“We are the Island of Misfit Toys, all broken or smashed in some way.” What if you are not broken? What if that which you know about yourself is perfectly acceptable? Better yet, deep within you know you are whole and worthy of respect and appreciation. It is only through the messages received from family, friends, and society that we begin to question our place in the world.
You were born a particular way and grew into yourself; despite the judgments of others, you persevered. Your ideas about the world are completely valid and worthy of exploration and acceptance. Even as family, friends, and society look down on or dismiss you altogether, you keep fighting for your truth.
Judgment is inherent in today’s world. We cannot escape the prying eyes of others or social feedback from family, friends, and others. But you begin to mitigate their impact on your psychological well-being through these three techniques:
1. Thoughtful reflection can help us keep judgment in perspective; not allowing feedback on one aspect of a particular personality trait or feature of our physical appearance, to affect how we feel about ourselves overall.
2. Consider the source; when we feel threatened by negative commentary, it is important to consider our strengths, our prior history of achievement, and our ability to improve. It is also important to consider the degree of accuracy of the judgment. Not all criticism is equally fair or deserved.
3. Perspective Shifting; Most of all, it can be helpful to redirect our attention away from what it says about who we are. Instead, shift the judgment to what we can do to improve our situation or appreciate who we truly are. While we can’t avoid being judged, we can avoid letting others define us.
Let us dive a little deeper together and honor what truly makes you who you are. Free from judgement we can safely explore what makes you tick. In so doing, you may very well find a group of individuals who sing the song of your heart.