One of the best windows into a person’s heart and head – including your own – is looking at whom they judge disproportionately, because it shows where they are secretly feeling deficient.
It shows where people are stuck, where they have trouble breaking through.
Let’s look at a few examples:
Do they always judge “ruthless capitalists”?
Odds are they have a problem with being useful to other people and negotiating a fair reward.
Judge “lazy goodfornothings”?
Odds are they have trouble relaxing.
Judge “irresponsible, self-indulgent hedonists”?
Odds are they have trouble having fun.
Judge “obsessive workaholics”?
Odds are they have trouble with discipline.
Judge “sentimental unthinkers”?
Trouble tuning into their emotions.
Judge “cold, unempathetic logicians”?
Any chance they have trouble thinking straight, and not getting manipulated by emotions in the moment?
Judge “Shallow fitness freaks”?
Any chance they’re not wholly happy with their body shape?
Judge “People who neglect themselves”?
Sounds like perfectionism and fear that unless they’re absolutely flawless, they’re not worthy of love.
“Working-class pond life”?
Probably a suspicion that one isn’t doing anything useful and is a parasitic, elitist dick?
“Parasitic, elitist dicks”?
Suspicion one is an uncultured plebeian?
Any chance they have trouble standing up for themselves, and feel underappreciated and overlooked?
“Weak beta losers”
Any chance they’re exaggerated, aggressive douchebags?
Now, an important caveat: not everyone who judges something is “only jealous”. For example, people who judge Adolf Hitler probably aren’t secretly pissed that they aren’t good enough at gassing their enemies.
All of those moral flaws can be real – there’s being too lazy, ruthless, self-neglecting, self-obsessed, too base or too detached, too meek or pushy, unfeeling – or only feeling. Noticing them doesn’t automatically identify one as suffering from an opposite weaknesses. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to be assertive, to stand up for yourself, to take care of your body, to be disciplined. The point is that the people who get disproportionately pissed at the unhealthy forms are usually those who suck at the healthy forms.
People reserve the harshest judgment for the “dark side” of traits where they are themselves deficient on the “light side”.
A guy angry at the “sleazy pickup artists” doesn’t necessarily want to be one himself, but he’s probably not that good at meeting women in a healthy way either.
It is not the condemnation itself that is the diagnostic tell, because it is often a reasonable judgment. What reveals the compensatory dynamic is when the condemnation is extreme, obsessive and apeshit ballistic.
Where people feel they are deficient at the healthy version, they’re extra pissed when someone succeeds through the unhealthy version. Way more than people who succeed through the healthy version care that there are people who did it in unhealthy ways – i.e. successful entrepreneurs have a much more measured – and effective – reaction to rent seeking and corruption than insane marxists. Men who are successful with women ridicule “pick-up artists” from a position of superiority, but do not dedicate furiously fedora-flailing walls of text to them from a v of jealous, impotent rage.
The problem with such compensation is it alleviates inferiority complexes while blocking access to the healthy version of the trait, and tries to frame personal deficiency as moral strength. The marxist who conflates all financial success with “Fucking exploitation hang all the fuckfaced fucking dickcunts” closes the door to ever being successful. The guy who conflates being good with women with “Dishonest manipulative sleazebaggery” prevents himself from ever being good with women. The person who conflates assertiveness with “being pushy” condemns herself to forever being a victim. But those are radically different things. As they erase the possibility of healthy, ethical success from their mental maps, they limit their options to a double bind between being either miserable or evil. That’s a bad map.
It is incredibly liberating and empowering to examine where you may be doing this, carefully sorting the personal frustrations from the real situation, and working to fix your flaws.
Builds character in a wonderful way.
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