The fear of being judged by others is something a lot of people struggle from. If you can relate to this, you know how terrible it is for your social life. This fear makes you more anxious than you should be. It causes you to react and respond improperly. What’s worse, it stops you from ever making new friends.
As terrible as this fear is, as with any other fear, it can be overcome. This is something you’ll need to strive for. Not only will this make your social life better, but your mental health will also get better for it.
Without any further ado, here are the things you can start doing now to get over your fear of being judged by others.
Get to know yourself better
If your goal is to get over your fear of being judged by others, make sure to get to know yourself first. Get to know your strengths and weaknesses. Know which parts of you others will love and which ones you need to work on first.
Self-awareness is a good step to take in overcoming your fear of being judged. The more self-aware you are, the more you’ll know what to improve and develop your personality. If you fear being judged, do your best so that you won’t be.
While there are others out there who’ll continue to do so despite of your improvements, then that’s on them. We’ll tackle this in greater detail later on.
For now, get to know yourself. Exactly pinpoint the things that can make you happy. Be aware of the things that can make you angry. If there are things about yourself you feel can be judged, do something about that. The aspects of you that are okay, then you can free your mind of possible dark thoughts about them in the future.
Acknowledge your flaws
Nobody is completely perfect. You’ll need to accept that now or you’ll never be able to get over your fear. You shouldn’t try to be perfect either. It’s unrealistic and impossible. It isn’t human.
Instead, know what your flaws are. If you find any that are harmful and potentially offensive to you and to others, do your best to rid yourself of those flaws. If they’re standard flaws, learn to accept them. It’s completely fine to have flaws as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. As long as it doesn’t hurt you.
Stop getting worried about making mistakes
Similar to how you shouldn’t worry too much about your flaws, you also shouldn’t worry too much about making mistakes. It’s one of the things that makes all of us human. Mistakes are part of our progress. What matters is how you move forward from the mistakes that you make.
If you keep worrying about your mistakes, you’ll always act aloof in public. You’ll be way too careful about the way you act and the things you say that you’ll come off unnatural.
If you do make a mistake — and you may inevitably will — shrug it off. Use it a source of humor. Or simply stand up and brush it away. Sometimes, it’s about how to rise above your mistakes and not how you avoid them. As long as the mistake is harmless, of course. If the mistake affects others, apologize.
This isn’t to say that you should just be reckless from now on. You should still do your best to not make mistakes, of course. But don’t drown your mind in the sole idea of avoiding them. Calibrate and act naturally. You’ll be more judged if you constantly worry about your mistakes than the opposite.
You should also stop the habit of overthinking. Similar to the previous point, the more you overthink, but you aloof you will seem. Your tendency to overthink may be one of the reasons why you have the fear of being judged by others. You overthink things and you quickly jump to the conclusion that others are judging you, even though they aren’t.
Understand that not everyone is as judgmental as you make them out to be
If you think that everyone you meet is out to get you and to judge you, you’re wrong. Everyone has problems of their own. They have fears of their own. They also suffer from different forms of anxiety. A lot of people are much more empathetic than you give them credit for.
In fact, if you happen to fumble in public, a lot of them will be eager to help you out instead of judging you. Not everybody is judgmental. Keep this in mind and it will be easier to overcome this fear in the long run.
Fight your darker thoughts
If the dark thoughts start coming in and you come up with assumptions of judgments, fight it. If your mind comes up with something bad about you, think of something to combat that. Fight your own dark thoughts. This will do wonders for your self-esteem and in your fight against your fear.
For example, if you suddenly think about how the people around you might think badly of what you’re wearing, convince yourself that you don’t look so bad. Better yet, convince yourself that it doesn’t matter. If your mind comes up with an assumption that everybody is paying attention to the words you say, waiting for a mistake to happen, convince yourself that a mistake isn’t coming. If it does, convince yourself that you’ll be able to rise above it.
Be your own antibody to the virus that is your fear of being judged by others. Every time you think of something bad, immediately combat it by thinking of something good. It’s a habit you’ll need to get into. The more you get used to it, the better you’ll be at it. It’s a wonderful trick to use against yourself so that you won’t get drowned by your own terrible assumptions.
