Have you ever been around people who make you feel like an alien or like you maybe have 5 heads? Sure! Everyone has gotten that vibe before. What if you have to CONSTANTLY be around critical individuals? What do you do then? Well over the last 5 years, I’ve had A LOT of experience with it.
Between coworkers and in-laws, the criticism is never too far away.
See my fiancé’s parents are lovely but I’m not sold that they like me. In fact, I’m 99.99% sure I will NEVER be good enough for their son. I swear too much, or I don’t dress just so, or I sleep too much, I don’t like my job enough, I don’t cook enough and I make him buy his family Christmas gifts instead of me buying them – OH and I eat ice cream and chocolate. Example, one time I recommended we get some donuts for breakfast and you would’ve thought I suggested Meth. The look I got was accompanied with, “Oh no… we don’t do that… no that’s not what you have for breakfast” was plenty to know I was being judged. (However, their son can do no wrong even if he were to suggest Meth for brunch but that’s another story.)
So how then do you respond to this? How do you keep confidence in yourself and feel good enough about who you are when constantly being beaten down? There are a few things I try to remind myself and there’s one BIG thing that I did to help get a break.
Recognized that you can’t win.
You will be judged either way. Judgy people will always have something to say about what you do and who you are. You can try to play their game and answer all of their questions to how you think they want you to answer them but you will always miss the mark. People who are hardcore judgers, like to move the target – so it’s literally impossible to meet their approval. The earlier you accept that you’re never going to be enough or do enough for them, the better.
Remind yourself to be yourself.
This is terribly difficult for me. When I am being judged, I instantly stop being myself. I go into my shell and I try to only say what I think the judgers want to hear. BUT this does nothing but make me dislike my own self!! The last thing I need in that situation is me also judging me! Try as hard as you can to just DO YOU. Sometimes I repeat to myself, “My fiancé loves me and I am enough for him. I’m a catch and a half and I am beyond good enough.” Sometimes I shorten it to just, “I am good enough” and that’s all my brain needs to hear for me to keep going. Also, I tend to think that if the judgers see who I really am, they will eventually come around and like me. However, not all of the time because after 5 years of knowing these folks… I don’t think that’s happening.
Build Self Confidence Before Surrounding Yourself with Judgers.
Now, this doesn’t have to be some intense counseling or reading 20 self-help books a week – it can be as simple as doing yoga or working out beforehand. Or my favorite is to listen to Formation by Beyonce and repeat the line “I didn’t come to play with you hoes… I came to slay bitch!” Something about that line gets me fired the fuck up. Find your Beyonce music and get yourself fired up. Move your body so you feel proud of being healthy and feeling your muscles work. Do something that makes you feel a little more alive and proud of who you are. Maybe it’s journaling or stating 10 things you’re grateful for. Gratitude is awesome at making you feel better about who you are and where you are at in your own journey. You don’t need anyone’s approval because you have and are grateful for these 10 things. I like to remind myself that, “I am grateful to have someone who loves and understands me like my fiancé does. I am grateful that I have parents who love and accept us both and who make our lives easier. I am grateful for my incredible hair.” After listing 10 things, you’re bound to feel better about yourself and your situation.
At the end of the day, there will always be someone who is judging you. Everyone has their own opinion about how one should live their life, dress and talk but
sometimes it’s ok to not fit their mold. Let em judge, fuck em. (Too harsh? Eh… more like liberating.) You do you and others will respect that. Trust. Also, energize yourself before surrounding yourself with people who you know are going to judge. After all, each of us is just trying our darndest to survive another day.