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The Judgements We Receive & The Judgements We Give

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There is someone out there who will think you are just too much, or not enough. There will also be times when you are loudly judged, quietly judged, or perhaps you are thinking that you are being judged. We cannot forget about the judgements we give either.

Over the past 15 months, I’ve been exploring the topic of judgement. Why we judge, how we judge, and the human nature behind it. Once you begin to explore it, you can see how divided we are. I would like to play a part in filling that divide.

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, what you don’t do, what you say, what you don’t say, someone will think you are wrong. One person is too much of one thing, and another person is too much of the opposite thing. No wonder we find it so difficult to be ourselves.

She’s too assertive. 
She’s too passive.
She’s so self-judging. 
She’s so conceded.
She talks too much. 
She never opens up.
She spends too much time obsessing over her body. 
She should really watch her weight.

Which one is true? 

Neither and both. Because at the end of the day, the only one that is true is the one you make true – the one you believe is true

That is why we have to learn how to question our internal and external judgments. What I say about you means nothing unless you believe it and give meaning to it. 

If someone says to me, “Laurie-ann, I just think your optimism is annoying and you should really get your head out of the sand,” I have three options: 

1. Convince them of all the reasons why they are wrong. Entering into a battle of who’s right and who’s wrong. 

2. Believe them and hide my authentic optimistic self. Losing myself in the process. Feeling unworthy and judging myself. 

3. Accept that this is simply their opinion, not truth, and continue being myself. 

#3 is the most emotionally and mentally freeing option. Not to say that it is easy to get there, but it is the kindest and most compassionate option we can choose for ourselves. 


Exploring The Judgements We Receive & Give

We will begin with some common judgements we receive and give. Which judgements sound familiar to you? Not just the ones you receive, but also the ones you give. She can be he. I’m simply using she as an example. 

She’s too loud. 
She’s too quiet.
She’s too skinny.
She’s too fat.
She’s too rich. 
She’s too poor. 
She’s too short.
She’s too tall. 
She’s too honest.
She’s too aloof.  
She drinks too much. 
She doesn’t want to drink…what?! 
She’s too book smart, she’s too much of a know it all. 
She’s so dumb. 
She parties too much. 
She’s always leaving the party early. 
She doesn’t want children, what’s wrong with her?
She wants another child, what’s wrong with her? 
She only wants one child, what’s wrong with her? 
She doesn’t believe in marriage, what’s wrong with her?
She should really have never married, she’s not wife material.
She should wear more makeup. 
She wears too much makeup. 
She doesn’t like to go to clubs, what’s wrong with her? 
She’s such a bar tart. 
She doesn’t eat meat, what’s wrong with her? 
She’s not a vegetarian, what’s wrong with her? 
She’s too assertive. 
She’s too passive. 
She’s so self-judging. 
She’s so conceded. 
She talks too much. 
She never opens up. 
She spends too much time obsessing over her body. 
She should really watch her weight. 
She’s a working mom and should think about scaling back to spend more time with her kids.
She’s just a stay at home mom, doesn’t she want to work?
Did you see what she wearing?  It was way too tight. 
She should show off her figure more.  
She’s such a prude. 
She’s too sexual.  
She works too hard. 
She doesn’t work hard enough. 
Did you see the way she disciplined her kid? I would never do that.  
She should really discipline her kids more. 
She doesn’t vaccinate her kids? Doesn’t she care about her children’s safety? 
She vaccinated her kids? Doesn’t she care about her children’s safety? 
She should try to fit in more. 
She should really try being herself, but not too much just enough so I feel good about myself. 
She has the biggest boobs, too big. 
She should have work done, her boobs are too small. 
She dresses so provocatively. 
She dresses too conservative.  
She should put herself out there more, she might finally find the one.  
That was too much, she’s now a slut. 
She’s always laughing, it’s too much. 
She never smiles, what does she have to be unhappy about? 
She never has time for me. 
She’s too available. She is too clingy. 
She’s too perfect. 
She’s too imperfect. 
She’s too masculine. 
She’s too feminine. 
She’s too emotional. 
She’s too unemotional.
She’s too old.
She’s too young. 
She’s too inexperienced. 
She’s too experienced.  

As you can see, there is a contrast to each statement. That is what I realized during my judgement exploration. It doesn’t matter which one we are, someone isn’t going to like it. 

We won’t go through life without judgement, and sometimes it will get the best of us, but when you know who you are, and can stand with confidence in who you are, it won’t take you down. Instead, it will fuel you with more passion to not allow anyone onto your happiness island who is trying to sink it. 

Assume that you have your own path to walk. Which you do. 
Assume that they have their own path to walk. Which they do. 
Assume that you have your own beliefs. Which you do. 
Assume that they have their own beliefs. Which they do. 

Which means, there is actually nothing to judge. 

What works for you, may not work for someone else. What works for someone else, may not work for you. 

Everyone gets to be in the drivers seat of their own life. Everyone gets to travel their own path. 

It seems so simplistic.


