Judging Others: Bad for Your Self-Esteem?

When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself.”

Earl Nightingalr

Whether we realize it or not, there are external forces that influence the state of our psyche. Many of us are aware of the pressures and expectations society has placed upon us (some more than others) and how they can have detrimental effects to our self-image, but I think there is something missing from the discussion.

I have a hypothesis: The way we judge others negatively impacts our own confidence and self-esteem.

There’s no denying the forces at play and the power they can have over us and our perceptions, but maybe some of our issues stem from how we perceive others.

The moment we meet someone our heads are instantly filled with judgments. What they are, and whether they are good or bad, depends on one’s own upbringing, influences, and state of mind. Regardless, those judgments can directly shape the prejudices we have against ourselves.

This could happen because we are subconsciously—or maybe even consciously—aware that if we are capable of thinking such nasty things about others, there’s nothing stopping them from thinking those same things about us. So if we assume others are predisposed to judge us negatively, we may reinforce what we already perceive to be faults in ourselves by assuming they’re critiquing those very thoughts or opinions.

This only buries our confidence into a deep hole of self-doubt.

Another part of the hypothesis is that we may judge people based on some of the things we don’t like about ourselves (subconsciously, of course; someone should do a study on this!). Perhaps we are projecting our insecurities onto others without even knowing it.

Lastly, how we view ourselves isn’t always the fault of negative judgments. Take, for example, someone with body confidence issues. They may see a person who has the physical features they desire and observe that person in a positive light. Needless to say, it can have a strong negative effect on someone who struggles with these types of issues.

While the hypothesis is untested, I think there may be some truth to it. If judging others causes us to think poorly about ourselves, maybe we need to retrain our brains to see the good in people first or learn to not judge others until we’ve gotten to know them. What good does judging people do anyway? Either way, I think it’s an interesting concept and if you’re struggling from self-esteem issues, changing your thought process on how you view others could have a positive impact; there’s nothing to lose in trying!

Thanks for reading! Give it a try and let us know if you see improvement on how you view yourself! Please feel free to voice your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section! And, as always, don’t forget to ‘Like!’ & ‘Share!’

Our very own Zachary J. Gura has been published! Check out his book, ‘Through the Devil’s Eyes,’ available now on Amazon!

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