How often have you worried that someone else is judging you? Perhaps you wonder whether someone you have just met likes you? Or maybe you worry about whether your colleague at work thinks you are intelligent enough to be doing your job?... Or you spend your day thinking about whether your partner still finds you attractive?... Or maybe you torture yourself with thoughts that someone in the room has noticed your wrinkles, big belly or thinning hair? ... Many people spend a lot of time worrying about how other people perceive them. Of course, this has a very detrimental effect on the state of their mental health.
Firstly, we never really know what is going on in someone else’s mind. They could be judging us but they could also be thinking that we are wonderful (equally they could also be worrying whether WE are judging THEM) - so worrying about their thoughts really isn’t helpful. Why assume that they are thinking the worst when we really have no idea?
Secondly, with anything we do in life - we are always going to have some people who like us and what we do and others who don’t. It is just the way it goes. It is important however, not to take someone else’s dislike for you or something that you have done, personally. (Of course, given that you haven’t done something malicious or harmful). You can never please everybody and often actually, when someone is judging you, it is more a reflection on who THEY are, than on who YOU are. Very often individuals can become judgmental of others in relation to matters where they feel insecure or have past trauma to heal. That person judging someone because they are overweight, may have lived with a mother who was always criticising their weight or may be someone that themselves has an unhealthy lifestyle, smoking and drinking too much. That person judging someone for being too much of a flirt, may have issues around their own sexuality or may have themselves been judged as too flirtatious in the past. So very often, even if you are being judged - it has much less to do with you than it does to do with the person doing the judging.
When you can come to peace with the fact that people WILL JUDGE you - it is actually very liberating. You can stop living life trying to please other people because whatever you do, you will always have some people that support you and others that don’t. Given that this is the case - wouldn’t you rather just be authentic and yourself - than trying to be somebody that other people like/approve of? One of the most amazing things for the state of your mental health will be to stop seeking or worrying about whether you have the approval of others - and to not take other people’s opinion of you personally. You will notice that when you stop worrying about what other people think - and start just embracing being yourself and living your life (of course being kind to others and showing them compassion) - that you can be free to be unapologetically yourself - and that is an amazing kind of freedom to have!
It is also a lesson for all of us too - when we are tempted to judge someone else negatively. I like to just remind myself that everyone is just trying to do the best that they can with what they know - and that stops any negative judgment in its tracks. In fact when we stop being judgmental of others, it can also be incredibly beneficial for the state of our mental health - we feel lighter and more positive - and it also encourages you to look for the light and the good in others, which in turn tends to bring this best side out of them!
"Every judgement blocks the light!” - Mary Anne Williamson