Tattooing is an ancient human practice. Some evidence suggests that it dates as far back in recorded history as archaeologists have tracked.
Otzi the Iceman, who lived over 5,000 years ago, is the oldest discovery of a tattooed human. Mummies from over four dozen archaeological sites all over the world have found similar evidence of tattooing that is over 4,000 years old.
If tattoos have always been part of the human experience, why is it that some people hate them – and those who choose to get them?
When we look at the psychology of this reaction, the information digs deeper into how we define ourselves and our place in this world.
What’s the Psychology Behind People Who Hate Tattoos?
People feel compelled to judge others because it helps them feel better about themselves. This life approach occurs because of a lack of self-love, acceptance from others, and self-esteem. Since tattoos are a visible way that someone can express themselves, it is much easier to create measurements that feel valuable.
Before anyone starts feeling superior, it’s crucial to point out that everyone judges people. We all have a bias toward certain groups, demographics, or other triggers that make us want to avoid specific individuals when meeting them in public.
When we can learn to accept this fact, it helps us take a step forward when trying to understand others.
I grew up with a neighbor down the street who had a high net worth. When I asked him how he became wealthy, his answer was quite surprising.
He told me that he saw each decision as a value proposition. Whenever there was a cheaper option for him to take, he always took it. That’s why he drove a sedan, got beer from the discount shelf, and always took his tent for camping when having a vacation.
Instead of eating at a restaurant, he would cook his meals at home almost all the time.
When someone was rude or jealous to him, his perception was that they were jealous of his success or threatened by his power. When people were kind, they either wanted to manipulate him or admired what he’d accomplished.
Everything my neighbor perceived got measured by his financial success. Since that’s how he valued self-worth, his judgment of others was based on that perspective.
It’s the same way people without tattoos see people who decide to use that art form as a way to express themselves. Because some individuals prefer fashion, hairstyles, or even beauty care routines as ways to show their self-care, they expect others to do the same. When someone comes along with a full sleeve, the perception is that they are inferior because they don’t measure up.
We must ask ourselves this: how can someone measure up to values or definitions that are never communicated to them?
To be fair, people with tattoos can feel the same way about those who don’t have any. How we measure ourselves is what we apply to others.
Why Do We Judge Others?
How do you measure value in your life?
Some people measure their self-worth through the accolades they receive or the money they earn. Others focus on concepts like popularity or beauty.
A person’s value can even come from the relationships they form, including their family.
Whether you focus on good deeds and volunteerism or the ability to earn $100 or more per hour, the chances are good that several factors play a role in how you see yourself compared to other people. One of them stands out more than the rest, and that value determines your overall happiness.
We must measure ourselves by our internal metrics whenever possible to find happiness and peace. The moment we allow others to dictate those roles for us is the second that we transfer the power we have in our lives to someone else.
External metrics always screw up our definitions of self-worth and value.
People hate tattoos for several reasons. Each one provides an insight into how that person perceives the world. Here are some of the common options given when asked why there is a particular dislike for this form of expressionism.
What Are the Reasons Why People Hate Tattoos?
