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Episode 55 – Stop Being So Judgmental! Yeah, I’m Looking At You!

Stop Being So Judgmental! Yeah, I’m Looking At You!

Being judgmental of others is a reflection of how judgmental we are being of ourselves.

Hey there Beautiful!

Last week I told you to get out there and be NICE! Spread around some random acts of kindness and email me if you have any stories. My listener, Lori, emailed me to say that she donated $250.00 worth of hairstyling services to her hairdresser to be used towards healthcare workers once her hairstylist is back open.

She also still paid for her March and April haircuts even though she missed them. Lori also paid for masks that her hairdresser’s friend was making to help make ends meet.

Lori said in her email, “It felt so good to have made a connection and I felt like I had contributed in some small way to make things a little better.”

Please share any stories of being nice or random acts of kindness and send them my way. I’ll mention them on the podcast.

Just last week I picked up a hair color kit from my hairstylist since it had been about 5 weeks since I last saw her and yes the silver sparkles were gleaming brightly all around my face.

That’s what I call them, silver sparkles, not grey hair. The silver sparkles appear because there is too much light inside me that is bursting to get out.

So the only way for that light to get out when it’s overwhelming my system is through the silver sparkles at my hairline. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

My son was nice enough to help me since with my long hair I knew I would really mess it up in the back.

There was some leftover color and he said, “I’m going to use it on mine.”

I was immediately going to tell him, “No” but then I clamped my lips together and thought for a moment. “It’s just hair I said and it’s dark so what’s the harm.”

“Okay,” I said, “Just don’t put too much on and go lightly as you finger comb it through.” Later when we rinsed, shampooed, and conditioned his hair out in the garage sink, his hair didn’t look all that different. My misplaced apprehension and fear of what could happen was just that, misplaced.

A few days after the hair color treatment, my son came to me and said, “I want to buzz all my hair and you’re going to do it! I want it to be really, really short. Just think about the money I’ll save because I won't’ have to buy hair products and the time that I’ll save just jumping right out of the shower.”

I looked into his wild eyes and said, “Uhh the clippers don’t work so how is that going to happen?”

He said, “I’ll fix them and then you can. OR I can run to the store and buy some new ones after work tonight.”

I took a deep breath and said, “How about I just give you a haircut and make it really short? Then we can figure out what to do next?” We went back and forth arguing our different points of view until he finally agreed to the haircut but only if the hair was an inch or less on top. 

All of my arguments came from a place of fear of the unknown and that I couldn’t control others’ reactions. If he cuts it too short he will look like a thug, or someone from the military or if almost bald some sort of white supremacist gang member. Or he will look like he's 16 years old (he’s actually 20 years old.)

I was making judgment calls due to my fear of how he would be judged by other people. 

And that is what I’m going to be talking about today, judgment.

You know me. I always look up the definition of the word which is:

A) To ensure that I got the meaning correct and, 

B) So I look smart!

Judgment is defined as “having or displaying an excessively critical point of view” or “disapproving and having a tendency to judge people too quickly and critically.” Judgment comes from a place of fear and/or jealousy.

There’s nothing like getting smacked in the face with an example of how I was judging someone else.

My eldest son and I went to get ice cream on a hot summer’s day. He was wearing a short sleeve shirt so you could just see the bottom of his tattoo peeking out from his shirt sleeve, three lotus flowers near his elbow. While waiting in line, there was a woman standing next to us waiting with her daughter to get their order of ice cream.

I immediately started judging her based on what she and her daughter were wearing, head-to-toe Lilly Pulitzer

Now if you don’t know what a Lilly Pulitzer dress looks like you can Google it but usually it features bright, colorful, floral prints. I make a judgment every time that I see a woman wearing these clothes: she has money, she’s preppy, she’s snooty, she’s rude, and I don’t want to get to know her.

This is based on every woman I have met wearing this type of fashion style being all of what I previously mentioned. I look for the evidence every time and because my brain is always trying to agree with my judgment, I always find the evidence.

This of course is TOTALLY UNFAIR to any women I meet that is wearing this type of clothing. And to be fair, I do know a number of women who I count as friends who do have a Lilly Pulitzer dress.

As I judged the woman and her daughter waiting for their ice cream, I started to notice that the woman kept looking at my son. I could sense that she wanted to say something to him.

Now this was during the time that my son was just beginning to dress more masculine, had cut his hair short, and was really beginning to figure himself out. So I felt that I was in constant overbearing Momma Bear mode, looking out for every possible injustice that could be thrown my son’s way.

As I was beginning to get myself mentally in place to defend my son against anything this woman was about to say to my son, she said, “Do you mind me asking, where did you get your tattoo done?”

Needless to say, I stared at her in disbelief as my son pulled up his sleeve to show her the rest of it. His tattoo starts at his elbow and goes up to and over his shoulder. He created it to represent his family and his strength. The three lotus flowers near his elbow represent myself, his dad, and brother, and the support he receives from us. The tiger head at his shoulder represents himself and his strength.

As the tattoo was revealed totally to the women she gasped in surprise and said, “It’s beautiful! Now you really have to tell me who did it?”

My son told her and she just couldn’t stop gushing about how well it was done and how she’s been wanting to get a tattoo but afraid of not being able to find someone that could do it right. My son then told her what the lotus flowers and tiger head meant and then the women started to tear up.

She said, “Wow that just makes it even more beautiful.” 

