Research Reveals 6 Small Ways People Judge You

You make an impression on people you meet before you even show them who you are.

Although we are not supposed to judge people based on anything apart from their personalities, we involuntarily do so. Judging people when you know you should not does not mean you are a bad person. Experts say that there is a reason why we judge people before we get to know them. Speaking to Bustle, Kellie Zeigler, a certified applied positive psychology practitioner, explained that “The main reason we judge others (and even ourselves!) is because our brain is wired to keep us safe […] It wants stability and certainty, so it makes quick judgments to help us do that.”

There are 6 things people judge you by before they even get to know you.

1. The temperature of your hands

This small and simple thing is one way in which people subconsciously judge you. Elizabeth Irias spoke to Bustle and explained that “If you’re one of those people with cold hands, chances are that others are unfortunately judging your personality by your hand temperature when you shake hands […] People assume that individuals with warm hands are warm and kind, and that people with cold hands are cold and unemotional.”

2. Your name

According to a 2018 study, people judge your personality, age, and competency by your first name. The experiment was conducted by researchers from Syracuse who asked 500 college students to rate several popular names. The results showed that ‘female names were more associated with warmth than competence’ and that male names were the opposite. Moreover, Bustle reported that “names like Dolores or Donald were also considered to be “older” than names like Danielle or Devon.” It is worth noting that people might judge you by your name if they have had negative experiences with others who have had your name in the past.

3. Eye contact

The way you react to eye contact can tell people whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. Diana Venckunaite, a certified life and relationship coach, explained that “Usually, introverts or shy people have issues holding eye contact for a prolonged period of time, especially when they meet someone for the first time or when they are nervous. Whereas, extroverts or confident people don’t have issues with eye contact, and can carry on conversations without the need to look away.” 

4. The way you talk about others

When they meet someone new, most people analyze and observe their behavior. Taking this further, before deciding whether or not they ought to become friends with this new person, they listen to the way they talk. They draw conclusions and make assumptions about the character of the person based on the things they say about their ‘friends’. In other words, if they are constantly badmouthing and judging others, they keep their distance to protect themselves.

5. Facial features

Although we know that the way you look does not reveal anything about who you are, we still make subconscious judgements. According to a 2018 study, “people make snap judgments on facial appearances based on their pre-existing beliefs about others’ personalities.” This means that you might view someone with babyish features as innocent, shy, and kind-hearted solely because this is what you associate the features with. Mental health counselor Tzlil Hertzberg claims that “This instinct ends up constructing and informing our reality and gives us a skewed view of how things are.”

6. Physical appearance

A 2009 study analyzed how people judge others based on their physical appearance. To examine the relationship between personality traits and physical appearance, researchers used photographs of 123 people. Some of the photographs depicted people in neutral, controlled poses while others depicted the subjects in expressive, natural poses. The study found that “Even when viewing the targets in the controlled pose, the observers could accurately judge some major personality traits, including extraversion and self-esteem.” Moreover, they managed to accurately judge nine out of ten traits when looking at their natural, expressive poses.

Ultimately, the research proves that we subconsciously judge others — even when we know that there is no logical correlation between one’s personality and their physical features, their name, or the temperature of their hands. 

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