Ever felt judgement or criticism for something you did or a choice you made? Don’t worry, it happens to all of us.
But here’s the thing—it says a whole lot more about them than it does about you. When someone passes judgment on you or offers unsolicited criticism, it reveals their own insecurities, unhappiness, and need to feel superior. Their put-downs and condemnations expose their own flaws and faults, not yours.
So please remember, when people attack you or say horrible things about you, remember – it’s always about their issues, not yours. It’s about the person they are, not you. It’s about how they feel about themselves, not you.
Understanding Judgement and Criticism
When someone judges or criticises you, it says more about them than you. Their reaction reveals their values, experiences, and beliefs – not anything inherently wrong with you.
Don’t take it personally
Easier said than done but try not to internalise their words. Their criticism reflects their perception of the world, not the truth about your worth or abilities.
Brush it off. Let their judgement roll off your back. Their words only have power over you if you give them power. Refuse to engage or argue. Stay calm and remember that you can’t control what others say, only how you respond.
Consider the source. Think about who is judging you and their motivations. Are they projecting their own issues onto you? Are they truly in a position to determine your worth? Probably not, so dismiss their opinion as irrelevant.
Ultimately, you know yourself best. Don’t let unjustified criticism shake your self-confidence or self-esteem. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are and ignore those who put you down to make themselves feel bigger. Their words say everything about them, and nothing about you.
Why People Judge and Criticise Others
When people judge or criticise you, it often says more about them than it does you. Why is that?
Insecurity and projection
Some people judge to make themselves feel superior by putting others down. Their criticism is a projection of their own self-doubt and insecurity.
Different values and perspectives
The way others view you depends on their values and experiences, not your worth. Their judgement reflects their own narrow perspectives, not the whole of who you are.
Critics who seem overly harsh may have unmet needs for control or validation. Their judgement is a misguided way to get these needs met by exerting power over others.
Lack of self-awareness
Some people judge without realising their own faults and imperfections. It’s easier for them to criticise others than to engage in self-reflection. Their judgment says more about their own lack of self-awareness than anything about you.
The bottom line is? Don’t let the unfair judgements of others define your worth or truth. Their criticism says everything about their own issues and little about the amazing person you are. Focus on surrounding yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are.
Is there Judgement or Criticism in parenting?
The way people act and react is to do with the stories and beliefs they tell themselves. They might be beliefs inherited from childhood or from misinterpreted thoughts that have been manufactured into beliefs.
Thoughts become feelings, feelings become emotions, emotions become actions – our stories. Even if that first thought was an assumption or misinterpretation, it can cause war within us and others.
When you’re faced with judgement or criticism, visualise yourself being a mirror, with that person yelling those things not at you, but at the mirror… because it’s a reflection of the things they tell themselves. You may even start to feel sorry for this person, for feeling so badly about themselves.
This is because those who are very critical of others tend to have low self esteem issues. Sadly, we’re also seeing lots of personality disorders emerge too – almost everyone knows a narcissist these days.
This is why I am so passionate about how we raise our children; it shapes who we become, and it shapes our beliefs, often for life. But as adults, no matter what our upbringing, we are responsible for our own growth. We cannot blame our childhood. It’s time to grow.
Everything anyone ever has to say is about their story – they can’t possibly know anyone else’s. There’s so much room for error and misinterpretation, and sadly, some people fill it with judgement and criticism.
To those who judge and criticise: consider, the very thing you are judging, can you see a way that you are guilty of exactly that? Or does it reflect something you don’t like about yourself or something you have done? You can never fix yourself by breaking someone else.
To those who have been judged: only you can judge your own actions, but I encourage you to not even do that. Kindness and forgiveness towards yourself is key to happiness, love, confidence and self esteem. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to grow and are honest with you but do so with love and respect. Move on from those who don’t. You’re worth it!
Learning Not to Take Judgement and Criticism Personally
When someone judges or criticises you, their criticism is shaped by their own experiences, beliefs, and insecurities – not by who you actually are. Learning not to take judgement and criticism personally can be challenging, but it’s important for your wellbeing.
Their Opinion Isn’t Fact
The judgements of others are subjective and based on their own narrow view of the situation. Their criticism isn’t the absolute truth or the final verdict on you and your worth. Remind yourself that their opinion is just that—an opinion. You don’t have to accept it as fact.
It’s a Reflection of Them
How people judge and criticise you says volumes about their own character and emotional state. Their criticism likely has little to do with you, and everything to do with their own self-esteem issues, past hurts, anger, jealousy, or other personal struggles. Remember that their judgement reflects their own flaws and difficulties—not yours.
Stay Confident In Who You Are
Don’t give others power over you and your own self-worth. While criticism can sting in the moment, know that you are so much more than any judgement passed on you. Connect with the parts of yourself that feel empowered and confident and maintain a strong sense of self-worth despite what others may say or think about you. Their criticism does not change who you are at your core.
Staying confident in yourself and not taking the judgements of others personally are skills that take practice. But with time and conscious effort, you can rise above criticism and surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are.
Tips on how handle Judgement and Criticism
When faced with judgement or criticism, it’s easy to feel attacked and get defensive. But these tips can help you handle it with grace:
Stay calm and composed.
React from a place of confidence, not emotion. Take a few deep breaths to avoid lashing out. Respond once you’ve processed the feedback and are thinking clearly.
Consider the source.
Evaluate the person and their possible motivations. Accept valid criticism from those you respect, but don’t give weight to personal attacks from others. Their judgement says more about them than you.
Look for the lesson.
Rather than argue, listen for any useful feedback you can take to improve. Even if the criticism seems off-base, there may be a grain of truth. Be willing to consider other perspectives.
Focus on your own progress.
Don’t get caught up in what others say or think about you. Know your own values and priorities and measure your success against your own self-set standards. Let go of the need to please everyone.
Stay confident in who you are.
No one else defines your worth or value. Don’t give others power over you by internalizing their judgement. You know the truth about yourself, so choose not to be shaken by unkind words.