It’s Not Personal
How can I not take it personally when it’s directed at me? People are making assumptions and judging me, often without actually knowing me. There are real life consequences for being judged. The fat person judged as lazy misses out on a job. The charmer gets upgraded to first class. It happens all the time.
Sometimes we feel left out. We’re shy, or the conversation moves on, or we’re with someone charismatic and fascinating and everyone wants to listen to them.
Sometimes it is deliberate and malicious. It feels personal when someone gives us that look. We feel dismissed, judged, and like we’re not worthy of their attention. This can happen with people we know, and it happens in public with strangers. Someone looks at us with disgust, and we feel it in our whole body.
Recall a time when you felt judged in public. Maybe you were laughing and talking loudly and someone shushed you or gave you “the look”. Maybe you felt judged for something about your body or appearance. Reflect for a moment on something that happens semi regularly, or that you feel shame or discomfort about, and bring it to mind. Use all of your senses including visual, sounds, scents, and touch.
As you put yourself back in the situation, focus on staying present in the safety of this moment where it is not happening. If you’re looking out of your own eyes, take a step back and see yourself in the image. This helps the brain to realize this is a visual that we’re looking at, not something we’re witnessing right now. Use tapping, tracing or any of the tools to work with thoughts and sensations. Click here for Tools for Healing playlist.
Let’s explore the situation
– It happened, and I feel judged and shamed
– Am I being objectified or stereotyped?
– Is what I’m being shamed for, like body size, common conditioning in our culture?
– Does it land on my own core deficiency beliefs?
– Is what they think of me true? Do I accept their judgment?
– Has my history with this sensitized me to being shamed in this way?
– What else is going on here? Do I feel threatened socially or physically? Am I in fight/ flight/ freeze?
“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality.”
From The Four Agreements, by Miguel Ruiz
When something negative happens to us, we try to figure out why, and how to keep from being more hurt. It’s hard to accept that what happens to us isn’t personal to us. The person judging us is responding to something about us and it’s based on their own conditioning and views. That’s on them.
Let’s work with these inquiry statements. Feel the truth of them in your body. We only access self-compassion from ventral vagal, a feeling of trust and connection within, and when we are not in a survival response of fight/ flight/ freeze.
I don’t need to absorb other people’s judgements
I am strong, resilient, and on my own side
I know how to come back to connection with myself and in this moment
I prefer to not be judged and I accept that what people think is not mine to control
I am self aware, kind, and decide for myself what is true for me