Dealing With Judgments – Your Own And Others

Ever wondered what is common to highly stressful situations like exams, interviews, appraisals, presentations, public speaking? Judgments
As a little girl, I was happy and playful, making up imaginary worlds, games, mock class rooms and what have we. I didn’t mind playing by myself given my endless imagination. Then came a teacher in Grade 3 who turned my world upside down. She would pick on me for little things every other day. Like my handwriting, the way I scratched off numbers, the way I answered, and so on. She did not need a reason to haul me up and nag me in front of the whole class. Coming from a family where I was the apple of many eyes, this was a harsh reality check.
Until then, I was never cognizant of judgments. Apart from not having a vocabulary, it is very harsh for a child that age to deal with such bullying. The silver lining was I decided to give the best to my studies, as a defense. Looking back, I realized that my childhood experience was one of the extremes. Nonetheless, all of us find ourselves in stressful situations throughout life, some major and others minor.
Examinations, interviews, public speaking, dating, arguments, meetings, presentations, appraisals – these are all different life situations with heightened judgments and hence some of the most stressful times for most people. We sign up for some and others are thrust upon us. To add to all this, are the judgments we have of ourselves.
How do we start effectively dealing with judgments and not let them affect us?

You cannot stop others from judging you

Think about it. In all the life situations I mentioned, can you ensure others will stop judging you? Of course not. What you can control is your own response to others’ judgments of you. Vipassana is one such meditation technique (as taught by the Buddha), that espouses this form of equanimity – being a neutral observer of everything in life. Another practical way of doing this for every judgment you become aware of, is by saying ‘Interesting point of view –  they have this point of view’.

Returning to our true nature 

We were not born as judgmental creatures. In fact, this is what makes a child innocent. However, as we grow up, we start learning this judging behavior from adults. So it is possible to return to this state of non judgment. It is a matter of conscious choice every moment. By saying ‘Interesting point of view’, you neither align with nor reject others’ judgments. Rather, you choose to be unaffected by it, like a boulder in a river bed. When you flex this choice muscle every moment of your life, you go back to your true nature.

Recovering from negative self talk

We were not born with poor self image. We built it over a period of time by aligning with the judgments of others as we grew up and making it our own. When did we first start believing we were fat? Maybe, it was when we heard it from our parents and then our friends and all the media. Over a period of time, we believed they must all be true. What if we repeated ‘Interesting point of view I have this point of view’ for every self judgment we have?

Dealing With Judgments:  Start Now.

You could start using this tool for one day at first. Then use it for a week and stretch it to a month, and so on until it becomes a habit.

This guest post was authored by Thejasvi KP

The author is a working professional with a decade of working for large corporations. She is also a mom, seeker, Yoga trainer, Reiki Grandmaster and practitioner of Access Consciousness. Being a catalyst of change and making this a more conscious world is her Ikigai. 

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.