The fear of judgement could arise from something as trivial as whether it is okay to wear white before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. But, be honest - even though that rule supposedly no longer applies, are you like me and still won't break it for fear someone will question it? Uh-huh, I knew I wasn't alone.
Ever felt like you needed to hide the fact that you were eating something totally unhealthy like a quick snack of Twinkies and a Diet Coke? Was it really guilt or more likely you didn't need to be judged?
Judgement is everywhere regarding matters big and small. While we can laugh off the small stuff, we really get our hackles up if people even attempt to question how we handle the more important parts of our lives like relationships, money, childrearing, careers, etc. Though we say "I won't judge you, so don't judge me" - it never works out as simply as that. We all love it when we're judged favorably and have all felt the sting and outrage when someone questions our actions. In reality, there's no escaping being judged but there is one very simple way to mitigate it.
Limit the amount of personal information shared. This is particularly important with regard to online interactions on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. It always surprises me when people post a ton of personal information and then get upset when someone offers unwelcome advice. They are being unrealistic when they defend themselves with tirades about how their posts are private and nobody else's business. Some even go so far as to claim that it is the reader's responsibility to stop reading if they don't like what was written. Is that the same as "I should stop listening if I don't like what I'm hearing?"
We all have to take ownership for what we write online. If we don't post it, nobody can read it. If we don't share it, nobody can judge it.
I have a "friend" who posts constantly about the troubles and hardships of her life. I don't know if she's looking for pity or praise for how well she seems to cope despite her hardships but I'm sure she'll welcome either one. The rare times someone offers up a suggestion about how she could change things, she gets defensive and tells people to quit judging her. Is this the point where we're all supposed to stop reading?
I wonder what these drama queens think when people don't comment on their posts, which is usually the case. I'm afraid they probably think everyone cares and supports them in their ordeals, when in reality it's more likely the readers are dismayed at being privvy to more information than they care to know. The result will be judgement, even if it's only of the "Why do you tell us so much?" kind.
The best advice is to read and re-read everything you write with an eye on how other people could interpret it. If people could misinterpret your intent or something could reflect poorly on you, resist the urge to post about it at all. And when it comes to really personal things, keep it private by keeping it offline. (Read the previously-posted article on this topic: Keep it Off the Wall.)
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