|Pain:||Some people cannot bear the discomfort that comes with a tattoo. Since they can’t wrap their minds around the idea of getting inked, that thought process gets applied to those who decide to get the work done.|
|Jealousy:||The only thing worse than having no tattoo is getting terrible ink. When the art on someone else looks incredible, it creates envious feelings. People who decide to get tattoos typically get more attention than those who don’t, which leads to this problem.|
|Job Restrictions:||Believe it or not, some employers still refuse to let visible tattoos show while workers are on the job. If someone works for a business like that, seeing someone with ink reminds them of the freedoms they’ve compromised on to earn a paycheck. In this situation, it’s not the tattooed person they hate, but themselves.|
|Responsibility:||Some adults see tattoos as an emblem of irresponsibility. This attitude comes from the grandparents and great-grandparents of Generation Z who saw people with ink as low-lives, thugs, criminals, and unwanted elements of society. That programming gets sent through the family lineage, communicating that a person with a tattoo wants zero responsibilities.|
|Misconceptions:||People see those with tattoos through the lens of preconceived notions. They might think the cost is too high, that only those who are “wild” get them, or that they leave a negative impression on others. They miss the fact that this is an individual decision.|
|Fear:||There are reasonable moments that trigger anxiety when getting a tattoo, like wondering if the needle is clean or if an ink allergy might occur. Some people might think that they won’t be accepted if they get one, which causes them to hate the idea of getting one.|
|Religion:||Some religious people take issue with tattooing. It was against the law to print marks on the body or cut into the skin to honor the dead in ancient Hebrew. Scholars in most major faiths see it as a sin because of the small risks involved for hepatitis and other diseases potentially transferred during the work.|
|Taboo:||It is taboo in some cultures to get a tattoo, even today. If you live in Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Denmark, and other nations, you’ll find that getting one could put you outside of what society considers to be “positive” behavior.|
People Use the Same Yardstick to Measure Themselves and Others
If you believe that you’re a hard worker and that everything you’ve earned in life comes from that philosophy, then that is the perspective that gets applied to others.
That means if someone has nothing, they didn’t take the time to earn anything.
The same perspective occurs when people feel like they’ve been victimized by society, repressed because of their faith, or have value that comes from a higher power.
When people hate tattoos, it comes from a specific trigger point where they learned to have this reaction. Babies aren’t born and think, “Oh – my mom has a tattoo, so she’s a terrible person.”
Our perspectives get shaped by our close relationships, childhood environment, and personal observations. It’s why cheaters always think that others are cheating, or entrepreneurs believe everyone else should put in 18-hour days from a home office.
People justify those thoughts or actions by pointing to specific areas in their life that feel like evidence. If someone hates people with tattoos, it might be because someone with a tattoo bullied them once.
Judging in itself isn’t wrong. We should consider violent and malicious actions to be bad as a society. Yet, when you talk with serial killers, most of them have a different picture of right and wrong because of how they judge themselves.
When people think of themselves as ugly, they look for justification for those thoughts in those around them. Everyone chooses to be who they are. That’s the psychology behind everyone who hates the individual with a tattoo.
How Can People Stop Being Judgmental?
No one can force another person to change. That desire must come from within if the process ever has a chance to take hold.
You can point people toward the change processes that can help them be less judgmental in potentially problematic ways. That journey is a seven-step process, and yes – it even works for those who hate tattoos.
- Develop more self-awareness by observing each thought. Try to be mindful for a few days, focusing on each idea, and consciously catch yourself when a negative judgment occurs.
- Observe what causes you to have a judgmental thought, whether the idea is positive or negative. In each circumstance, you’re assuming that you understand the entire situation and the trigger behind each behavior. It’s easy to think that someone will never change, but it is often the person judging others that creates the most significant problems. Negative energy is usually seated in personal insecurity.
- Focus on offering empathy. If someone is being annoying, you can’t always get their perspective by “stepping into their shoes.” What you can offer is a greater understanding of their situation. Try to think back on a difficult time in your life. What would have helped during those circumstances? Once you have an answer, try to apply those concepts to the person in question.
- Reframe the negative thoughts that create judgments. Instead of saying, “All people with tattoos are stupid,” try to think of it in this way: “I wonder why that person decided to get a tattoo?”
- Accept others for who they are. You don’t need to create a clone of yourself to have a friend. You don’t even need to like the person. If you’re continuing to judge them, that reaction says more about who you are than it does about them.
- Expand your social circle. When you have diverse friends from several different backgrounds and cultures, it’s easier to get past the obstacles that prevent an open mind. You’ll have more awareness of the unique challenges that people face.
- Be willing to show yourself some compassion. Everyone stumbles and falls at some point in their lives. Instead of judging yourself, try to embrace forgiveness. That approach will start forming the attitude you have with others.
Some people will always hate tattoos and the individuals who get inked. It’s not always easy to withhold judgment, but being overly critical or coming to a conclusion too quickly can have negative consequences.