To think you can't judge someone by one mistake

(242 Posts)
ButtonMoony Mon 19-Apr-21 08:45:23

YABU - people never change
YANBU - without all the details you shouldn't judge.

Prompted by another thread about a bloke who did prison time for punching someone. Lots of comments deciding he is a violent man and likely to be again in the future without knowing ANY fact.

Also prompted by my own experience.

Never any trouble with the police for 40 plus years. Successful business woman, PTA blah blah.

Husband left, business crashed, I had a full on mental breakdown. Crisis teams, inpatient treatment, sectioned, the works.

During a period of my life that I honestly can't remember and whilst in the depths of a depression I wouldn't wish on anyone I was convicted for drink driving.

So. Should I be judged by people for the rest of my life and deemed a threat to people as I might do it again (I won't. Sober. Re married. Back in employment) or should people consider overall circumstances before making a snap decision about someone based on one mistake.

OP’s posts: |
IbrahimaRedTwo Mon 19-Apr-21 08:47:28

Depends on the mistake, and depends on the person.

If for example, I had had a close family member killed by a drunk driver, would you not think that I had every right to judge you and not forgive you your "mistake"?

WeAllHaveWings Mon 19-Apr-21 08:52:11

Life is not that black and white.

Your mistakes, successes and everything inbetween become part of the picture of a you.

Those that know the details will have a more balanced picture than those that only know the "headlines".

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 19-Apr-21 08:52:12

Depends completely on the mistake.

Memedru Mon 19-Apr-21 08:54:51

Really depends on what mistake they have made!

My old man when he was younger nicked a car, got a criminal record, once it dropped he went on to have a very successful career in the army for 25 years, never had anymore problems with the police since!

osbertthesyrianhamster Mon 19-Apr-21 08:54:51

Depends on the mistake.

Francescaisstressed Mon 19-Apr-21 08:54:59

Depends on the mistake.
Had a friend that took a fradueltn credit card out in another freinds name (who was vulnerable).
She maintains it was a one time mistake and would never do anything like it again.
Half our group forgave her. I was one that didn't because I knew I would never trust her again.

Hearing your story I wouldn't judge you on what happened. However, it really does depend on the seriousness and consequence of what you have done and trust etc.

EmeraldShamrock Mon 19-Apr-21 08:56:22

Depends on the mistake.
I highly doubt its a first offence.
Taking or destroying a life is a big burden and forgiveness needs to be earned too.

EmeraldShamrock Mon 19-Apr-21 08:57:33

Your situation is very different.

LemonRoses Mon 19-Apr-21 08:57:37

I think scale and nature of mistake are important.Does it say something about your underlying values and personality or was it a simple error of judgement?

Drink driving would be a huge no-no from me. I’d not want to associate with someone who placed others at such unnecessary risk.

Mental health problems do not make you a criminal. Drink driving does.

I’d judge but pleased your life is back on track.

HedgleyTheHedgehog Mon 19-Apr-21 08:58:06

Isn't there a saying about a leopard?

UhtredRagnarson Mon 19-Apr-21 08:58:39

There are too many variables. It’s not a black and white situation. People need to make decisions based on the individual circumstances.

Eg: you ask if you should be deemed a threat? A threat to animals? No, a threat to children? No, a threat to other drivers? Not currently but there is a recorded history that you were and those circumstances could happen again so no-one could say you absolutely weren’t a threat to other drivers.

dontgobaconmyheart Mon 19-Apr-21 09:00:52

I'm glad you're doing so much better OP, that all sounds very hard.

I'm not voting, I think there is no either/or option to your examples really, the two aren't mutually exclusive.

People will use their own metrics to form their own opinion about people regardless. Judging others unfortunately is something we do in society, we judge everything, even when we are 'good' people we are still guilty of it. Of course considering context is important but people won't always have it, understand it, or may have their own lived experiences of trauma and bias to form opinions or aversion to certain things. Sometimes that will be just as valid and sometimes not, it isn't black and white. Opinion and fact really aren't the same.

I think it is important to remember that you don't need others validation on who you are as a person, nobody here knows that anyway. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and is no reflection of choices or your personality, it is something that happened 'to' you that was very difficult and you have achieved a lot to be where you are now and isn't comparable to the other examples. flowers

UhtredRagnarson Mon 19-Apr-21 09:01:01

Fwiw I lost a family member to a drunk driver. I have no idea what the circumstances of that persons drinking was, nor do I care. Do I think they should ever be allowed to drive a car again? 100% not. Regardless of how well or reformed or recovered they say they are. They chose to turn a car into a weapon and took a father and husband away from his family.

