Open Secrets: 24 Things People Unapologetically Judge Others For

Man judging you

Have you ever wondered what's really going on inside people's heads when they meet someone new? We'll spill the beans on the things that secretly make us judgmental of others. Get ready for some candid confessions!

1. Animal Treatment

Happy Dog
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I've caught myself side-eyeing someone for not giving their pets the treatment they deserve. The list goes on, from those who skip dog walks to the fish owners who think a tiny bowl is a palace. My absolute biggest pet peeve is kicking pets out of frustration or leaving them in a hot car!

2. Littering

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We all play eco-detective when it comes to folks treating the Earth like their private trash bin. It's as if no piece of litter goes unnoticed on our radar. So, before casually dropping that gum wrapper, remember that there's probably someone watching and judging.

3. Being a Poor Tipper

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Penny pinchers, beware; many people will judge you for being a lousy tipper. From the “I'll round down” approach to deciding that the meal was just too expensive, leaving little to nothing is inconsiderate, especially when the service was stellar. If money's tight, ordering something cheaper on the menu is better than skimping on the tip.

4. Poor Driving Skills

Driving car
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The road can be an unforgivable place. After someone misses a blinker or you see cars zooming through traffic with drivers cutting each other off, we shake our heads as we lament having to share the road with such “amateurs.” 

5. Using Speakerphone in Public Places

Woman outside talking on speakerphone
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In the realm of unspoken judgments, using a speakerphone in public ranks high. Whether it's a crowded bus or a quiet café, those who subject bystanders to their loud calls may find themselves under the covert scrutiny of others.

6. Chewing With Your Mouth Open

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Chewing with your mouth wide open earns its spot on the “secretly judged” list for good reason. The spectacle it creates is undeniably distasteful and uncouth. Such a display often triggers harsh judgment, and I'm guilty of it!

7. Wearing Too Much Cologne or Perfume

Woman pinching nose, stinky, smelly, ew
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Dousing oneself in cologne or perfume can turn heads for all the wrong reasons. It's a sensory overload beyond personal expression, often trespassing into obnoxious and annoying. These heavy fragrances are off-putting. Less is more when it comes to smelling good.  

8. How They Read

man reading
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Literacy is often taken for granted when most people you hang around can do it, but nothing becomes more glaring than when someone struggles to read a passage. As cold as it may seem, the temptation to judge someone's reading ability after a certain age is strong, and many people secretly consider one another for it.

9. Terrible Kid Names

pregnant woman eating pickles
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I know it sounds horrible, but sometimes you hear a kid's name, and you're just like, what were the parents thinking? Her name is Apple? Really? I can appreciate a cultured and unique name as much as the next person, but sometimes, it's too much to be different. And it's mostly the mom who gets judged, unfortunately. 

10. Political Leanings (Voting)

Four women of various demographics, young blonde woman in front, filling in ballots and casting votes in booths at polling station, US flag on wall at back. Focus on booth signage
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Voting choices often lead to hidden judgments, where individuals evaluate each other based on political affiliations and disagreements. Although it's quiet (sometimes), trust me, you are judged based on who you vote for. So remember this before divulging who you plan on voting for in the coming election.

11. Not Recycling or Separating Trash

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Are you skipping the recycling bin? Trust me, someone somewhere saw you mix the plastic with the paper, and they feel some way about it! Being green is the new social standard, and people have admitted to judging others for not getting with the movement.

12. How They Dress

Old smug woman
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People have confessed that a person's fashion sense or lack thereof has caused them to judge. Whether they fail to coordinate or their fashion sense is outdated, you may be thought of unfavorably for your lack of fashion swagger.

13. Child Rearing

Abusive Parents
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It's one thing to be strict; it's entirely different to letting your child run around unsupervised without any form of parenting. Many people have confessed that they've judged parents who fail to control their rambunctious kids.

14. Leaving the Bathroom Without Washing Your Hands

Woman use soap and washing hands under the water tap. Hygiene concept hand detail.
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Did you leave the bathroom without letting your hands touch water and soap? Yes, there are people out there who are watching to see, at minimum, a water drip on your hands as evidence that you washed your hands. If your hands are suspiciously too dry—you're getting judged…and rightfully so. 