If You Are Being Judged, Remember This

No matter what I do, I’m going to be judged. People will say, and have said, “she should have said this, she doesn’t know my story, she said the wrong thing, I don’t like her voice.” Because I’m committed to having meaningful conversations, exploring new thoughts, ideas and beliefs, and being authentic, vulnerable and honest, it means that the risk of me being judged is always there. Here’s what I now know: it is there regardless. Following the “status quo” trying to always be, do and say the perfect thing doesn’t protect me, or you, from being judged. 

It continues to come back to the contrast. What one person admires in you, another will judge. 

I know how loud the external noise of judgements can feel sometimes. I also know the fear and emotional discomfort that comes with that noise. It hurts when I receive judgement. Which is why we have to question its truth, connect to our heart, and remember who we are. When we are allowing it in, and allowing their judgements about us to become our beliefs that we take action or inaction on, the external judgements become our internal judgments and shame. 

All of those, She’s TOO this, or SO that, becomes I’m TOO this, or SO that. So this is what I want to share with you all today as a reminder. 

You are enough.
You have always been enough. 
You will always be enough. 

You are worthy. You have always been worthy. 
You will always be worthy. 

You don’t have to do anything to prove this.  

I believe ALL women and men need to hear this because these external and internal judgements makes us feel so much shame. Judgement and shame are so interconnected, which I why I believe it is worth these reminders. 

There is no shame in not being okay – having struggles, talking about your struggles, or not knowing what to do when you are not okay. We all have times in our lives when we are just not okay. I’m a human, you are a human and we all struggle. Even those who are doing the judging. They judge because it is easier for them to judge than to look within at their own pain and shame.

There is no shame in failing, having failed, currently feeling like you are failing, or being scared you will fail. In fact, we ALL fail. If you are trying, doing new things, breathing, you have failed (a.k.a, lived). 

There is no shame in feeling, thinking, or being, whatever it is you are feeling, thinking or being right now. Feel what you need to feel. Be who you want to be. And on the flip side of that, allow others the space to feel what they need to feel, and be who they want to be. 

There is no shame about your body, your finances, your current mental state, your emotions, your struggles, your wins, your successes, your joy, your obstacles, your failures, your confidence, your assertiveness, your passiveness, your shyness, your body size, the colour of your skin, your laugh, your unique personality traits, or any cycle of life you happen to be in, were in, or are going to be in. 

I want you to imagine that you are drawing a circle around you. I want you to see yourself step into that circle. This invisible energetic circle is your zero shame zone. 

What I envision for the world is everyone stepping into their zero shame, no judgement circle, and supporting, encouraging and lifting one another up instead of tearing each other down. We only tear down when we ourselves are feeling disempowered and don’t know how to process our emotions and heal. Hurt people hurt other people when they haven’t healed, been supported in their healing, or have never been shown love, kindness and compassion.

Empowerment comes from helping those who feel powerless.

We are made to be different, look different, act different, and have our own wants, desires and needs. So why are we always trying to conform to what we believe is “normal.” What is normal? There is no normal because it is relative to what you believe is normal and that’s probably not going to be the same thing that I believe or your friends believe, or that your family believes. 

And that is okay. 

My friend Jolene Watson said, “the best gift you can give someone is to let them be themselves, without judgement.” 

You might be thinking, but what about those people who are just assholes and don’t have a kind bone in their body? Well, it’s simple, not easy, but simple: Maya Angelou once said, “good or bad, when people show you who they are, believe them.” 

Meaning, it is not our job to change people. It is our job to lead by example. Not just when it is easy. Trust me, doing the right thing, the kind and compassionate thing, isn’t always the easy thing. 


If You Find Yourself Judging, Practice This

If you are the judger, there is no judgement or shame there either. I’ve judged and can honestly say, will continue to catch myself being judgemental. It is an ongoing practice. It is something I work on being aware of because it doesn’t make me feel good to be in judgement. I still find myself veering into judgement and having to steer my way back.  I have to remind myself that everyone is on their own journey and they learn what they need to learn when they need to learn it. We are all perfectly imperfectly.  

Simply begin the practice by detaching from attacking others.

When you feel yourself about to judge someone else, stop yourself and say something kind about them instead, or send them a blessing. Simply say, “I don’t know their story, or why they did or said what they did, or believe in what they do. I release any negative attack I was about to have on them.”

Or, and I love this one, have a meaningful conversation with them. Ask them questions. Not to be right, but to be curious. You will be so surprised how quickly the judgement dissolves when you hear someone’s story. I know this to be true because it is what I’m experiencing with the conversations I’m having on the Sisterhood Podcast. 

Will you always agree with everyone? Absolutely not! That is not what this share is about. But we can disagree and still be kind. We can disagree and not fight vehemently to prove that we are right and they are wrong. I have always loved this question: would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy? 

I’ll end with this for today. No matter where you are, where you were, who you are, who you were, what you did, what you didn’t do, what you said, what you didn’t say, what you wear, how you wear it, what your body was, what it is now, how many kids you have, how you raise them, if you don’t want kids, what your bank account balance is…YOU and THEY are perfectly imperfectly just they way YOU and THEY are. 

Now everyone get into the drivers seat of your life, myself included, and let’s start the practice of stepping into our no judgement zone circles. 

All love,

Laurie-ann

For the audio version of this blog post, listen to episode 22 of the Sisterhood Podcast.  

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© 2014 Contagiously Positive
All rights reserved
Website by Monolith Digital