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Ever felt like when you’re about to say something, people will judge you?
Or, that people judge you already when you walk into the room?
Here’s what one of our readers wrote to me:
“I find it difficult to start and continue conversations, and worry that everything I’m doing is being judged by others.”
My strongest memory of this was at a dinner with other startup owners. I hadn’t achieved as much as they had, and I felt like a fraud.
The way they looked at me confirmed that they were on to me. (At least, that’s what it felt like.)
Today, I know that my brain made its own interpretation of their looks.
If someone has a skeptical look, there’s no way to know if they’re actually skeptical, if they’re tired, if their thoughts are elsewhere, or if it’s just their listening face.
What we DO know is that we who are anxiously inclined massively overestimate how much others judge us.
People just don’t care that much about others. They are too occupied with their own thoughts, just like you and I are occupied with ours.
In fact, one recent study on 100 children showed that those who were more socially anxious were “hypersensitive” to making mistakes when others were watching them (ref).
That study made so much sense to me:
The root cause of social anxiety is being overly scared of being judged for our mistakes.
It can be because we had parents who scolded us for our mistakes or maybe we had a bad time in school. (ref)
I know a guy in that business network who’s rich, successful, and tall. But no one really likes him, because he’s a stuck up.
On the opposite is one of my best friends here in the US. She’s not rich, nor successful, nor tall. She’s quite clumsy and a little shy. Everyone loves her.
Because she’s human and relatable.
Having flaws makes us human and relatable.
In what situations do you feel judged by others? How do you deal with it? Let me know in the comments!