168 Days ’til 40: When Others Judge You

06 Sep


If you are human (and I am guessing you are if you are reading this post) then at some point in your life you have most likely been judged by others.  This can be such a hard experience – feeling labelled and trapped and stereotyped by people who may not even truly know you.  It can be infuriating, it can be frustrating, it can be heartbreaking.

As I work with middle school students, I think about labels a lot.  I find it so sad that one child may make a mistake and carry the shame of the mistake (thanks to their insensitive peers) for years to come.  I often believe that these tweens learn their behavior from their parents.  When they watch their parent try to bully their teacher into giving them a better grade (even though they didn’t complete half the work) is it any wonder why they would then turn on their peers and bully them into complying with their random requests?

One of the things that has quickly turned me to tears throughout my life is being falsely accused or misunderstood.  When I moved into educational leadership I had to toughen up.  I learned the hard way that many parents had preconceived notions of who I was because of the title I held.  They loved me, hated me, admired me, were intimidated by me – and yet I treated each parent the same – their personal experiences molded me into the person they needed me to be in their head – for good, and for bad.

I am finding that, more often than not, when people judge you it is more about them judging themselves.  It is their issue, not your issue.  It is often hard to move away from judgement, you want to prove the person wrong – yet, sometimes it is better to walk away and have faith and hope that one day the truth will indeed emerge – that incidents from long ago will be forgotten, and that you can forge a new path and allow people to gain new perspectives on who you are.

Today, 168 days ’til 40, I will remind myself that even in the midst of horrific judgement, it is possible for me to make a fresh start.



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32 responses to “168 Days ’til 40: When Others Judge You

  1. Long Life Cats and Dogs

    September 6, 2012 at 00:11

    So very true, that when people judge you it’s more about themselves than you. A very good way to look at it.

  2. changeforbetterme

    September 6, 2012 at 00:44

    As humans we will always be judged. Either by individuals, ethnic groups, religious groups, sometime by whole countries. I’m afraid no one will ever escape being judged. I try my level best not to judge, but at times find myself guilty of the same. It is what it is. When I see it in myself I try to stop doing it, but sometimes it is hard.

    • 400daystil40

      September 6, 2012 at 22:11

      You are correct, it is definitely human nature to judge others…..

  3. viveka

    September 6, 2012 at 00:54

    I come to an age now .. I couldn’t really care what people think or judge me for – I know what I’m and how I’m. But I think in general that we are quick to judge people through their behavior and why they express themselves – it have happen that I had to change opinion about people – in both directions. That’s just the way we are .. even if we don’t really want to be. Last 15 years I have taken people for how I see them and accept them for that.

    • 400daystil40

      September 6, 2012 at 22:11

      Yes, you are right – we are quick to judge others, even when we get old enough to not care if we are being judged.

      • viveka

        September 6, 2012 at 23:35

        So, true … they can think what ever they want about me. It has do with confidence.

  4. buckwheatsrisk

    September 6, 2012 at 01:08

    what strength it takes to walk away from judgement…my hat’s off to teachers. xo

    • 400daystil40

      September 6, 2012 at 22:10

      Yes, it takes a lot of strength (and thick skin!)

      • buckwheatsrisk

        September 6, 2012 at 22:38

        i can imagine. i don’t think i could handle it!

  5. walkwiththerabbiAlan

    September 6, 2012 at 02:02

    It’s so important NOT to empower others to define who we are. This is ABSOLUTELY within our power to control. We have NO power over the speaker of the judgement, the accuser, but as to whether we’ll receive it or not – that’s entirely up to us! NOW THAT”S PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT (I apologize for shouting).

    • 400daystil40

      September 6, 2012 at 22:10

      Yes, this is so true – and we have to remember that we are in control of whether or not we allow them to have the power over us.

