For a better life, Inspiration, Middle and High School

5 ways to deal with other people judging you

Do you ever feel held back from being or doing your true self because you think other people might judge you? If so you are totally normal. Welcome to the human club!

This is one way our brains keep us “safe.” Feeling judged is often equivalent to feeling rejected. (Isn’t it interesting that we don’t feel the same way when its a positive judgement?) Rejection is a death sentence from an evolutionary or cave man perspective, because if we are separated from the tribe, predators have a better chance. Today, though, we aren’t being hunted by predators, so judgement/rejection isn’t nearly as dangerous to us.

How do we get through it?

IMG_0187

There are a few things you can do or think about in order to change your perspective and get more out of your life.

  1. Write a list of who you think will judge you. Be specific. Don’t write “all the neighbors.” Instead write down their names. Often times the people we fear will judge us boil down to only one or two people.
  2. Think about best and worst case scenarios. So what if people judge you harshly?What will that mean to you? How will you respond? Do you want it bad enough to keep going anyway? What if they judge you positively? What will that mean?
  3. Recognize that other people’s judgements are about them, not you. Back to my baby example: if I started screaming at a baby, would that mean something about the baby, or about me? You need to be confident in who you are or what you are doing, so that other people’s thoughts don’t affect you. You may want to ask opinions, and you may even want to value those opinions, but do it deliberately and have good reasons for doing so.
  4. Think about what feeling you are trying to get to or avoid. When I was a teenager, by grandparents didn’t approve of my boyfriend. I started avoiding my grandparents altogether because I didn’t want to feel guilty. What feeling are you trying to avoid (or gain)? Can you feel that feeling and not die? Of course you can.
  5. Do it afraid. If there is something you really want to do, but those possible judgements are holding you back, do it anyway. You might surprise yourself at the results you will get! I recently taught a class on all these ideas I’ve been blogging about. I volunteered, afraid that I might be rejected, but I did it anyway. I was a bit scared because I wanted it to turn out well. And you know what? It turned out amazingly well! Sometimes doing something afraid pushes us to step up and perform better than in an atmosphere of comfort.

I would love to hear your experiences and if this advice helped you at all. Until tomorrow, may you be judged by other people!

Advertisements
Inspiration, Middle and High School

Do You Belong?

There are two sides to friendship: the feeling you have toward someone else, and the feeling that someone else has toward you.

You can have a new best friend who is the most amazing person and you can’t stop thinking about them. But that person might not like you at all. Does that matter? If you feel like that person is your friend, does it really matter how they feel about the relationship?

Most people think so. We don’t want to be friends with people who don’t want to be friends with us. Why is this?

IMG_9445

I think the answer is belonging. We want to belong. From an evolutionary perspective, not belonging or being shunned from the group could mean death. Therefore, if we think someone doesn’t like us, then we think that we don’t belong. This feels very dangerous.

But remember, belonging is simply a feeling. The feeling of belonging depends on our own thinking. Do you feel like you belong? Why or why not?

I personally have had a difficult time feeling belonging for most of my life. In high school I was a good student and enjoyed being a good student. In my mind, this meant I was different from everyone else, which meant that I didn’t belong with them. But you know what? Everyone has something different about them! I DID belong, I just didn’t see it. I had so much of a shared experience with so many of those high school people.

I felt like I didn’t belong, so I was shy and quiet and kept to myself. The result was that I didn’t have many friends, and that reinforced the feeling that I didn’t belong.

If I had felt liked I belonged, how might I have showed up? I might have gone to more events. I might have gotten to know more people. I may have made some new friends. I may have not been so shy, and put myself out more often. Other people may have had more opportunity to get to know me, and that might have led to belonging.

IMG_9571

Do you see that my thoughts started a chain reaction in which I showed up in the world in a way that led to me not feeling like I belonged? And if I could have changed that, I am 100% sure that I would have eventually found my place and felt like I belonged.

How do you see this play out in your life? Remember that YOU create your feelings of belonging. Put your brain energy to good use and go find where you belong!

Background, Middle and High School, The Early Years

Football.

I am watching This is Us. We are on the episode when the Pittsburg Steelers win the Super Bowl. The conversation about their Dads watching football reminds me of my own Dad. He was a die-hard San Diego Chargers fan.

Professional football provided the background sound of my childhood. Sometimes it got annoying, having to make sure we weren’t blocking my Dad’s line of sight to the TV or being too loud. Actually, I don’t think he ever minded our noise. I don’t know that he even  paid attention to the commentators, because he sure was in his own world when watching football.

I remember one time he told us kids that his parents didn’t let him play sports when he was in school. He really wanted to, but they couldn’t afford it and didn’t think it was an appropriate use of time when there were chores to be done. My dad was the youngest of seven children.

When I was fifteen years old, I had had enough with football. This thing that dominated every weekend between August and February every year, I was done with it. So I asked my dad to explain the game. Naturally. Even though I had fifteen years of football watching experience behind me, I did not get it. (My conservative estimates put that at roughly 500 hours of football!) He explained the basics of the game, and it made my TV viewing experiences much more enjoyable. And then my senior year of high school I was a football cheerleader (don’t read into that too much). For a while there I really loved football.

These days I am the wife of a former player and mom of a future football player, and I completely understand why parents would not allow their son to play football. The fear of motherhood is not to be messed with.

I am at a point in my story that I am not sure how to explain football and my love-hate relationship with the sport. Do I embrace its influence in my life, or do I delve into creating some sort of symbolism with it? When we tell the stories of our lives, how much do we emphasize the positive and minimize the negative? Isn’t it funny that in the current moment, the opposite is true? We tend to emphasize the negative and ignore the positive. So I guess I will just leave it at that. Football: a neutral force in my life, both positive and negative, a balancing and evocative trigger of memories.