Louise Thompson: Stop judging me!
Few things can be more paralysing in life than worrying about what other people are thinking about us, our lives, our choices, our plans, our appearance and so on.
It’s one of the biggest energy suckers out there, not to mention the cause of many sleepless nights. None of us likes to be thought badly of. It’s unsettling and upsetting. How can we dial down how concerned we are with other people judging us?
Quit the mind reading. A surprisingly large amount of the time we are worrying about what we think they think about us. Not what has been demonstrably said to us in clear terms.
We think they are thinking something but we actually have no hard evidence for it at all. “What we think they think” really doesn’t work that well as a strategy for the simple reason we can be spectacularly bad mind readers. Spectacularly bad.
We can make up all sorts of stories about what someone else is thinking about us, and be so off the mark it’s unbelievable. That’s all self-created stress and drama. Quit the mind reading and know you will deal with what’s real when and, crucially, if, it’s real. Until then, no fault, no foul: worry is not required.
You can’t actually control what others think of you. All you can control is what YOU think of you, and actually that’s far more important. Now — isn’t that empowering! The thoughts they think are the property of them, in their head, so leave them alone.
Focus your attention on where you can make a difference: to the thoughts in YOUR head. Try listing three ways you are proud of yourself, or three ways you are a good friend or daughter, or the last three great presentations you delivered. Take your focus to what you can control: your thoughts, actions and communication.
As a very wise unattributed person once said — “I’m responsible for what I say, not for what you understand”. Bring your intent to communicating with clarity, compassion and consistency and drop trying to control others’ judgment.
Ironically when we come from this energetically cleaner place we will usually generate a better response from those around us, as we are not trying to manipulate their reaction to us.
It’s all just an opinion anyway. You don’t need to overgeneralise it. So someone might demonstrably disagree with you. That’s okay. That’s allowed. We don’t all have to agree all the time, and you don’t need to overgeneralise and extrapolate it out to mean that they don’t like you or you are not a good person.
We can disagree on something but not make it mean something about us. Also good to know that when it comes to opinions on our life, our opinion trumps all others anyway.
At the end of the day, you don’t need to be perfect to be accepted by others. So, maybe you are being judged and found wanting. So what? None of us are perfect, we are all a work in progress. And also, that judgment likely says a whole heap more about them then it does about you! So stay in your own lane. Keep your mental focus on what you can control and where it really matters.
Through her online Happiness programme “Wellbeing Warriors”, life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Sign up at louisethompson.com and find more from Louise at bite.co.nz/wellbeing