Diane Gottlieb writes open-hearted stories about people in pain who choose to grow.

Let Them Judge You–Guest Post by Sherry Danner

If you’d like to learn more about Sherry, her book Nurturing the Light Inside, or her coaching services, please see our interview or go directly to her website.

As always, I’d love to hear from you, readers! Please post a comment or send me an email. What load does the word judgment carry for you?


See you next Monday!!





Ever judge someone?

Show of hands, please.

Oh, good. So it’s not just me then.

I’m most fond of judging people for, get this, being so judgmental.

That’s my favorite go-to when I’m in a judging frame of mind. I can go on and on about how wrong these people are for how they judge others.

Aren’t we funny creatures? We fear being judged, but we go around judging others all the time, even when—or maybe especially when—we think of ourselves as nonjudgmental.

There’s no escaping the judgment of others for our choices and opinions, so why do we fear being judged so much?

One option we have is to decide that it’s not that scary to be judged. We judge, too, after all. And when we’re judging others, guess what? It doesn’t feel great. All we’re really doing is creating negative emotion within ourselves. If we choose to dig around for compassion and curiosity instead, we get to feel better fast.

If you think about it, it’s the judger who experiences the negative emotion. So why not let them?

You can choose to judge them for judging you, or you can remember that judging is no fun for the judger and remove yourself from that game. You can even have compassion for the judgers if you want. Or not. Either way, you have the absolute right to feel awesome about yourself even while they’re judging you.  

If the fear of being judged keeps you from expressing yourself or setting healthy boundaries, here’s the good (and bad) news: you’re already being judged so you may as well go for it.

She’s leaving her relationship?
She doesn’t know how to stick things out.

She’s staying in her relationship?
She’s such a doormat. 

We can’t win this game.

Since we can’t escape the judgment of others, why not express your opinions, set your boundaries, and let them judge you? 

Maybe judgement feels more serious to you. Maybe you believe that you’ll be ostracized, abandoned, rejected, and left all alone in the world if you express your true self or set clear boundaries.

It’s true that we risk disrupting the equilibrium in our relationships when we tell the truth. This is why it requires courage, faith, and support to leave behind an old pattern to reach for something more authentic.

But you may realize that it’s your own judgment of yourself that’s actually in the way. That’s an awesome discovery to make because when you’re ready, you can switch to compassion and curiosity for yourself. That switch becomes much easier after you’ve practiced it in your judgment of others.

I’ll keep practicing, too.



  1. Sarita K Sid on December 7, 2020 at 3:22 am

    This IS an enlightening post on judgement, but I’m not surprised; I’m reading Sherry’s book & the pages are full of wisdom.
    Dana’s comment made me laugh: “if you have nothing nice to say…come sit by me!” Ha ha. Laughter & self-love. Is there anything else we need? Okay, maybe some cake too.
    Thank you, Diane!

    • Diane Gottlieb on December 7, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks, Sarita! Laughter, self-love, cake, and chocolate!!

      • Sarita K Sid on December 7, 2020 at 9:58 pm

        I did think of chocolate too. But it sounded like too much sugar. What the heck, yes to that too!

        • Diane Gottlieb on December 8, 2020 at 3:27 pm

          Too much sugar?!? Is there such a thing?

    • Sherry Danner on December 9, 2020 at 2:35 am

      Sarita, thanks so much!! So glad you are enjoying the book 🙂

  2. Nicky Mendenhall on December 2, 2020 at 2:49 am

    This is quite well written and says a lot! The idea of not judging ourselves leading to not judging others is right on I think. Finding compassion is the key, isn’t it?

    I need all the reminders I can get about the harmful aspects of judging so thanks!

    • Diane Gottlieb on December 2, 2020 at 2:53 am

      Finding compassion is the key, Nicky! I think we all need reminders about the harm in judging! So grateful to Sherry for this post!

    • Sherry Danner on December 9, 2020 at 2:36 am

      Thanks, Nicky! I need all the reminders I can get, too!

  3. Denise Polis on December 1, 2020 at 12:10 am

    This is a great post. We are judged no matter what we do!
    I recall reading that no matter what you do in life, 50% of people will like you and 50% won’t.
    25% will like you for who you are; 25% will like you no matter what;
    25% will dislike you for who you are; 25% will dislike you no matter what.
    So just be yourself, trust yourself, and do what you believe is right for you.

    • Diane Gottlieb on December 2, 2020 at 2:52 am

      Amen, Denise! Thanks for the stats!! And definitely, “just be yourself, trust yourself, and do what you believe is right for you.”

    • Sherry Danner on December 9, 2020 at 2:39 am

      I love this, Denise! Those stats really drive home the point. So good. Thank you!

  4. Mia Anderson on November 30, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    A Course in Miracles teaches that the only right/holy judgment/discernment is whether a person’s (including one’s own) thoughts, words, and/or actions are an expression/extension of love or and expression/extension of fear that is based on ones’ woundedness, in which case, the only right/holy response is caring, compassion, extending love (EVEN WHEN the offending person must be stopped from hurting oneself or others).

    • Diane Gottlieb on November 30, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks, Mia, for reminding me of A Course in Miracles. I read Marinanne Williamson’s A Return to Love many years ago and so appreciated the way she reflected on the lessons she learned from “The Course.”

      Judgements do stem from fear, and love and compassion are what can conquer them both.

      • Mia Anderson on November 30, 2020 at 6:56 pm

        Williamson’s A Return to Love, along with Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God: One, were what started me on my spiritual journey — now about 20 years ago. (‘Can’t get the italics to work.) For the past 6 years, I’ve been in a study group that reads and discusses A Course in Miracles. Both highly rewarding!

        • Diane Gottlieb on November 30, 2020 at 8:14 pm

          Sounds like an amazing group, Mia! What fulfilling connections you must have made!

    • Sherry Danner on December 9, 2020 at 1:12 pm

      Mia, thanks for reminding us of the wisdom of Marianne Williamson. How wonderful that you are in a group that studies her teachings!

  5. Dana on November 30, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    Great post Di! Judgment is a drug. We do it thinking it will make us feel better, smarter, cooler, wiser, etc. if it does, those feelings or beliefs are fleeting. Judging others actually makes us feel small and without compassion. We regret it almost as quickly as the judgements leave our lips. It’s like smoking. Lighting up feels great, but after that first deep inhale, your lungs hurt and you cough trying to rid yourself of the vile. Judgment leads to regret – especially when you are sharing your unenlightened opinions with others. “What does she say about me when I’m not around??” Right? As the old adage goes, if you have nothing nice to say…come sit by me! No, seriously, better to keep your opinions to yourself…share your compassion instead.

    • Diane Gottlieb on November 30, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      I totally agree, Dana!! That’s why as soon as I read the post on Sherry’s website, I sent her an email to ask to repost on WomanPause!
      Judgment is toxic–and unavoidable!! I love Sherry’s sense of humor about it–and her compassion!
      Thanks so much for you comment, and great to hear from you!

    • Sherry Danner on December 8, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      “Judgment leads to regret – especially when you are sharing your unenlightened opinions with others.”
      Dana, this is so true – and it made me laugh! You’d think we’d learn. Thanks for your insightful and witty additions to this conversation. We are all still learning!

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