Ask for help
You don’t need to go through this problem alone. If you have people in your circle you trust, whether they’re friends or relatives, ask them for assistance. If you want to overcome your fear of being judged by others, you can’t pretend that it’s not there. You have to talk about it. Who better to talk about this to than the people you trust?
Gather your friends and family and share your troubles with them. Tell them of your fear of being judged by others. Tell them you’ve been afraid of it for a while now. Finally, tell them that you’re working on overcoming this fear.
You’ll need to have a support system if you want to be better at overcoming this fear. Your friends will be more than willing to help you out. In fact, they’ll be glad about the fact that you’re going out of your way to improve yourself.
It’s a brave thing to get over your fears. It’s even braver to acknowledge the fact that you can ask for help. Do so.
Be friendly to everyone you meet
Following this tip won’t only help you get over your fear of being judged by others, but it will also turn you into a better person. Be friendly to everyone you meet and you’ll eventually overcome your fear. Here’s why.
Keep being friendly to everyone you’ll meet and that’s who you will become: the friendly person. Your acts of simple kindness will turn into a reputation. You need to remember this. This will affect you in two ways. One, you’ll be too focused on friendliness and positivity that you won’t be bothered by judgments anymore. Second, you won’t have to worry about judgment if everybody around you sees you as a friendly person.
Be friendly and you’ll get over your fear of being judged by others. However, don’t do this for the sake of yourself. While that is a benefit, do this for the sake of making the world around you a slightly better place.
Be friendliest to yourself
The most important person you’ll need to be most friendly towards is yourself. Be nice to you. Say good things about yourself. Promote optimism and positivity in your lifestyle. Make this a habit and you won’t even have thoughts of doubt nor have fears of being judged by others.
This is easier said than done if you’re not used to it. Today, though, all you will need to do is to try. Just try being kinder and friendlier to yourself. Try to implement positivity. Do your best to see the better things in life. The more positive you’ll become, the less you’ll be fearful of judgments. Simply because you won’t just care enough. The positive nature you’ll gain for yourself won’t allow you to.
Work on your self-esteem
Your self-esteem may have a hand in this particular fear. A person who has a low self-esteem tends to assume the worst. This extend to how they think people see them. They’ll assume the worst and think others are judging them. This then transforms into a fear, thus heightening their social anxiety even more.
If this is the case for you, a step you will need to take is to work on your self-esteem. Start from there and a lot of things will follow.
Thankfully, the tips that are listed here will also greatly help you raise your self-esteem and confidence. Just keep this in mind moving forward.
Find like-minded individuals
Find like-minded individuals and you’ll always feel comfortable with them. This level of comfort that you get from others will allow you to be more positive around them. Thus, you’ll never have to worry about being judged. Your fear will become obsolete and you’ll be able to act more naturally.
You can find like-minded people by joining clubs, social groups, or classes. Be surrounded by people who share your interests. Who think the same way you do. People who love the same things you love. As long as you’re surrounded by these people most of the time, your fear of being judged will disappear over time.
This is something you can do as of right now. Of course, you’ll eventually need to start feeling comfortable with the idea of socializing with others who may not share interests with you. For now, though, this is just to get you started in overcoming your fears.
If you think outwardly, you’ll never have to worry about the dark thoughts in your head. This is what I mean by this: Whenever you’re interacting with someone, make sure the entirety of your attention is given to them. Make them your main focus.
Listen intently to the words they’re saying. Pay full attention to their facial expressions and body language. Keep this up and your responses to them will flow freely and naturally.
The more you keep your mind on the people you’re interacting with, the less you’ll be stuck in your own head together with dark thoughts and unwarranted judgments.
Focus on the concept of building friendships
Aside from focusing on the people you’re interacting with, you should also focus on the idea of building friendships. Get excited with the thought of meeting new people and forming new bonds. You can build this up in your head before you go out to meet new people.
Couple this with the tip above and your mind will be set on socializing and the people you’ll be socializing with. Not on the idea of judgment and fear. This is a very healthy way of pre-occupying your mind with the things that really matter.
The more you do this, the less you’ll be overcome with negative thoughts. In time, they won’t even come at all anymore.
Know that not everyone will find you agreeable
While it’s true that a lot of people in this world are decent, considerate, and won’t judge you the way you think they will, there are also people out there who just won’t find you agreeable. When you do meet these people, it’s important to remember this: It doesn’t matter.
