Matthew 7:1. I am not too religious, but this quote works quite well for this post!
What I want to talk about today has been on my mind for quite some time now, but has become even more evident since my return to school. I have been reluctant to open up about such thoughts… but oh well, here it goes!
I attend a rather large and populated school, so during the day when students, professors, maintainers, and other people are constantly walking around trying to reach their required destinations, well it can get pretty darn crowded. When classes are released throughout the day, there is a 15-minute window where it seems the entire population of the school is out and about, and then it just as quickly dies down as the next class period begins.
If you are hoping to eat lunch in a quiet area, then I would suggest avoiding all dining areas between 11-2, unless you want to feel as if you are battling people for food. Something I do NOT enjoy, especially when I am a ravenous beast! However, such is life so I often find myself amongst the hordes of students in the dining halls or other eating areas trying to quickly consume lunch before my next class.
It is during these times that I find I am the most uncomfortable with myself.
I believe that a pertinent reason for the development of my disordered eating habits was the need I felt to gain some control over the “huge” body I had compared to my teeny-tiny friends. Something I became quite aware of starting in sixth grade. Not only was I the tallest girl in my class, but I was also a bit overweight… not fat by any means, but I did possess a bit of extra cushion that I most likely would have grown out of. I simply felt “big,” a rather undesirable trait to have, especially at that age when all of your smaller friends were being so cutely tossed around by the boys.
The day I became aware of my size compared to my peers, was the day insecurities about myself set in, and remain with me to this day. Although I would never classify myself as “painfully” insecure, I do unfortunately hold that feeling of both physical and mental uncertainty quite tightly.
So what does insecurities and crowds have to do with each other? Well as I said, it is during the most populated times of the day that I feel the most vulnerable, uncomfortable, and that I am being critically judged by everyone around me.
When I am walking to class, I feel as if those walking the other way are staring at me and thinking only negative things about me… I mean why would they ever say something positive? (Irrational I know)
What is she thinking with that outfit? Is she aware of how fat her legs look like in those shorts?
She is so pale, she looks ill!
That shirt does nothing for her stomach; you can see it poking out!
Do you even know how to put on makeup?
Goodness she is tall, you would at least think she could be a bit thinner….
My irrational self even has the audacity to believe that when people look at me, they can somehow see behind the front I sometimes put on. They can see that while I am putting on a face that everything is fine and dandy, my true emotions are practically glowing- the tormenting thoughts about my body and my appearance that are constantly raging through my mind.
These sound awfully cruel to me, but I would be lying to you if I were to say I didn’t believe that others thought such things. More often than not I just feel like screaming, STOP LOOKING AT ME. And yet as I write this now, I sound like one crazy chick!
As this recovery process has continued and I can say with sincere honesty that my life seems to improve each and everyday, I am realizing what this whole judgment thing is about. Dare I say what I am going to next? Well this is my blog and I can’t seem to hold anything back…
I believe that I feel judged on a constant basis because I am looking at other people and always judging them. Before you make me out to be the meanest person on Earth, allow me to explain.
We all enjoy people watching as it can be rather entertaining at times. However, I feel as though I have taken it to some other level, with another definition than what it meant to be. At school, I am around people constantly and I am staring at them all.of.the.time. When I am walking through campus, I sometimes look at people going in the other direction and in my head, I acknowledge what they are wearing, who they are with, what their hair looks like, whether guys are attractive or not, what their facial expressions are, and so on. I am also searching their faces for an indication that they are looking right back at me and doing the exact same thing I am doing to them….judging.
When we think of judgment, it’s often thought of as producing only negative outcomes, but that is not always the case… it can actually be fine! When I address other people’s appearances, their cute outfits sometimes inspire me, or I get an idea for how I should style my hair. It’s when judgment is only correlated with the words “bad, ugly, upsetting” that something needs to change.
Way too often I catch myself making negative judgments about others. Just earlier today at the gym I noted how a girl looked so terribly thin and yet there she was giving it her all on the elliptical. I wonder to myself why she is there, what is she thinking, doesn’t she realize she looks terrible? Or as I am sitting here at Barnes and Noble and I am looking at other people working around me and I notice one lady wearing too-tight pants that cuts into her body, forcing extra parts of her out. I consciously think that there is no way in hell that she is comfortable in that outfit, and how can she thinks those flatter her?
My God I sound like such a terrible person but I really don’t want you to think that. First of all, I have no right by any means whatsoever to judge other people. In fact, it is a terrible habit, and one I have absolutely no reason to do. Second of all, it’s bullshit and I need to mind my own business.
So if I know I am sometimes being a crappy person, why do I judge… or why do others? (source)
Maybe we feel better about ourselves if we see the less desirable traits in others.
Maybe we judge others when they’re different for any reason – they look different, act different, have different beliefs and values.
Maybe we judge situations because we’re afraid or we don’t understand them?
When we’re judging people we arbitrarily label them and lessen their value. When we’re judging ourselves we feel bad and focus on our perceived negative worth instead of our positive worth. Judging has the ability to suck the fun and happiness out of life, so it’s time to quit something that can do such a thing.
But the obvious reason I feel judged about my appearances, actions, and thoughts is that I am doing the same thing to people around me. And you know what the “funny” thing about all of this is? More than likely, they don’t give a hoot what I look like, what I am doing, how I am dressed, what I am eating, how I am exercising, etc.
My insecurities began at a time when children become more aware of themselves, both physically and mentally. My height was always commented on when I was younger. The fact that I could not fit into my friends’ clothes caused me to feel even larger than I was. I just didn’t like… me.
Unfortunately, the negative views I have of myself have continued to plague me all of these years. However, these incorrect, irrational, ridiculous views of myself are slowly ebbing away and I am learning to appreciate and be thankful for what I have, physically and mentally related. I need to stop focusing on my flaws, the parts of me that I dislike… I need to stop believing that others are constantly judging me, because my logical self knows they are quite keen re minding their own business… just as I should.
I would love to hear from you,
What are your thoughts on this?
…do you judge?
If so, do you catch yourself judging others to help make you feel better? Perhaps without even realizing?
How should we stop some actions and also to stop judging ourselves?