I’ve started this post at least ten times and every time it ends up being deleted and the title alone sits in my drafts folder. Why? Because it’s something everyone already knows. Of course you’re a hypocrite. Of course I am. We all are.
It’s a fact we call people out on a lot. We like to tell people when they are being hypocritical, and most of the time it’s friendly. It’s just calling out when the pot is calling the kettle black. It’s easy to laugh about. We all have small moments between friends that makes everyone roll their eyes and laugh. But sometimes the topics are more sensitive and hypocritical moments are met with hard backlash and shame. I’m not saying that that’s wrong. People need to be told when they are doing things they say others shouldn’t. We shouldn’t be the exceptions to our own rules. But with the rise of people digging into old social media posts to call us out on our hypocritical moments, it leads one to wonder, where’s the line?
Do we give people room to grow? If we’re digging back into the archives to call people out we can easily say no. We aren’t giving people the benefit of the doubt. People can change, anyone who says otherwise hasn’t been paying attention. Someone can speak against something they used to do, especially if the reason they are so against it now is because they know what the consequences of that action are. Calling people hypocrites when they’ve grown a ton since when they did the action isn’t fair, and in the end you’re limiting them from growing farther. If you want to bring up something from that long ago maybe ask them what changed their mind. Or ask them how they know. There can be a lot of healthy conversation out of that rather than a mean and bitter one that leads absolutely nowhere.
It’s also important to keep in mind that you too are a hypocrite, and while some big topics might be safe from your own double standards some of the smaller and pettier things aren’t. Sometimes calling out people for being hypocritical is a hypocritical action in itself. You’re not safe in this war, they have ammo against you too. It’s insanely easy to start petty wars between people, just know that they feel the exact same way about you, and a lot of the time it’s better left alone. You really have to deem if this conversation is worth it.
Of course, if people are hurting others or seriously demeaning others for doing something they do it’s completely fair game to call them out of it. As I said, you can’t live by completely different standards than you hold everyone else to, it’s just that you also should realize that you too fall short of the same standards.