The world isn’t always an inviting place to live in. Rumors spread and judgments are made before people consider wanting to hear the truth. It sounds like high school, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop even when you’re done with school. You may experience it in your workplace, home, or out in the public. So, how can we survive it? Psych2Go shares with you 7 ways to deal with highly judgmental people:
1. Don’t take their words or behavior personally.
I know this can be difficult, especially since we’re not robots and are affected by people every day. But, it’s important to recognize that judgmental people aren’t only criticizing you—they criticize everyone. In fact, they are most likely the hardest on themselves when they make mistakes or feel as though they aren’t doing their best. Learn not to take their words or actions personally. It’ll only bring you down even more.
2. Practice compassion and empathy.
Keep an open mind about why the other person is being judgmental. Perhaps they are carrying an unbearable weight of their own criticism and self-doubt that they are projecting it strongly onto others. Remember, just because someone else is being judgmental doesn’t mean you have to sink to their level. This is your chance to lend your support and help them escape the dark room. What’s important is your ability to understand where they are coming from. You may not have control over what others may think of you, but you have the power to be the better person.
3. See the child within them.
There’s a stereotype attached to adults that reinforces that they have all the answers. Children, on the other hand, aren’t expected to know everything. Rather than seeing their behaviors as fixed or doomed, realize that they still have the potential to grow as a person. Perhaps they don’t know any better but to form quick judgments on others. You can be the first to set a good example and show them what they are struggling to comprehend.
4. Focus on the people who love and support you.
Why waste time mulling over someone’s harsh and unreliable judgment when you can spend your energy on the right people who see the best in you? Ask yourself if you want that person to be an active part of your life. If the answer is no, then their judgments don’t have to be either. Don’t lose focus on the bigger picture; there’s still so much to look forward to. When you spend time with friends and close loved ones who make you laugh, you’ll probably wonder why you were feeling so down to begin with.
5. Stand up for yourself and set healthy boundaries.
You don’t have to do it in a similarly brash manner they used when they judged you, but you can establish those boundaries diplomatically. Start off with “I” and “It” statements. Some examples include:
“I appreciate your feedback/opinion, but. . .”
“I’m content with what I’m doing.”
“It’s important that I do this.”
“It’s helpful when I use this method.”
When you communicate with statements like these, it helps you approach the situation directly and lets the person know where you stand and what you prefer. However, if you start off with a “You” statement, you would only be attacking the individual and making accusations. This can quickly lead to arguments that deter you from problem-solving.
6. Say thank you and change the topic.
If the person seems persistent and set on their judgments, you can thank them firmly. This will help you remain polite, but also shows that you no longer wish to engage with the situation. Shortly after, you can also change the topic so the person will be dissuaded from reverting back to the old one. When you’re proactive about changing the conversation, it gives you the power to prevent it from getting out of hand.
7. If possible, walk away and give yourself space.
Take a break from the drama. If all else fails, remember that you don’t have to stay in the negative situation. Focus on growing elsewhere. If the judgmental person is a boss, teacher, or family member that you can’t fully walk away from, give yourself space before approaching them again in the future about an unresolved conflict. If necessary, you can also run your concerns to an administrator, counselor, or friend for help and support.
How do you deal with highly judgmental people? Psych2Go would love to hear your thoughts! Please be sure to leave a comment down below!
Morgan, C. (2018). How You Can Deal With Highly Judgmental People. Lifehack. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
Ni, P. (2016, June 19). 5 Keys to Handling Judgmental and Opinionated People. Psychology Today. Retrieved January 25, 2018.