Walk into any room full of people and we all judge. It’s human nature and we all make judgments every day. From job interviews to the new guy in accounts, to the person in the shop or walking in the park

So, what were you thinking when you see these 2 photos?

Are you pitting the woman on the right for losing her hair from the chemo to the blonde woman on the left?

Actually, these are photos of me and what if I told you, I was unwell in both photos for totally different reasons?

 

What’s your thoughts now?

What you can’t see on the left is that my anxiety has increased, and I had been diagnosed with depression.  An illness I have had many times & for quite a lot of my adult life.

So why am I sharing this with you?

My cancer story taught me a whole lot more than dealing with chemo and being bald. We all have issues of one sort or another and by not living on what can sometimes feel like an emotional island all by ourselves, we can actually work with our issues and have a much better life than we might have felt possible.

 

Why does this matter and how is it relevant to the workplace or social gathering?

I want to raise awareness that you can’t see when someone is struggling internally. They may look normal & may not show signs outwardly that not all is ok!

 

Don’t judge a book by its cover

We’ve all heard the saying and have gone on to read the book with the unengaging cover to find the wonders of the word and imagination inside.

So why when we all will walk into a room (in person or virtual) we make judgment about someone in there.  That judgment becomes fact in our head, so we are really surprised when that person does something unexpected …. from our belief of them.  I’ll admit, I’ve done it myself.

Have I been judged on the way I look – too right!  I remember being told multiple times in my early twenties, that I would never be taken seriously or have credibility in my career as I was blonde and large chested.  Similar was said for my romantic relationships and I was ‘jokingly’ referred to as a bimbo.

 

The impact

Whilst some comments are said in jest, when mature people those in senior positions or close to you (family and friends) say these things, you can’t help becoming very self-conscious.

For me, along with other opinionated comments, my self-esteem became quite low.  I used to question my ability, my relationships and stifled who I was and my humour.  In turn this led to anxiety, which when heightened, and I wasn’t unable to manage it would spiral into depression.

When this happened, I would withdraw, become quiet and on edge and as you can imagine I was judged again for differing reasons.

 

Why do we judge

There are many reasons we judge others

  • To feel better about ourselves as we are lacking self-acceptance and self-love
  • Learned behaviour. Sometimes passed down from generation to generation.
  • Other people’s perception and experiences that we get influenced by
  • Some may judge to reinforce our own feelings of being inferior and not good enough

 

How do we stop

Literally by asking our self where this judgment comes from? Is it factual?

If someone we know does not seem to be their normal self – seek to understand!

Start a conversation with them. It can be as simple as asking if they fancy a walk or meeting up for a cuppa. Just don’t assume that a person has a network of people that they will talk to. It’s not easy to share, even to your loved ones – believe me!

Remember we see and hear how someone is on their outside, what we don’t see is what is happening internally and most definitely what they have had to deal with.

By getting a better understanding of someone we soon begin to realise that we only see and judge people by our own view and experience of the world.  This can be just as enlightening and develop us as that book with the poor cover.

 

Photos by my friend (2016) and my Mum (2017), whilst having chemotherapy.