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

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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
Replies (11-20):
by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 6:51 AM
I don't really judge people.just myself
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by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 7:18 AM

There are some people I can really see their point of view and it makes it easy to understand, but some people it is very hard to understand how they could do some things. Just need to learn to worry less.

by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 7:23 AM

I was really hard on my MIL and very judgemental, I was viewing her struggle with bipolar through my struggle and treatment.  I am glad I got a chance to apologise and things are great between us now.

by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 7:43 AM

I know that I've been taken the wrong way plenty of times, so I try to be very careful not to do that to others. ALWAYS give them the benefit of the doubt and ALWAYS assume they may be going through some sort of hard time that you're not aware of. :)

by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 7:52 AM

I try not to, but sometimes I'm spot on. 

by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 8:29 AM
I often compare myself to others. I expect Others to think poorly of me because I do. I'm overly critical of myself and always trying to please others. They aren't the ones who expect so much of me; I have high standards for myself.
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by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I have never been judgemental of anybody.  I've accepted anyone in my life for good, bad, and indifferent.  I have no problem stating my feelings and views and re-assessing them.  I'm working on and am taking a step back every day to understand where other people are coming from.  I've been over this a million times with my family.  Sadly, I have to say, I do not get the same.  Someone is always judging me and perceiving anything and everything I do with criticism.  As a result, I'm learning to walk away from my own family to avoid having another nervous breakdown.  But, I will say, I'm trying desperately not to and it's because of my friends and the wonderful activities and great advice from this site, this group in particular.  Thanks, again, to Naomi and the experts!

by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Oh yes I do for sure. I need to back off from doing that.

by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 9:20 AM

 I do judge quickly sometimes and I hate when I do cuz I feel that people misunderstand me also sometimes!  I had to learn (especially since being a member of CM) that there is always a reason, there is always a story. 

by on Feb. 28, 2012 at 9:29 AM

I do sometimes judge others, but I try not to.

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