  6. Another Thousand Words

    September 6, 2012 at 02:34

    Beautiful post, 400…I have also experienced much of which you have written, and found it best to walk away, though it took quite a few years to learn how (and when) to do it.

    • 400daystil40

      September 6, 2012 at 22:09

      Thank you!!! Yes, it is best (but so very hard) to walk away.

  7. Dr. G

    September 6, 2012 at 02:35

    “I am finding that, more often than not, when people judge you it is more about them judging themselves.” well said! great post!

  8. The White Pumpkin

    September 6, 2012 at 04:19

    beautiful reminder…this is something I am trying to assimilate into my being (the not giving a hoot part)…Its definitely not easy, especially when it has been coupled with other things and quite crippling.. 🙂 I appreciate your post. It gave me a boost.

    • 400daystil40

      September 6, 2012 at 22:08

      Thank you so much! Yes, it really is not easy!

  9. jukk888

    September 6, 2012 at 11:56

    Good for you. I am surrounded by judgmental people who criticize me because of my failures, achievements (jealousy) and how I compare to or differ from them (judging themselves). When someone asks me, “Do you know what someone said about you?” I always say no.

    • 400daystil40

      September 6, 2012 at 22:08

      It must be so hard to be surrounded by judgement! I hate when people report to me what others are saying about me – what do they gain from it? Do they want me to feel bad? I would rather not know!

  10. getbusyyall

    September 6, 2012 at 14:32

    How very true. It puts a spin on the whole “judge not, or you’ll be judged” thing.

  11. Katherine Checkley

    September 6, 2012 at 15:48

    Thank you for this…it really moved me. I agree with you. Sometimes the best way to “get back” at someone who judged you or wronged you is just be the best version of yourself. There’s nothing that will show that person more.

    This gave me something to think about in the midst of busy day yesterday. Thank you.

    • 400daystil40

      September 6, 2012 at 22:07

      Thank you, Katherine! You are so correct – it is true that the best revenge can be proving that someone is wrong. It is hard to remember when you are in the midst of being attacked, but such good advice!

  12. Beth

    September 6, 2012 at 21:14

    Thanks for sharing.
    I find your insights so helpful!
    My problem seems to be that I so often feel judged that I have begun to judge others. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I am doing, I feel like someone is watching everything I do. Sometimes I judge others because it makes me feel safe or set apart. Even though I know it is so wrong & I need to stop. I really am trying to work on it.

    • 400daystil40

      September 6, 2012 at 22:05

      I can relate – I have been in the same position from time to time. The fact that you can see that you are doing it takes a great deal of courage and self-reflection.

  13. Jiksun

    September 6, 2012 at 22:23

    Thank you for the heartfelt post, it was an inspiring read. I agree with some of the previous posters in that it’s natural instinct to judge others, to immediately categorize / pigeon-hole attitudes and behaviours, in order to respond “appropriately”. It’s as you say whether we choose to accept other people’s judgements that truly matter.

    And thanks for dropping by my blog earlier. Have a nice day!

    • 400daystil40

      September 7, 2012 at 22:47

      You are welcome! Thanks for dropping by my blog as well! 🙂

  14. flyingbubbles

    September 7, 2012 at 04:03

    I got judged recently by a friend and even wrote about it on my blog(flying bubbles). “It is better to walk away”…love that line…so often I ve thought of reacting but walking away is best.

    • 400daystil40

      September 7, 2012 at 22:45

      Yes, it actually takes more strength to walk away than to react…..

  15. Brianna

    September 7, 2012 at 22:34

    Great post. I definitely agree that its their issue, not ours. Even knowing that, its still so hard to remember it in the moment! But if we can keep our cool and live our life based on knowing this, then I think life will be happier. So many judgements just get in the way. Such a waste of time. For both sides! For me, it is a continual practice session to finally be able to live this way, unaffected by others’ judgements!

    • 400daystil40

      September 7, 2012 at 22:42

      Yes, the keeping cool part can be the big challenge!


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