Thunderdonkey Mon 19-Apr-21 09:04:16

I don't think people often change their basic nature, so if someone was in trouble a lot, I'd struggle to believe they had changed. In your example though, you acted out of character, due to what sounds like a horrific set of circumstances. Your basic nature remains the same, that period was the exception, so while I would not believe you had changed, I would not hold one mistake against you.

Rangoon Mon 19-Apr-21 09:05:04

With dishonesty offences, I think those people are fundamentally dishonest and I wouldn't trust them again. There are people who are honest whatever, those who would be honest depending on the chances of being caught and those whose default is to be dishonest. I suppose there might be extenuating circumstances like a breakdown or whatever but pretty much people are either honest or they're not.

LolaButt Mon 19-Apr-21 09:08:58

I judge. You should never be allowed behind the wheel of a car ever again.

Regardless of circumstances you were lucky not to kill someone. Your husband leaving you and your breakdown would make zero difference to a grieving family whose lives will forever be damaged.

Widowed due to a driver who shouldn’t have been behind the wheel. I wouldn’t associate with you.

Babdoc Mon 19-Apr-21 09:09:20

OP, I think you are far too invested in what other people think of you! Ultimately, the only opinions that matter are yours and God’s.
Because those are the only two that fully know your own heart, conscience, snd mitigating circumstances.
Please put your drink driving episode behind you, as part of your illness and stress at the time. You don’t need other people’s forgiveness - you need your own.

SuziQuatrosFatNan Mon 19-Apr-21 09:12:42

Up to a certain point it's all subjective isn't it? Actions trigger state adjudged penalties which are mostly pragmatic attempts to balance deterrent/harm considerations and to an extent citizens internalise some of those considerations in forming their own personal judgement together with their own lived and to an extent observed experience. So there's a variety of responses to questions like this.

Mumoblue Mon 19-Apr-21 09:15:06

I don’t believe people never change but your past is part of who you are.
And for many people “one mistake” is actually a series of choices in a pattern of behaviour.

Personally I actually forgive people too easily and more than I should. I don’t blame people for being cautious.

BarbaraofSeville Mon 19-Apr-21 09:17:34

I agree that it's not always black and white. A minority are 'bad uns' but most of try to be decent people, but circumstances occasionally cause us to act out of character. Most of the time we get away with it, but occasionally something awful happens.

Would the people showing zero tolerance for drink drivers under any circumstances say the same if someone had killed someone with their car when they were an overtired new mother?

After all, someone has still died and the person still drove knowing that they were unfit to do so, whether or not they were able to decide rationally at the time. What's the difference?

B33Fr33 Mon 19-Apr-21 09:17:46

Basically you're asking if people are or aren't always responsible for their own actions, I realised there's stuff in law about diminished responsibility but essentially anyone with that judgment is reduced to the capability of a child in the eyes of the law.
You're always responsible for your actions. Some people manage to convince their peers that they still have redeeming qualities. But that's probably because they just act like they're absolute angels and people are gullible.

Angrypregnantlady Mon 19-Apr-21 09:18:26

Depends what it is and if they feel remorse.
If you still justify what you did wrong or think everyone should just move on and forget about it then I'm judging you hard, because you clearly still agree with that action.
You could murder someone but under certain circumstances and if you feel remorse and are doing what you can to be a good person then I wouldn't judge you by it. If you were caught driving under the influence and think it's no big deal and it shouldn't impact your life then I will certainly judge you for it.

Starlive23 Mon 19-Apr-21 09:21:36

YANBU, if we were all judged by our worst mistakes we would never leave the the house. Depends very much on circumstances and one mistake doesn't define you.

CommunistLegoBloc Mon 19-Apr-21 09:23:49

I'm not sure. Because ultimately I think that a lot of people who suffer breakdowns will not commit any sort of crime. The people who do, well, there's something disposing them to that. Even if they don't do it again, there's a difference in personality, experience, upbringing, that meant that when under pressure, they went down that path. Others would not. I'm not trying to apportion blame, I'm just musing on the fact that people react differently and that does inform how they might react again in the future.

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