She and her daughter said their goodbyes to us, reached for their ice creams which were now ready, and went back to their car.

I stood there for a minute and said to my son, “Well that was so not how I envisioned that conversation going. I thought she was about to say something not nice to you about your tattoos and she completely surprised me.”

My son said that since he had gotten his tattoo he actually was getting used to many people coming up to him and asking questions about it so it was no big deal. Huh, learn something new everyday don’t I?

I formed an opinion about a complete stranger and then made assumptions. I took the visual evidence of how she and her daughter dressed, mixed in my evidence based on past experiences with other women dressed like them, and came up with the conclusion that she was going to say something insulting to my son.

I’m sure you’ve done something like this before too.

We do it everyday, while we are out shopping and evaluate the women walking towards us with her cart, meeting someone for the first time in a social situation and sizing them up, or sitting on a park bench while people walk or run by you as they exercise. It’s judgmental people watching. 

Side note: my friends and I in high school would sit on our bench and watch other students walk by during our break and lunch periods. We used to say our future kids would most likely be ugly since we were VERY judgmental while we people watched. We thought that karma would come around and make us pay for our ugly thoughts towards other students. Luckily that did not happen since I think my kids turned out pretty great.

How we judge others is really a reflection or indicator of how harshly we are judging ourselves. And that harsh judgment is not serving you or me, and doesn’t improve our performance. If we are harder on ourselves then we will perform better, right?

The more we beat ourselves up and criticize what we believe is wrong in our lives, the harder we will then try to do better. By putting yourself down, you’re applying the breaks on your life without even knowing it. Judgment is negatively affecting you more than you realize.

Do you judge people by what they eat or how they are overweight?

Or the opposite, do you judge someone based on how thin they are and judge them that they must not eat anything and it must be so easy for them to just keep the weight off?

Do you judge them based on their clothing, or hairstyle, or whether or not they have tattoos and piercings on their face?

Do you assume that a person is an absolute idiot when they don’t let you merge into traffic and zoom in front of you instead of slowing down?

A judgement of someone else is going to be perceived as a judgement of yourself, subconsciously. We make judgments everyday and are largely unaware of how many we make just in one day. Start to be aware and notice where you’re making judgements.

We use judgments because it’s the way we view the world and understand how we fit into it. That’s why we judge others. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to other people and how we measure up on the invisible ruler we created based on our past history and expectations.

Judgments can make you feel better or worse depending on where you place yourself on that imaginary ruler that you have in your head.

And how afraid are you to be judged by others? We are so concerned with what others will think.

I know that this is one I struggle with all the time. “Is my hair okay? Is the lipstick I’m wearing look good on me? Do these pants make my butt look saggy? Am I being too loud when I talk? Why does that woman keep looking at me from across the restaurant? I must have something wrong with me.”

I know that there are so many women out there, probably you included, that have ideas that will NEVER be brought out into the light because the fear of being judged is overwhelming and paralyzing.

Are you judging people who have more than you? Are you comparing? You know that’s jealousy. If you do this you are pushing away what you want.

Their presence is a perceived threat to you and you are then operating from a “I am less than them” mindset.

What you might do instead is celebrate and congratulate them. Thank them for showing you what you want. I don’t mean go over to them and thank them in person. I mean say a silent thank you to them in your head. Congratulate them silently in your head.

Yes, there are times to be judgmental.

What I mean is, picture this: a man is walking down the street on the same side of the sidewalk as you. It’s dusk so it’s not quite dark yet but yet you become aware of no one else on the street at that particular moment. You don’t care what color of skin he has or what he’s wearing, you’re judging him as a potential threat, because he’s physically bigger than you and you don’t know what he may or may not do. You walk a bit straighter, hold your purse tighter, possibly grab the can of mace in your purse and take off the safety. You debate whether you should cross to the other side of the street and decide yes, that’s a good idea. In this instance you're making a judgment based on a lot of what if’s but it’s better to do that than possibly being threatened or hurt or abducted.

We are so hard on ourselves.

So I want you to recognize and be aware of all the judgments that you’re having on a daily basis. But don’t judge yourself for judging because then that’s just more judging. Don’t be so self critical! When you notice that you're judging, give yourself a minute to reverse your judgment and come from a place of love. Who am I to judge them? I don’t know their story. I’m judging them based on my past experiences.

Send them good thoughts instead of continuing down the judgmental journey that you're making up in your head.

Could you have a judgment free day? Could you do it for a week? Could you eliminate judgment from your life? I challenge you to bring more awareness to your thoughts that enter your mind as you judge yourself and particularly other people.

So you may be asking, “How did your son’s haircut turn out?” He left the house to go to work right after it was done and he said, “It looks good and thanks.”

What I didn’t tell him was that he looked just like his kindergarten picture because it was the exact same haircut I used to give him when he was 5 years old.

It’s like déjà vu.

Made me feel old actually.

I’ll talk to you later, Beautiful!

Thanks for listening!

Share your thoughts with me or ask a question about this episode. Send an email.

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Alice Agnello, Lifestyle and Success Coach

I'm Alice Agnello.

I’m a California raised, incurable romantic who was too snarky for the corporate world. I love show tunes, chai tea, and all things British. My mission? To help women rediscover who they are, after their kids have grown.

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Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

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Before you go, get the Guide!

Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

Sign up to receive my whitty newsletters, tips & tricks, promotions, & other emails, & receive this free guide!