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Updated: Jun 19, 2021

The game of judgment has truly gone out of proportion. We have gotten used to judging and being judged that it has become the usual cut-and-dry. Most often than not, judgment arises in negative connotation with ugly intent.

With the advent of social media, due to the extensive availability of space, we have the freedom of judging. Cyberspace is filled with heartless judgmental comments aplenty. People keep fighting over their religious beliefs or even movie choices, incessantly criticizing and slandering each other’s values and preferences.

Why do people judge others?

  • We judge predominantly based on the value system we grew up with. When someone goes to do something beyond those rules, we jump upon to judge them.

  • Judgement can happen because we are jealous of someone.

  • It can happen because we have already heard something judgmental about someone and hence we judge them with a preconceived notion.

  • Maybe a person is too outgoing, dressed out of the context and it seems too much for us to handle and it can make us uncomfortable as we are unable to identify ourselves with them.

  • We happen to judge others when having low self-esteem. When we see that people can do something that is far from our scope we cannot help, but judge.

  • When we have grown up in a rather strict environment, surrounded by critiques, we subconsciously pick that habit.

What happens when we start fearing judgement?

Follow societal norms: We make decisions and take actions based on the societal norms anointed upon us when we are unable to handle the judgement from others. We abjure ourselves from dressing up the way we like, we forbear from getting out of a dysfunctional marriage or an abusive relationship, we coerce ourselves into marriage or child-rearing just to follow the age-appropriate rules that society has set.

Fear of missing out: Even if we had the audacity to follow our hearts, we constantly live in fear of missing out, as we don’t fit into the “normal” clan.

Anxiety: Fear of judgment causes anxiety in a social setting. If we have been body-shamed before, the anxiety amplifies further. We may avoid meeting people or attending social gatherings.

Low self-esteem: Our self-esteem stoops down too low as we accept others’ judgment to be true and start living in that perceived reality. Low self-esteem further increases our fear of being judged and we tend to attract situations like that and it becomes a whole new cycle.

Mental Health concerns: When we are encompassed with fear of judgment, we tend to cordon ourselves from others. This could lead to mental health concerns like anxiety, depression, social anxiety etc.

Common causes of fear of judgment and what we can do about it?