Being Judged

Being judged is about another person reaching a conclusion about you, based on limited information available, and applying a logic which you are not comfortable with.

It should not matter really, unless the labelling starts affecting your family, social and professional life.

I’ve worked in an organisation, where the Chief routinely used foul language in meetings and conference calls. But there he was – refusing to help a lady with family problems, who was also known to use foul language. Given that the behaviour of both was equally deplorable, it mattered who wielded higher power.

The premises of ‘being judged’ then shifts to a power balance in families, society and workplaces.

POWER EQUATIONS

Who is in a position to inflict damage?

  • The rapists who say ‘she asked for it’.
  • The bosses who decide that a certain employee does not fall in line, talks too much or befriends people the boss does not like.
  • The family who says that she is not submissive enough.

There is no denying the fact that we all judge. It is our mechanism of assessing a person, before we decide how should we proceed ahead with the relationship. It is a kind of smart defence process, which protects us against future problems. It is also called being worldly-wise.

In certain locations where crime rate is high, we are advised to keep our mobile phones in the bag, and not move out at certain hours. 

Social and professional intelligence teaches us to maintain an outer persona, which is tailored to achievement of our objectives.

OFFENSIVE VS. DEFENSIVE

Being judged becomes anathema when it is offensive. It may be due to

  • Limited information
  • Deliberate intention to hurt
  • Preconceived notions
  • A different set of expectations

What is lacking here is acceptance, and giving the other person a chance to be and become.

In a recent conversation, my mother was talking about how I’ve never been domesticated enough. My husband gently reminded her that I’ve been managing the household without domestic help for the last one year, when Covid fears led us to stop the entry of helpers.

Her response – “It’s not even a fraction of what we did in our times.”

I was being held to standards applicable to a different era, culture, lifestyle and economic stratum.  And zero credit for the paid and unpaid work I devoted a lifetime to, outside the domestic sphere.

So, here we come to the next point

BENCHMARKING

What are you being benchmarked against?

Is it justifiable anywhere other than the judgers’ mind, and all those who agree with them?

Unfavourable comparisons are made, and there is always someone else who benefits from it. So, the targeting saga continues.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO TO LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE?

In a webinar on estate planning, a participant said,

“Every time I raise the topic of writing a will, there is an uncomfortable silence in the house.”

My answer was

“Talk about it so often, that it becomes normal to talk about it.”

Brooding in silence does not help.

  • Re-state your positions again and again.
  • Let them know that this is the way you are going to live, and their opinions will not change anything.
  • Talk about the benefits of your lifestyle or thought process.

It will have a gradual positive effect on personal relationships.

WORKPLACE SITUATIONS

Situations in the workplace can be different, where those who wield power can harm.

Now, look around at the people you abhor as human beings, but they are being glorified in the workplace as achievers and high performers.

What are they doing differently?

  • They tom-tom about their achievements at every step.
  • They have at least one person in the hierarchy above to support them.

 Find that mentor. Find other people who will speak for you in their absence. They need to understand your point of view, and I repeat,

Silence does not help. Speak up for yourself.

HOW DOES ONE PROTECT HERSELF ON THE STREETS?

You may not be able to fight every goon, unless you are a martial arts expert.

  • Raise awareness through social media posts. Videos of wrong-doings help in shaping public opinion.
  • Meet or write to the local authorities asking them for safety measures for women.

We have a force of women cab drivers and school bus drivers, because there was someone who understood the problem of rapes by Ola/Uber drivers, during rides at odd hours.  There was someone who wanted children to ply safely between home and school. It may not be widespread enough to cover the country as of now, but a beginning has been made.

Build that lobby. Don’t always think what’s in it for you, or that you are too small to make a difference.

Every citizen should be involved in social initiatives, which help to create a better world for tomorrow.

I will leave you with some Being Judged Quotes

Author: Reena Saxena, Financial Coach & Writer

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