Thou Shalt not Judge, or Compare Thyself to Others
It is so easy to judge people we don’t know, even when we try not to. Whether it is their appearance, behaviour, their job, or something we have been told about them. It is instinctual and it’s how we make our way through the world, by judging the information we have so we can decide whether something, or someone, is good for us.
Are we always right about judgments or first impressions?
Imagine you’re at a party or event and a stunning woman walks in wearing a short dress, high heels and a face full of makeup. Then, another woman walks in, head low, hair tied back, no makeup on and a wardrobe from the 80’s. Our judgments of these two women could vary widely depending on our own backgrounds, upbringing, opinions, and tastes, but if I asked you which one you thought was most confident, happy or healthy, which one would you think?
It would be easy to stereotype the woman in the short dress with the great body as being the most confident, but imagine after getting to know the two women, you found out that the one in the short dress has major body confidence issues, has been ill regularly which made her lose weight, and she uses the makeup and fashion as a boost for herself.
The second woman, you find out, is actually a nurse who has had a hard day, but she is so confident in her skills and comfortable in herself, that her focus and energy lay more with her work than with clothes shopping or dolling herself up after a long shift.
Then we realise we possibly had it wrong with judging on first appearances. Even though appearance does speak for a lot, it doesn’t always reflect the person accurately.
I have been on both sides of the judging table and neither feels good. Some of us are so concerned about being judged negatively by others that we do everything we can to avoid it and slowly become something that’s not really true to ourselves. Sure, if we want to achieve certain goals in life, we have to look and behave a certain way sometimes, that’s not the problem. The problem is when we start trying to change who we are in order to please others because of fear that they will judge us negatively. It’s not a natural form of change or progression if we do it for anyone other than ourselves.
It can be very tempting to think that if we were to have a perfect figure we would automatically feel amazing every day and life would be just peachy, but I can tell you first hand that being slim or toned won’t necessarily make any of us happier.
Yes, having a ‘banging body’ staring back at you in the mirror is awesome, but the real happiness and contentment comes from inside, not outside. This is where eating disorders can stem from, because the person affected never feels satisfied with themselves no matter how much weight is lost.
I’d be lying if I said I’ve never been envious of another women’s figure, even back as a tiny UK size 6. In fact, I have spent many wasted hours comparing myself to others in the past which, on a bad day, would leave me with only the green-eyed monster for company.
Even the nicest people in the world will have someone think negatively about them so we certainly can’t please everyone. As long as you are feeling good that’s really all that matters and the right people will be attracted to you because of that. If we let other people’s opinions, or let our own false judgment of others control our emotions, it can wreck entire days and relationships.
It’s never nice to be looking forward to a special event, only to have it half spoiled by the fact you feel like a whale surrounded by dolphins and you can’t even tell anyone without fear of sounding like a self-conscious drama queen.
So, in the words of Elsa ‘Let it Go’.
Enjoy and appreciate all the good parts of you instead of focusing on the negatives. Consciously make an effort to do so because your friends, your partner and family can all tell you how fabulous you look but if you are not feeling it inside, you won’t believe them. Change has to start from within yourself.
Going back to the nurse for example, would you trust her with your life if she didn’t have confidence in her abilities and herself to do her job? No. It starts with the nurse having confidence in herself first, then others know they are in good hands. Feel good about yourself and who you are every day and before you know it, you will feel so content with every inch of your body because it is happy and healthy and that is what matters.
It is only when we feel genuinely content with ourselves that we give up judging others.
Girls with model figures don’t have endlessly happy lives with everything going perfectly. Their shit still stinks and no one is any better than anyone else because of their shape or size. Beautiful, attractive people come in so many variations! Being happy with your body doesn’t mean you will never look at someone else’s body again and think ‘Damn! Ab goals!’ but you will be looking more in admiration rather than ‘Oh, eff off Miss Perfect…’
So next time a gorgeous woman walks into the room, remember maybe her life is not as perfect as it seems. She may not be any nicer, happier or healthier than anyone else in the room. She could be more conscious than every person there, you never know, but then you will be so busy being you that you won’t be making too many judgments, just seeing her as another person in the room. Concentrate on making yourself feel good every day and you won’t let your own judgments of others come back and hurt you, or others.
(Note from The Editor: Eva George is a mum of two toddlers, recovered chocoholic and author of the new Size HH book. You can read more about her over at her authors page and find out more about her book at www.sizehh.com of like her on Facebook)