What happens if I don’t accept the judgment of others?
Hello sleepy friends! Most people with a chronic illness are sleepy but, even if you’re not, we can still be friends. Dawn Super here from GoingBeyondCoping dot com and Positively Narcolepsy on Facebook. Today I want to talk about judgment, both self judgment and judgment from others, and how I went about changing my perspective to the point where I no longer accept the judgment of others.
Info on me:
I am not a doctor, or a mental health professional. I have been chronically ill since I was 11 and have 9 disabling disorders. I can’t tell you what will help you cope with being judged because I am not you. But, it’s my hope, and the reason I write this stuff, and make these videos, that there will be something in my story, my words, my experience, that you can cling to, that you can put through the YOU filter and adapt it to your own wants and needs in life, and find your way to coping, coping more, coping better, and maybe, just perhaps, find your way to going beyond coping, into thriving and loving your life. I’m going to go a little deeper into the written part (below) and just wing it for the video (above), so the script won’t be exact.
This is another of my “What happens if I don’t Wednesday” series where I talk about how I changed my life for the better by asking myself (repeatedly) “what happens if I don’t?” There are many of these now on the videos tab on the Positively Narcolepsy page and on my YouTube channel GoingBeyondCoping (without spaces).
Being sleepy weakens the mind. It is why sleep deprivation of prisoners is considered torture. In Psychology Today they called it insidious (proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with harmful effects), they also called it unproductive because, surprise, after 24 hours of sleep deprivation you have problems with concentration, memory, judgment and even speaking. It continues to disorientation, apathy, severe lethargy and social withdrawal. Have you ever agreed with someone just to shut them up so you could sleep?
I have a video series on my YouTube channel GoingBeyondCoping that talks about the modes people with chronic illness live in. Click this link for that playlist. It’s important to realize that when you’re tired, you’re compromised and it’s not only harder to come up with a plan when you’re weary, it’s even harder to execute… even to remember to execute lol.
My first glimpse into getting some control over the judgment of others was during a conversation with a psychic lol. They said something that was almost “correct” but not completely because there was so much more to the story, so I agreed with them to a point and then went off into my own little Dawn world lol… asking myself questions like, “What made them think that?” And, I was able to see, from my perspective and theirs, why the thing they said was accurate to them and what they were “picking up” in my reading, despite it not being accurate to me.
The reason something like this is possible is what’s known as “highlight reel syndrome” where someone is only witnessing some of your life’s highlights and making assessments and judgments solely on them, on what they *know* to be true. To be fair, the psychic was pulling them out of my own head lol but they weren’t interpreting what they were seeing the way it was happening. So, what if I applied that to everyone who said something contrary to what I knew to be true?
My analytical brain found that quite interesting and when I was having accusations hurled at me by my ex, I applied this same technique. What about me would make him believe that’s true? And, I could see it. By “standing on the other side of the table” and looking at the relationship, I could completely see what had transpired that made him feel that way. But, and it’s a big one, that’s not the way “I” feel. And, who knows me better… him or me? That was my conundrum. I didn’t really KNOW myself. Like, I knew who I was and most of what I stood for but if someone saying something negative to me had me second guessing myself… what could I do about that?
I decided to really take a good look at myself. What about my personality *permitted* things to go the way they did? I recently watched a Joe Dispenza video – he’s a fascinating guy, fixed his broken back without surgery… just by thinking himself healed. He talks about how if you want a new life, you have to create a new personality.
Some folks might rub up against that… “can’t teach an old dog new tricks, people never change”… those are fallacies. People who want to change, change. People who don’t want to change don’t. While you can’t change a leopards spots, you’re not a damn leopard lol, you’re a human being, living in a faulty meatsuit that came without instructions. So, you have to adapt, you have to learn, you have to grow.
Think back, you have been different people than you are now. You’ve been a baby, toddler, teenager and adult. As an adult you went through however many years you’ve been alive now… are you the same person now that you were when you were 21? Not likely, so much has changed about you. Some good, some bad but changes happened. Now you just need to decide, where do you want to go from here?
How well do you really know yourself? How much of what you know do you like? How much do you dislike? I put out this worksheet a few days ago, if you haven’t already looked at it and filled it out, here’s the link: self-inventory worksheet. At this point you can pause and look at that, fill it out or write it on a separate piece of paper, then continue reading/watching or you can just skip it lol – I’m not your mommy, and your level of participation is up to YOU.
