Confident people don’t tear others down. They don’t highlight their weaknesses and imperfections. Think of a bully; anyone who harms others or jokes at their expense is just insecure about themselves, but hopes you won’t notice if you see the weakness in another person.
The reason I bring this up is because the way I see it, people are mirrors. What we pick at and judge in them is a reflection of our own insecurities. Or, when they comment (or just live their lives, really) and it affects us emotionally, this is a reflection of our deeper issues.
How we see and treat others (or our encounters with them) is a mirror to how we feel inside.
Let me explain…
The Bully Paradox
What bullies highlight in others truly highlights their own insecurities. Their weaknesses, fears, wonky beliefs, shame and so on. But it’s not just bullies. We all do this from time to time.
You see yourself in someone and that’s scary and upsetting and so you tear them apart. It’s like a way of taking out your rage towards yourself on them. Or bringing another person down so that you don’t have to feel so bad about yourself.
Aha, look at how funny they look!
Aha, what a stupid thing to say?
Aha, you’ve put on so much weight!
Or, you simply judge them (which we’ll touch on later).
A key indicator of our Emotional Health is in paying attention to what triggers us. What causes us quick emotional reactions. Comments, situations, people in general, tasks, whatever – What makes you feel something deeply upsetting?
My triggers are things like my intelligence, my finances, my education, and my fitness. I have shame around the fact that I dropped out of university, so I will be triggered at the mention of it.
I learned this about myself by studying E.Q. (Emotional Intelligence). It has given me a newfound emotional awareness that highlights where I have emotional wounds that are easily touched, thus causing me pain.
So, what are your emotional wounds? What causes you pain? What makes you feel shame, sadness, fear, anger, defensiveness, or anxiety? What feels like judgement and criticism that you can’t handle?
The thing is, even when people say things that are mean or uncalled for, we need to understand that if we were truly confident in ourselves and our choices, it wouldn’t affect us much. We’d tell them that they were rude, but we wouldn’t let it hurt us so deeply.
And really, it’s not personal.
As I said before, if someone is trying to tear you down, judge you, or hurt you, that is probably is a key indicator that they have insecurities and pain inside of themselves.
A confident person does not tear others down; they lift others up.
Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged
What you judge others for shows what you may feel judged for yourself or wish you did yourself.
“It takes one to know one!”
I used to think this was a childish way to call someone who called you an idiot and an idiot back. But in reality, this is such a true statement. For someone to judge someone else, it is often the case that they feel judged for the same thing.
Someone has said to me, “You should just go for your run, stop wasting time!” (which triggered me) but they were someone who has struggled with their fitness and weight themselves. This means that they were judging me/ criticising/ commenting because they have felt the same from others themselves.
It’s the push the pain onto someone else mentality.
“I’m not so bad because they do it, too.”
Or, someone may criticise you for how you’re doing something, purely because they wish they had the nerve to do it. Like, “you’re running wrong” when really, they wish they ran too, even in the “wrong” way!
Like for me, I’m very good at giving advice. I’m very good at helping others make decisions. I’m good at telling people to do the things that they want to do despite their fears. But I fail to follow my own advice at times!
It takes one to know one! I can recognise fear and self-sabotage in others because I’m afraid and I self-sabotage myself.
But as they say, judge not lest ye be judged…
Hold up the mirror
So, hold up the mirror and listen to what it’s telling you.
Who or what makes you feel angry, sad, defensive, ashamed, or afraid? Why might this be? What deep insecurities or fears are your emotions trying to show you?
When you snap at others or joke about them, what might that be telling you about yourself?
What do you judge others for? What might that mean?
Don’t look away. Look in the mirror and accept what you see. It’s the first step to fixing it.
Today’s challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write a list of your Failures. Don’t let it feel too bad, just get them down on paper to remind yourself that despite your failures in the past, you survived. You’re ok. We all make mistakes and fall down.
Don’t judge yourself for it, and don’t judge others for theirs either.
This week’s worksheet to complete: Confidence Challenge Week Four Worksheet
Check out my other workbooks for help with deep emotional issues.