I try not to judge people by appearance..
One example, pedophiles are not dirt covered, rag clothed, people living on the street. They will most likely be well-dressed, pillars in some community, give the appearance of being a good person, better to attract children and their parents to trust them. My father appeared to be the nicest most helpful person but had molested all five of his children, When it first became more public, his "friends" could not believe we were telling the truth.
I think Blondie makes a VERY important point on this thread - appearances are very deceiving. Some of my close friends are considered to be " hippies " due to having long hair in the music community out here in Northern California - which short haired main stream people would automatically label them as " druggies " or slovenly or " street " people or homeless. But they are nothing like that. They are some of the most honest, caring, empathetic sincere human beings around these parts.
Last night my wife and I attended a musical tribute to a 66 year old popular piano player who died recently of cancer and who performed at this open mike bar for years . So MANY musicians showed up to play songs in tribute to him ( myself included playing 1 song ) that it lasted for a good 3 hours and most of the performers were long haired and eccentric looking " hippies " who spoke and played music very kindly in tribute to our fallen musical friend Rowan. These are people who would always have your back.
In contrast - I've known plenty of what you'd call " clean cut " or " religious " people that would stab you in the back or backbite and gossip about their own friends, marriage mates, or siblings at the drop of a hat- yet they appear " respectable " or clean cut to society due to their haircuts- but are actually snakes inside who would not be fit to watch my dogs or cats.
So THAT is how you avoid pre-judging people - watch WHAT people do , not what they say entirely , HOW they act towards others in reality, not what they CLAIM they've done for other people. Then it becomes crystal clear in time if we keep our eyes open- who the users are, and who the giving, compassionate people are. Appearance, skin color, sexual persuasion, has NOTHING to do with how kind or empathetic a person is or how much character they possess. It's what's inside that counts. Some people are rotten to the core and get treated like " saints " in this world- some people are kind and compassionate and get disrespected and treated like shit- and that is when injustice happens. Kind of how I see this. Peace out, mr. Flipper
Great replies. Thanks.
I guess it takes time before we discover the fruit beneath the shell of anyone. Anyway as a witness I was defiantly a wolf in sheeps clothing. I am still the same person, it's just that I am now my own fruit. I guess that's why I posed the O.P, because I was once a wolf in sheeps clothing and never even realized it.
I'm with flipper on this one. I have been screwed over by good looking people more than I have by average ones.
If someone says something derogatory about anyone they probably are saying it about me too.
As others have said, making snap judgements about other people is normal, healthy, and in our best interests. We've persisted as a species by being able to efficiently make quick assessments of people and situations that help us to avoid threats to our survival. Doing this should not be demonized nor should it be avoided. The problem, in my opinion, is when people make snap judgements and then refuse to change their opinion based on further information. The goal should be to always make decisions based on the information available. Sometimes when little information is available, those decisions will be overly risk averse or otherwise less than ideal. The key is to make sure that you're using all the information that's available instead of using the first bit of information you got, forming an opinion, and then basing all future decisions on that opinion (and whatever later information is acquired to support it). The human tendency to avoid changing one's mind to be in line with late evidence is one of our greatest weaknesses and I think we would all do well to fight this instinct.
You will be ok when you forgive yourself....yes it does take time to know people....a lifetime because we are always changing...
So you were a sheep in wolves clothing...many of us was something else at one time...
Keep this in mind....You may not be were you should be, but you are not where you used to be...
Forgive yourself....being any type of religious person makes one judge people...if you are not them, then you are those other people....maybe you were judgmental for so long...it's going to take some time....but stay on this site...some smart folks here...they have good lines...and thoughts.