On my sheet I had things on the left like… I didn’t like the fact that I was always pulled into gossip, that I was nosy, tended to talk too much, I was controlling, afraid of confrontation, didn’t understand people – or their intentions, I was gullible, too trusting and often taken advantage of. Just being real lol, there were a lot of things about myself that I didn’t like and I had to learn to let go of judging MYSELF so I could change them.
On the right hand side of my paper I had… I’m a loving and kind person, I’m funny and happy, I’m a giver and have a strong work ethic, I’m smart and a problem solver and I don’t hate my looks lol. I could work with that.
The first thing that I did was to focus on love and gratitude. I made my cover image on Facebook I <3 with a heart. And, I did. I actively walked around loving everything I could find worth loving. I started consciously doing less of things I didn’t like about myself and focusing more on the things I did.
When I hit social pitfalls, as I often have throughout my life, my brain would go back to my sheet… I don’t like that I gossip and this person is gossiping to me and I want to be liked by people but I also want to like myself… “Excuse me. So sorry, I’m running late for work. I hope everything works out!” and just like that I didn’t offend that person and I didn’t participate in the verbal tearing down of the other person. And damn did that feel good! It got me wanting more and more.
The critical part in changing who you are is balance…
I could think I didn’t want to gossip, and I could say I didn’t want to gossip but, if I did it anyway – my character is off balance. This is why I had so many problems was because I would accept the judgment of others and let that get in between what I think say and do.
When I was at rock bottom in 2012 I experienced judgment from many areas of my life. My ex’s family, doctors, bosses, roommates, friends. One by one I would consider the judgment, consider the validity of it. If they were correct, I would do my best to resolve whatever the issue was. If, from looking at my list and deeply knowing myself, I knew they were wrong – I simply chalked it up to they don’t have enough information. And, the realization that the information they need is in MY brain lol so they’re never going to get it because they are NOT ME. People who judge you are judging what they perceive to be you, the things you do or say, they are giving their OPINION.
When there is “truth” to that opinion, do something about it but if not… think about this…
Your (roommate, partner, parent) left the room twenty minutes ago as you were sitting in the chair, shortly after, you got up and did chores for 30 minutes and then wiped out just had to sit back down. They return…
Them: Jeez you’re so lazy
That is a judgment based on lack of information. The person didn’t notice the things you did, they only are registering *what they know to be true* and that’s that you were sitting in a chair when they left and you’re sitting in the same chair now 30 minutes later.
Another time I’ll do “What happens if I don’t correct people?” because that was another interesting experiment but, for now, just focus on the fact that their judgment is unjustified, whether you correct them or not. You KNOW you’re not lazy, you just did a bunch of chores.
This realization led me to write the quote…
“I’m everything you say I am… to you. But, your words do not define me… to me.”
Someone saying something to you doesn’t make it true but it’s the fact that they see us that way, that we’re so tired it’s hard to understand that they just don’t get it, and we’re super sensitive from sleep deprivation all lead us down a path that has us believing the things that people say.
So, try some things! I’m not joking when I say I literally just asked myself, “what happens if I don’t accept the judgment of others?” and then just started trying it to see what happens.
Someone hurls judgment at me, I assess: is it true? is it partially true? can I see why they would think that? should I bother correcting them? Which usually for me works out to no, no, yes, no lol. Come up with some tricks, say things to yourself like “Fake news!” or “Wow, are they a limited thinker.”
A great quote that helped me with this a ton is by Judith Orloff, an MD and an empath. She says, “Everyone deserves the dignity of walking their own path.” That not only means you do, but also that the people judging you do. Another time we’ll talk about, “what happens if I let people keep thinking what they want even though it’s not accurate?” If you’ve never seen the video Actually Guy… I used to be more like him than I wanted to be and that question helped me with that and with experiencing judgment from people.
Think of not accepting judgment from people as a sort of roll call. Except you’re the only person in the room and the roll being taken is that of personality traits lol.
Problem solving skills? “Here!”
Is laziness here? No? Has anyone seen laziness?
Just don’t accept it, it seems so ridiculously simple and despite it being incredibly hard to overcome that initial leap into learning, all you have to do is ask yourself… what happens if I don’t accept the judgment of others?
And then… go find out!