All too often people (mainly mums) tell me they are being judged, mostly by other mums. No less than five times in the last week, different people have said: “don’t judge me” usually followed up with “I know you wouldn’t”. Two things here: firstly, why say something you don’t mean? Secondly, anyone who properly knows me, knows that I am the LEAST judgemental person you are likely to meet. Yes, I speak my mind, often without a filter, but that is not the same as being judgemental. Plus, with my background, I have no right to judge anyone. There is a huge difference between having an opinion, and insinuating that your way is the only way (which is why I can’t get onboard with organised religion).
As long as your life isn’t causing me and mine any harm, I honestly couldn’t care less. My energies are spent home educating three children with a side of autism, and getting us all through the day unscathed. I really enjoyed this article about judgement on Tiny Buddha.
Simply by living my own life the way I do – eating well, being aware of my own mental health, constantly looking for ways to improve my family’s lives, I apparently make people feel like they are being judged. As Eleanor Roosevelt famously said: “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” In other words, I am not judging you, you are judging yourself.
When we aren’t functioning as optimally as we can, we’re usually aware that there is a certain amount of self-sabotage going on in the background. Whether it’s food related, alcohol, relationships, the essence is the same. So when people think they are being judged, they rarely are. What they’re experiencing is the gut feeling, deep down, that they need to make certain changes to their lifestyle. And we all know how hard change is, how scary it can be and how sometimes, the status quo feels much easier. Even if it’s a toxic status quo that desperately needs changing.
Thank you for sharing
I cop a lot of flack for talking out the way I do. Many people roll their eyes and say things like: “ooooh she’s off on one again!” People who I’ve known for a long time often say things they think are funny, but are actually derogatory and hurtful. They say you need to grow a thick skin to be a writer, so you can cope with the rejection. I’ve felt this more acutely than ever this past year.
Here’s the thing that keeps me going when I start thinking about pressing the delete button. Every time someone makes an unhelpful comment on social media, another will get in touch with me privately and thank me for my words. It’s these comments I hold on to. For I have learnt that when someone makes a spiteful “joke” they’re actually being mean to themselves. When they make an offhand comment, they’re just too engrossed in their own crisis du jour to care about the consequences of their words. When they tell you they are being judged, they are actually judging themselves.