Judging yourself unfairly means that you are overly aware of the things you do or don’t do. It’s easy to get stuck in a cycle of over-examining the things you’ve said or done. How do you know that someone is judging themselves unfairly? Here are 10 behaviors that reveal someone is too critical.
These ten behaviors reveal a person who judges himself too harshly
Do you engage in these negative behaviors? Or do you know someone who does? These are the signs that you should show yourself some grace.
1 – Compare yourself with others
Comparing yourself to others is a slippery slope. If you compare yourself to others, you end up measuring yourself against someone else. These comparisons make you feel better than others or worse than others. Neither evaluation is helpful or accurate. When you fall into a comparison trap, you compare yourself to others in these ways:
This is self-destructive behavior and it cannot get you where you need to go in life. You can admire people and learn from them, but avoid comparisons. Find positive ways to become the person you want to be without comparing yourself to those around you.
2 – Performance oriented
Being performance-oriented is sometimes called trying to earn admiration. Being oriented to permanence makes us evaluate ourselves based on the respect we receive from other people. We wonder if we are performing well enough in life that people will like us. It’s judging yourself by what others think of you.
Well, well known philanthropist and businessman Warren Buffett was quoted in Alice Schroeder’s book, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (October 27, 2009) saying:
“The big question about how people behave is whether they have an internal scorecard or an external scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an internal scorecard. “
The internal scorecard you are talking about refers to what you value as necessary, and those around you appreciate the external scorecard. It suggests that you will find peace in life when you discover your inner scorecard rather than living by the outer scorecard of others. Having this approach helps you resist the urge to act to gain the admiration of others.
3 – Fear of what others think of you
Fear is never a good motivator. When you worry about what others think of you, you judge yourself unfairly. You may be tempted to do this, especially if you feel depressed. Generally, you are your most prominent critic and you may be tempted to fear the opinions of those you admire the most because you care about them. Here are some questions to ask yourself when you fear what others think of you.
- Who am I most concerned with impressing? Why?
- Do I feel like they won’t be my friends if I’m not ________?
- How can I admire them without being afraid of their opinions about me?
Remember that being afraid of what others think of you will not help you as a friend, partner, or employee. Find peace knowing that they like you for who you are, not because you are trying to impress them.
4 – Perfectionistic behaviors
Perfectionism is the need to appear perfect in your appearance, what you say or do. Nobody does everything completely. Your desire to be perfect is exhausting and it means that you are not happy with who you are. You judge yourself as not good enough. Being a perfectionist is considered a positive trait if it motivates you to work hard to achieve it. But if it demotivates and discourages you, then you are critical and harsh on yourself.
5 – Too critical
Being too critical of others generally means that you are too critical of yourself. Criticism is like a mirror that you hold before others only to see yourself in the reflection. How can you tell if you are overly critical of others and yourself? Here are some questions to ask yourself.
- Can you accept the fact that you are not as smart, pretty, or successful as everyone else?
- Can you accept others even if they have negative aspects to their personality?
- Do I evaluate others for their performance?
- Do you judge people by their appearance?
- Are you disappointed when you see flaws in other people? Yourself?
Answering these questions can help you assess whether you are critical of others and yourself. Scrutinizing yourself or others too much is never productive or helpful. Here are a couple of ways to stop being overly critical.
- Be grateful: Instead of looking at yourself critically, look for your good qualities and be grateful for them.
- Ask yourself if it is worth being critical right now: When you are tempted to be necessary, try taking a step back and ask yourself if it is a useful way to approach this situation. Will it solve something or make it worse?
- Find out why you are so critical: When you feel the need to criticize, ask yourself why; understanding why can often help you stop the cycle of critical thinking.
Like Eeyore, the old stuffed donkey in AA Milne books about Christopher Robin, it may feel like everything is grim. You lean towards pessimism and that clouds your vision of yourself and your life. Seeing the negatives frequently causes you to miss out on the good things that happen in your life. You may feel desperate for your future because negativity clouds your judgment. Negative people are prone to worry and anxiety. You may lack focus and the ability to concentrate.
Try these things if you fall into negative judgments about yourself and your life:
- Stop listening to yourself: don’t believe everything you say to yourself. It’s easy to believe your own lies.
- Feelings are reliable – you may feel a certain way today, but your feelings will likely change in a day or two. Feelings are never a reliable judgment of who you really are, so don’t depend on them.
- Think of others: If you are sitting thinking about yourself all the time, you will end up being very self-centered. It can make your world very small and narrow. Looking outside helps you stop focusing. Find places to volunteer or help out, like homeless shelters, a soup kitchen, or an elementary school. Studies show that giving to others reduces stress and helps people live longer. When you reach out to care for someone else, it makes you feel happier.
7 – Missed opportunities
The time you spend judging yourself is the time you lose opportunities. It is an activity that takes a long time to think about yourself all the time. It is better not to worry so much about yourself and what others think. Get to work in life and forget about personal judgments.
8 – Limit yourself
Judging yourself unfairly creates limitations. You will not allow yourself to try things because you assume that you will fail. It is a counterproductive approach to life. When you focus on your limitations or discomfort in a situation, it prevents you from doing all the things that you must do in life.
9 – Good evaluation, went wrong
It is okay to judge yourself correctly, it can make you a better person to evaluate yourself, but if you are too hard on yourself, it is not a useful evaluation. Self-assessment can make you a better person because you see your flaws and find ways to change. Healthy self-assessment can help.
- Create goals
- Try new things
- Get rid of bad habits.
- Find ways to improve yourself.
So how do you know if you are judging yourself in a healthy way? Ask yourself these questions.
- Does my self-assessment make me feel hopeful or want to give up?
- Does evaluating my actions motivate me to change or make me feel defeated?
- Am I encouraged to change or worried and stressed?
- Can I see my flaws without feeling discouraged?
The effect your self-assessment has on you is the test of whether you are healthy or not.
10 – I can’t let go of your mistakes
Everyone criticizes themselves from time to time, but if you can’t put your mistakes aside and find yourself rehearsing what you said or did, then you are probably over-judging yourself. It’s humbling when you realize you have flaws, but being too hard on yourself won’t help.
How can you stop judging yourself unfairly?
Remember that you are not perfect, and that is fine: punishing yourself for mistakes or imperfections is not healthy or productive. Accept your mistakes and shortcomings. Change what you can and let go of what you cannot change.
Forgive yourself and others: When you forgive others, it will be easier for you to forgive yourself. Like you, people make mistakes. When someone at work is stubborn, remind yourself that you have been, too. It doesn’t mean that you accept abusive behavior to yourself or that you trust the person with your life, but you can let it go.
Find gratitude – Being grateful for who you are, your life, and what you are doing is always helpful. It is a positive way to prevent the judge inside your head from telling you everything that is wrong with you.
Being overly aware of what you do or don’t do never helps. It makes you focus too much on yourself, so you become too critical. This is a good indicator that you are unfairly judging yourself. It would help if you found ways to stop punishing yourself. Hopefully, these 10 behaviors can help you break the cycle of negative self-judgment.