It can be surprising how far people will go to do things “accepted” by others. In order not to be judged, people can really limit their participation or experiences with others.
For example, someone might not speak up in class for fear of looking dumb, someone might not tell their crush how they feel because they don’t want to be rejected, and some may not even tell their lover their desires for fear of being understood.
However, to be liked and accepted all the time is impossible. Humans are judgmental, it’s both part of how the mind works, and how society is. But you don’t need to live within the confines of being acceptable to others and society. Here are some ways that you can stop fearing judgment and start living authentically.
1) Realize that things are temporary.
While we make judgements all the time, we hardly remember half of them. The things people are most probably going to remember are the big things, the patterns, and the way that you make them feel.
2) You cannot avoid judgement.
You can’t control what others think. No matter what you do you cannot force someone to not judge you.
The best you can do is keep an open line of communication so that as you interact, you can honestly talk about the challenges, hard situations, and try your best to understand each other.
By being part of compassionate relationships, judgement becomes irrelevant.
3) Who cares?
Let others do what they will do. It can be really liberating to share things about yourself openly and have the confidence to say “I don’t care” about judgement.
If you’re being 100% true to yourself and expressing what is true for you, others’ judgement won’t change it anyway.
It can also help you to reflect on what your real fears are about judgement. This can promote self-discovery as well as reflect who can be a supportive friend or partner and who can’t.
4) See your own judgements.
Instead of focusing on others’ judgements, take a look at your own. What judgements do you hold that may even be preventing you from sharing yourself completely with others.
It may be possible that you are your own biggest judge, and once you can stop judging yourself, you can feel confident to share things with others.
Also, others may be more likely to judge you if you have a judgmental mindset. The way you perceive things can be felt by others and if your thoughts consist of “he’s dumb,” or “she’s a loser” then it is probable that those people will think judgmental things back at you.
Come into situations willing to accept others and their ideas and you will be much better received.
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