15. Home Decor

Young woman hanging blank frame on white brick wall in bathroom
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Can you think of a time when you walked into someone's home and thought, “Whoa, what's happening here?” Many have confessed to secretly evaluating color choices, furniture arrangements, and wall hangings when they're at a friend's house. So before you let people into your humble abode, ensure your decor is at least passable.

16. Their Laugh

Young woman with friends watching movie in cinema and laughing. Group of people in theater with popcorns and drinks.
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Not all laughs are created equally. Some people laugh with a guttural roar that virtually shakes the foundation around them. Although laughing should be enjoyable for all involved, some laughs grate and annoy, and trust me, if you're one of these people, you are undoubtedly being judged. 

17. Not Being Able To Spell

Over a Quarter Million Americans Misspell Calendar
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There are fewer embarrassing things than misspelling a word so badly that autocorrect can't explain it. This is compounded when done on Twitter or some other social media platform. Thousands of people have confessed that they judge people who can't spell.

18. Not Exercising

Woman stressed at work desk
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Not exercising was fine and dandy when we were younger, but letting yourself go increasingly comes with judgmental glares as we age. Remember, people just wait to judge you over the 10 pounds you put on during the holiday season. Without some health reason, people are unforgiving nowadays!

19. Using a Phone During a Conversation

Woman on cell phone, texting, college, student
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When someone pulls out their phone mid-conversation, it conveys a lack of interest or rudeness. Honestly, I agree. Could you please let me know why you're scrolling the phone while I'm trying to talk? The judgment is there because people feel that their presence isn't valued.

20. Not Saying “Thank You”

Man being rude to waitress, demanding, entitled
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Do you neglect to say “thank you” after someone says “bless you” after you sneezed or held the door open for you? Just to let you know, your negligence didn't come without criticism. An unrequited gesture that isn't accompanied by at least a “thank you” is taboo.

21. Not Wearing a Mask

doctor consultation
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You know, in these times, not wearing a mask can raise some eyebrows. It's like you're ignoring the whole “we're in this together” vibe. People silently wonder why you're skipping the mask memo, questioning your commitment to public health. While this topic is controversial, it still comes with a great deal of judgment when you don't comply. 

22. Being Obnoxious

Man snapping fingers, rude, snap
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Being the loud, boisterous, and obnoxious guy at the dinner party or the movie theater never goes over well. Perhaps this one goes without saying, but there will be a plethora of people judging you for every word you utter to boast about yourself in some way. 

23. Not Covering Their Mouth When Sneezing and Coughing

Middle Aged Man Sneezes in a Crowded Glass Elevator in a Modern Office Building. Businessman Covers His Face, but Other People Are Afraid to Catch the Virus and Microbes in a Lift.
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When someone sneezes or coughs without covering up—it's not just about germs but manners, too. You will be judged! Moreover, the desire for better hygiene has been heightened in our post-pandemic world. So the next time you sneeze, cover-up, and say excuse me or risk becoming a social pariah.

24. Being a Bad Flirter

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Yes, flirting is a skill, and some of us struggle to execute it more than others. People who have no game are purveyors of awkward encounters and nervous laughter. As you can imagine, such a person is judged harshly in the minds of the people they're trying to win over and bystanders as well. 

Entertainment Writer at Wealth of Geeks | + posts

Creshonda Smith is a creative writer that thrives on learning something new everyday and sharing that knowledge in a way that captivates others. She has 15 years of experience as a freelance writer for various companies, but she was previously a Clinical Social Worker, having obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The Ohio State University. After nearly 10 years in the field, she decided it was time to return to one of her childhood passions—writing that inspires. Creshonda will tackle any topic, but she prefers lifestyle articles centered around Health & Wellness, Parenting & Family Advice, Food + Drinks, Personal Growth, and Traveling. She has four beautiful children and has been married for a decade. Her favorite hobbies include traveling to anywhere there's a beach, reading, writing, and playing UNO! Creshonda has been a contributing writer for Wealth of Geeks since June 2023.