Sunday, February 19, 2012

What I really meant to say when I said, "Don't judge me"

In a conversation with a friend. What she said was, "I wish he would stop judging me. I feel like he thinks everything I do is bad."

My question, "Why does it matter what he thinks?"

Her answer, "I just miss the way it felt when he thought I was good."

And then it hit me:
For so long, I SAID I didn't want people to judge me, but the truth was I NEEDED them to judge me. I needed them to judge me and find me "good". Although I hated their disapproval, their approval was too important to me to give up "being judged".

I'm not sure when the change happened, but it came to a point when I decided I didn't care what other people thought. I didn't need or even want other people's approval anymore. I just wanted to live my own life. Amazing things started happening. I don't NEED compliments. I don't NEED people to tell me I'm doing a good job. I don't NEED anyone else to tell me I'm good... And the "negative" stuff doesn't stick like it used to either. Life is a lot more peaceful.

All of this made me think of the children's storybook, You are Special by Max Lucado.

"Everytime they got a star, it made them feel SO good, they wanted to do more things to get more stars."
"Some couldn't do those things. They got dots."
"One day he met a Wemmick unlike all the others. She had NO stickers. People tried to give her stars and dots, but they wouldn't stick."
"That's how I want to be!"

"The stickers only stick if you let them. The stickers only stick if they matter to you."


  1. I really like your thoughts here.

    and that is one of my favourite storybooks!

  2. Ahhhh, the idea of external validation. It isn't anything unusual for any of us to want to have "approval", but when one relies on this for gauging their own self worth, it is so not healthy. I like this post a lot.

    I've walked my own rhythm and always felt very out of sync with what I would term the "majority". I accepted a while back that I have idiosyncrasies that are mine. And that's okay. Does that always stick? No. Yet, I've known myself infinitely and in this human existence, it's been good to have affirmations from others. And that is how I look at it now as much as possible.

    I'm rambling here. I wanted to just say that this jives with me. I'm so glad that life is so much more peaceful for you.

    Wonderful story. I'd never read/heard of it before.

    Cheers and light to you. :)

    1. N- I think you nailed it... Of course we all want external validation and approval. Humans are social creatures. It's when one relies on validation to gauge to self worth that it becomes a problem.

      I still appreciate compliments and validation, and in some ways I think I appreciate them even more, because I'm not running around like a crazy person trying to get them.

      (I also fear that by writing this, I'm saying I'm always able to live the way I want to live, which I am NOT. I definitely have days where the fear of not being approved of is crushing. It just happens far less often than it used to.)


  3. I think that's why theater is such a good release for me! Partly because I've developed those skills enough to know that I AM good no matter what happens, another part because I love what I'm doing so much that I don't care what anyone thinks of it.

    I'm also very weird that I crave the negative notes(I call them notes because, well, that's what they're called when a director says, "I didn't like the way you did this, do it better") Because they give me an opportunity to grow in a direction I wouldn't naturally. Theater is a much safer place for people who crave other's judgments. Which sometimes I am, sometimes I could care less. Sometimes I need it. It's a very validating place where people come pay money to see YOU!

    What I'm trying to get at, I think, is that this post helps me realize part of why Theater is therapeutic for me. Other than the fact that it's fun, and I love it.(Actually I'm pretty sure this is part of why I love it so much!)

    In other words, thanks for sharing your experiences because every time you share something it helps me to better come to know me. You're awesome. That is all.