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Boost Your Self-Esteem Day 9: Don't Worry About Other People

Posted by on Feb. 27, 2012 at 10:24 PM
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Easier said than done, we know, but worrying about the behavior of others certainly doesn't improve our self-esteem.  Ellen Langer explains it like this:

From Ellen


You may see me as impulsive, while I was being spontaneous; I may see you as rigid, while you were just being dependable; I may see you as grim but you were being serious, and so on. Actions can have many meanings, and there is always a perspective from which a negative behavior makes sense and is not negative at all.

Recognizing this should make us less evaluative of others.  The hidden benefit of being less evaluative of others is that we become less judgmental of ourselves when we look back at our own past behaviors. If we become more mindful in this way, eventually we will not be searching for self esteem, we will learn how to just be ourselves.

Ellen Langer, Yale PhD, Harvard Professor of Psychology, is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Distinguished Scientist Awards, the World Congress Award, the NYU Alumni Achievement Award, and the Staats award for Unifying Psychology, and has authored eleven books and over 200 research articles on the illusion of control, perceived control, successful aging, decision-making, to name a few of the topics. Each of these is examined through the lens of her theory of mindfulness. Her research has demonstrated that by actively noticing new things-the essence of mindfulness-health, well being, and competence follow. Her best selling books includeMindfulness; The Power of Mindful Learning; On Becoming an Artist: Reinventing Yourself Through Mindful Creativity; and her most recent book, Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility.

Do you sometimes judge others too easily? Next time you find yourself being judgmental, try to be mindful of the other person's perspective and see if that has a more positive impact on the way you view yourself

by on Feb. 27, 2012 at 10:24 PM
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by on Feb. 27, 2012 at 10:34 PM
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Every time I notice myself being judgmental, I stop and look for 3 things good in the person (whether I know them or not). Changing my negative behavior to a positive one really reminds me how negative I am/can be.

by on Feb. 27, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Eh, I'm really good about not judging people negatively. Actually, most people amaze me by their impressiveness regularly. I am super-good at seeing the whole world from others' perspectives, which is super-fun when I am being interviewed by my pastors and manage to bring them out and get them to talking about things that I think might be bothering them. And I'm right on all counts so far! They are so sweet.

My black hole is actually myself. I know I am annoying- I've heard it many times in my life my varied people- but I don't know how. So either I withdraw from human society (have tried this, not all fun & games) or accept that I will just annoy everybody I come in contact with (ick! Not very kind- and then they run off and leave me alone, again and again) or watch people constantly to try to determine what I'm doing right and wrong and do more right and less wrong. 

None is ideal, but option 3 is all I've got, at least till I can get someone to admit what the worst bits are. In the meanwhile, I'm chock full of compassion towards others!

by on Feb. 27, 2012 at 11:11 PM
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I judge negatively sometimes. But I am working on not doing that at all.
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by on Feb. 27, 2012 at 11:20 PM
I am working on changing!
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by on Feb. 27, 2012 at 11:32 PM
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OMG i am always misunderstood. This really hits home. I sweat I can't talk to anyone with them understanding. I work on I statements and paraphrasing alot lol. When it comes to others thinking I judge, I don't, but I do like to know people make decisions based on facts and want to help others. This probably comes off wrong to them. How frustrating!
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by Leah on Feb. 27, 2012 at 11:57 PM
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I definitely try not to judge because I know that I've been judged wrongly before, and it really sucks that no one ever bothered to get my side of the story.

by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Yes, sadly I do
by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 3:07 AM
I think I have a pretty open mind when it comes to others. Although admittingly it can be hard to misjudge someones actual intents.
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by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 5:06 AM

i try not to be judgemental because i have been judged unfairly for a long time and i know how it feels. however, i am human and it doe shappen, but i try to catch myself and i ask myself is this how i really feel or am i just being judgemental.

by Group Admin on Feb. 28, 2012 at 6:12 AM

 i think im going to try this with my husband. sometimes i take things too seriously and i dont think about it before i say something. he is very good to me and maybe this will help me feel better about myself.

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