What makes you so sure that people are sitting around thinking about you?
I saw a friend walking out of the grocery store. I was so happy to see her and we stood around to chat for a while. As we said goodbye, she said, “Oh, and please don’t judge me for using plastic shopping bags, I know how bad they are for the environment.” I was like, “REALLY?! Seriously?!” Hey, I know plastic shopping bags are bad, but I forget my re-usable ones all the time. I hadn’t even stopped once to think about the plastic bags in her shopping trolley.
I read a lot of parenting blogs and stuff on Facebook and I’ve found that the one thing people love to post, comment on and share are ‘stop judging me’ posts.
It’s ridiculous though. Think about yourself. Do you judge others? Probably. But, if you could measure the amount of time you spend thinking about your image as opposed to how much time you spend judging others. I bet you would find most of your attention is spent on you.
It’s natural human tendency, and let’s face it! We’re almost always thinking about ourselves. “Oh, what will everyone think of ME?” Most people are not sitting around judging you. No, they’re walking around with just as much self-consciousness and self-doubt as you are (well, I hope after reading this post that you’re not walking around like that anymore).
Other people are sleeping peacefully, while you’re losing sleep over something they ‘might’ be thinking about. You can’t read other people’s minds. Don’t waste the precious moments of your life trying. Also, don’t waste OTHER people’s time by complaining about what you THINK other people are thinking about… Because a lot of times what you think is happening, simply isn’t.
The “stop judging me” posts and gossip get a lot of attention, but people forget that there is a difference between using your judgement and being judgmental. The term ‘ judgement‘ is often abused these days. If you see a person say… slapping a kid. You use your judgment to draw conclusions about why you may not want to do that to your own child and why smacking may harm the physical and emotional well-being of a child. You also may use your judgement to provide solutions or sincere advice to that stressed out parent. That is not being judgmental! That is using your judgement. However, if you assume that any parent who smacks their child is a terrible person and that you are better than them, then you are being judgmental. See the difference?
Ok, what if someone really is being judgmental?
So what. Be compassionate towards judgmental people. They are on their journey. I’ve certainly passed judgment on people before, and I wasn’t even aware that I was doing it. If you see a person being judgmental, just know that they’re in the baby phase of whatever it is that they have to learn… sometimes that learning phase lasts forever, but they’re really not aware of being judgmental. I promise. Educate politely, if you feel the need. No need to get all angry about it, because adding your own anger to the issue only makes things worse. Complaining about it feels good at first, but too much complaining brings your energy down, along with everyone else that you’ve complained to.
People’s opinions and feelings change like the weather.
Don’t get angry at those judgmental people. They either don’t know, haven’t lived through your experience or they have forgotten. It’s a waste of your time and energy to even worry about it! And, most of all, remember that everyone is too busy worrying about themselves to spend much time judging you!