A friend of mine recently divulged to me about a decision she made that went against some of her core values. I listened and asked her some questions about her decision:
“Do you think this decision is helping you get closer to what you want, or further away from it?”
To that, she reacted, “Don’t judge me! I’m comfortable in my decision and know what I’m doing.”
“I’m not judging you. And even if I was, if you’re really comfortable with what you’re doing, my judgment wouldn’t matter. That’d be my problem, not yours.”
Maybe I was judging her, maybe I wasn’t. But, what I thought really wasn’t the issue. She knew, whether she wanted to admit it or not, that she was making a decision that wasn’t quite right. Before even telling me she was defensive because in actuality, she was already judging herself. Think about the last time you felt judged. Were you defensive and offended because you didn’t like the truth behind someone’s judgement? I know for myself, the times I’ve been concerned of people judging me is because I knew I made a decision (or about to make one) that wasn’t serving me, but I didn’t have the discipline or courage to be honest about it.
It’s easy to point the finger and blame someone as being ‘judgmental’ to disguise the fact that really, we’re just judging ourselves. If you were truly confident with the decisions you are making, who you are and what you stand for, you wouldn’t let the judgment of others concern you. Such confidence and deep resolve in your decisions act like a shield to external assumptions and judgments.
So the next time you accuse someone of judging you, take a moment and ask yourself with complete honesty: who’s really the one judging you? If you’re feeling judged, it may be a signal for you to do a gut check with yourself, and ask if your decision is out of line with your values and integrity.
Photo credit: Ana Luisa Pinto