March 29 →
Okay, so maybe more than a trim.
But I’m really happy about it.
And other people have complimented me too. Not necessary but still nice.
However, just this weekend, I went to a family event. And my heart sank.
Don’t get me wrong, my family isn’t the Worst™ but they’re really judgmental. Of course my generation is more open but obviously not everyone is like that. And that’s the focus.
I got A LOT of stares. Most of my family didn’t even mention it and wouldn’t even look at me while we talked. Others would look but the only thing on their faces was annoyance and disgust. You might think I’m being overly dramatic but my grandma literally just stared at me and put no effort onto greeting me.
And the treatment I received was like someone threw a bag over my head and tried suffocate me.
It made my anxiety skyrocket.
Here’s the thing, I honestly don’t give a shit what people think of me (unless they’re complimenting me cuz I’m all about loving myself). But that doesn’t mean I like being judged. Not following? Imagine this:
You feel intense pressure coming from everywhere. Your breathing is shallow. You want to curl up and hide. Your gut is knotted tight and you feel sick. Even when you’re talking to people, you can feel that their attention isn’t remotely focused on you. There’s only one thing that they care about and it’s that you’re different. And in their eyes, it isn’t a good different. So you make yourself small, staying on the fringes in an attempt to fend off the impending wave of anxiety.
That, my friend, is what it feels like to be judged while you’re anxious.
Now in my experience, there are a few ways to deal with this judgement.
- Ignore it. Easy, right? Just let the disapproving stares and mutters go over your head and smile away. Honestly, this works pretty well for me. But even I have my limits.
- Confront them. I’m not saying get in someone’s face necessarily or starting an argument (though I will say that is an option). But make them face you. Don’t let them think they can get away with judging you unfairly and disrespecting you. You don’t even have to talk about what they’re judging you for, just show that you aren’t afraid to face them.
- Own it. Keep your chin up and shoulders back and smile. Hold yourself like the nobility you are. Show that no matter what they say, they have no right to judge you. This is usually my first choice. I’m incredibly good at strutting around like I’m The Boss. I’m not trying to be cocky or conceited, I’m just putting on a bit of a show and letting others know that I’m proud of who I am.
Judgement can be a scary thing to face. Whether it’s your friends, family, colleagues, peers, etc., you going to face it over and over in the course of your life. But that doesn’t mean you have to fear it or let it control you.
Next time you’re in a situation in which you’ll face judgement, I challenge you to meet it head on. Use any of the little strategies I listed above, a combination, or some other trick that I didn’t talk about. Just remember to keep your head up. Confidence, even if it’s little or fake, can do wonders when you nurture and grow it.
Until next time x