tends to be very rapid and harsh. 

This is a mistake, and can cut them off from potential connections and really getting to know somebody. 

“Outward appearance can be deceiving, and you should never judge a person by their looks alone,” writes Simon Okelo.

“There is more to someone than meets the eye.”

7) They’re stressed about money

Financial insecurity often leads individuals to judge others based on their wealth or material possessions.

“Has that lady ever even heard of buying a decent pair of shoes?” they scoff. 

But beneath that scorn is their own real anxiety about the future and money.

Their insecurities are bubbling to the surface regarding their ability to earn enough to survive, and they’re trying to let off some pressure by mocking the “brokies” around them. 

8) They feel sad about being single

easy to miss signs someone is feeling lonely in life People who are quick to judge others usually have these 13 insecurities

Being single has many advantages and can be an empowering and great experience. 

But it can also get old, particularly if somebody has watched others get a chance in many cases where they did not. 

Seeing reciprocated love leads to a feeling of missing out, and the person becomes judgmental and bitter of other couples:

They slam everything wrong or silly about couples, out of a fear that “all the good ones are gone” and that love has passed them by. 

“Many people who have not been privileged enough to receive unconditional love have an unconscious idea that there is only so much to go around. 

So much attractiveness, so much wealth, so much youth, so much beauty, so much achievement, and, ultimately, so much love,” explains psychologist Dana Harron Psy.D.

On the flipside, they may be worried about their relationship…

9) They’re worried about their relationship

Individuals who feel insecure in their relationships often avoid the pain by throwing shade at other people’s relationships. 

This is a typical form of projection and trying to feel higher up in the rankings. 

“Yeah, my girlfriend and I do fight a lot. But at least we’re not like John and Amanda. My God. She is so toxic. And that guy is pathetic the way he never stands up to her.”

This may all be true. But by slamming others like this (even in their own thinking), the judgmental person really does nothing to actually improve their relationship. 

They just look down on somebody else’s. 

10) They’re struggle with their identity

Insecurities about identity (such as race, gender, sexual orientation and so on) can often lead to judgmental behavior towards those who are different.

These judgments about those who are not in the “good” or accepted group are usually about trying to feel more secure. 

“At least I’m not like X type of people…”

“Well, I didn’t grow up with the privilege / ignorance of X race, so at least I have that going for me…”

These sorts of judgments aren’t the kind of thing people focus on when they are secure in their own identity. 

11) They have imposter syndrome

People who experience imposter syndrome often judge others to deflect attention from their own perceived inadequacies.

“I don’t really belong in this gym, I’m a fat slob,” they think, then look around until they see a much more overweight person… “But at least I’m not that fatass!”

“I’m way under-qualified to be VP at this company. But at least I’m not an airhead like Jim.”

And so on… 

In such a way, they hope to get a boost by finding things about others that don’t measure up. 

12) They’re scared of change

Individuals who fear change often judge others who represent change or innovation as a way to maintain the status quo.

“How could he believe something so crazy? It’s clear that American football is more popular than rugby around here. 

That’s never going to change.” 

They hope that by keeping things the same and judging change, they can prevent their safe zone from expanding and changing in ways they didn’t expect. 

13) Life feels out of control 

Feelings of powerlessness or lack of control may lead individuals to judge others as a means of exerting control in their own lives.

As Harron writes:

“Judgmentalism is about safety. If you are the ‘better person’ in a given scenario, you don’t have to worry that you might be the ‘worse’ one. 

You don’t have to reckon with potential feelings of inferiority, shame, and generally not being good enough.”

Judging the judge

The irony of being judgmental and judging people too quickly is that it’s easy to judge and dislike people who do this. 

But having gone through this list of insecurities of those who judge too speedily, it becomes clear that highly judgmental people usually have serious issues. 

By judging or resenting those who judge, we only feed into their paradigm of who’s better or worse.

Instead, it’s best to confront our own inner judge and look at that part of ourselves that rushes to judge without sufficient grounds to do so. 

As Gupta notes:

“If you have a negative view of someone, ask yourself what it’s based on. Did you formulate your view based on facts? 

“Do you have all the relevant information or do you need to inquire further about the situation?”

Picture of Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on and visit his website at

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