Yes, a lot of people won’t find you agreeable. There are those who will choose to judge you despite how nice and kind you are to them. Despite how nice and kind you are the world around you. Remember, this is on them. Not on you.
You cannot please everybody. The sooner you accept this, the better you’re going to feel. What you should do instead is to focus on those you can actually please. Those who won’t preemptively judge you. Once again, bring positivity in your life. Focus on those who are decent and don’t mind those who are not.
Don’t judge others
Do not do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you. It’s an old adage and it applies here. If you don’t want to be judged by others, don’t judge others too. Judging someone you don’t know enough is a ridiculous notion. Don’t fall under this trap.
If you don’t judge others, if you know how wrong it is, then your mind will acknowledge the idea of how ridiculous it is. Thus, you will eventually stop being fearful of the idea of being judged by others.
Look good to feel good
This is something you can and should do for yourself, not for others. Look good to feel good. Look good to have confidence. This confidence will then help you overcome your fear of being judged.
This part is really simple. Look as great as you can, whenever you can. Wear clothes that suit your style. Remain neat and presentable all the time. If you can, take an hour of your day for about four to five days a week to work out. Be physically healthy and your mind will follow through.
This is also to help you become more comfortable in your own skin. Once you achieve this, you’ll feel immensely more confident, which you already know is great for battling the fear you wish to overcome.
Don’t try too hard to please others
There’s the idea of being nice to others and there’s trying too hard to please them. Don’t do the latter. A lot of people will be able to see right through this. What will happen in the end is the thing you exactly fear: They’ll judge you.
This is also a bad social habit to get into. It’s better that you throw out this habit now if this is something that applies to you. If not, then good. Make sure it doesn’t happen to you ever.
The worst thing that can happen here is that you’ll encounter someone who just won’t agree with you. Someone who’ll judge you no matter what. You keep trying too hard to please that person and you’ll only end up hurting yourself.
Think about the lives of other people
This is a very neat trick. Every once in a while, try thinking about the lives of other people. Think about how each and every single person you meet is raised by their families. How they grew up the way they grew up. How they attended school and met new friends. Developed crushes. Had first kisses. Had weak subjects and strong subjects.
Think about how these people developed dreams. Think about how they’re working hard now to achieve those dreams.
Now, think about your life. Your past, your dreams, the things you did to get to where you are now, and the things you still want to do.
Think about how crazy your journey has been. Do you think others have it easier? Do you think others have it harder?
This is something so grand, yet it is also so simple. Your fear of being judged by others shouldn’t matter. So what if others judge you? You have your own journey to follow. What if they really don’t judge you and you’re just making assumptions? Other people have their own journeys to think about.
The important thing to note here is that each and every single one of us undergoes a different journey. Be perceptive to this. Be aware of how human you are and so are the people you meet.
Face your fears
Now that you’ve read everything here thus far, it’s time to test it all out. Go out there. One of the best ways to overcome your fears is to actually face them.
You know how some people overcome their deathly fear of heights by skydiving? You’ll need to do something similar. Go out there and socialize. Ask your friends to go with you if you want a support system. Go to a party and meet new people. Practice and apply everything you’ve read here so far.
If you’re not ready as of the moment, that’s fine. You can take your time. But, don’t wait too long. If you keep putting it off, you won’t want to bother anymore. Be prepared, but never flake out on this.
Seek out professional assistance
If the problem here is a little bit more serious, something more psychological and mental, then you will need more than just an article. You will need to ask for the assistance of a professional.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help from someone who’s trained to help with these kinds of problems. Seek help now before things get worse for you. You can combine the things you learn here and the things that you learn during your sessions. Use everything you can in your arsenal just so you can get better.
Improve your social skills
The better you are at socializing, the less you’ll have to worry about being judged by others. This particular social anxiety is something no socially adept person has. Simply because they’re just too good at socializing to be afraid of being judged. It’s something that doesn’t bother them anymore.
You will need to be this kind of person.
Improve your social skills from now on and this fear will disappear on its own. Make use of the wide array of articles we have here, from making small and telling stories to various social anxieties.
You won’t become a socially adept person overnight, but with dedication and time, you’ll get there.