How do you ignore being judged?

Being judged by others can be difficult. It’s normal to want approval and acceptance. However, focusing too much on what others think can lead to unnecessary anxiety and stress. Learning how to ignore or move past unfair judgments is an important life skill.

Why do people judge others?

There are many reasons why people judge or criticize others:

  • To make themselves feel better about their own insecurities or flaws
  • They have different values or perspectives
  • They are projecting their own unresolved issues onto others
  • To bond with people who share similar judgments
  • They don’t have enough information or context about the person or situation

Often, judgments say more about the critic than the person being judged. Try not to take judgments from others personally. Their opinions are usually based on limited knowledge and life experiences.

How to stop caring what people think

Ignoring unfair judgments takes practice. Here are some tips:

Examine your motivations

Think about why you care so much about what other people think. Do you crave validation? Are you unsure about yourself? Figuring out the emotional need behind your self-consciousness can help you work on your sense of self-worth.

Remember that no one can define your worth

Your value and identity are not determined by external judgments, but by how you see yourself. You define who you are – not anyone else. Other people’s opinions don’t change your intrinsic worth.

Be confident in your own values

Knowing your core values and beliefs helps you be less rattled when others judge you unfairly. You can dismiss judgments that seem misaligned with who you really are.

Surround yourself with supportive people

Spend more time with people who appreciate and care about you. Positivity is contagious. Minimize time with toxic, judgmental people who erode your self-esteem.

Limit social media use

Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram are breeding grounds for superficial judgments. Take breaks from social media to focus on meaningful real-world connections.

Know that what others think of you is not your problem

You have no control over how others perceive you. Some people will judge you no matter what you do. Learn to detach yourself from unfair criticism.

Stop comparing yourself to others

Unhealthy social comparison fuels feelings of inferiority and envy. Appreciate your own uniqueness. Comparison is the thief of joy.

Be selectively vulnerable

Open up to trusted friends who are likely to respond with compassion. Avoid oversharing with judgmental people who use your disclosures against you.

Don’t take things personally

Other people’s judgments often have more to do with their current emotional state than with you. Try not to ruminate on random criticism.

How to handle judgment from others

You can’t control whether people judge you, but you can control how you respond:

Ask for clarification

If someone seems judgmental, politely ask questions to better understand where they are coming from. There may be a simple miscommunication or misunderstanding.

Stand up for yourself

Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself when faced with unfair criticism. You can acknowledge the judgment without accepting it. Correct misconceptions if needed.

Use self-affirming statements

Combat judgments from others by reminding yourself of your positive qualities and accomplishments. Self-affirmations build confidence and resilience.

Avoid defending or justifying

You don’t owe anyone an explanation. The more you try to justify yourself, the more power you give the criticism. You can simply ignore or shrug off petty judgments.

Set boundaries

Limit contact with toxic people who continually judge you harshly and refuse to change. You have every right to protect yourself from negativity.

Use humor

Laughing things off can be disarming and helps prevent taking criticism too personally. Just don’t use humor to bury hurt feelings.

Express your feelings

Tell judgmental people how their criticism makes you feel without attacking them back. Speaking up assertively may inspire more empathy.

Forgive others and yourself

Harboring resentment over judgment only breeds more negativity. Practice forgiveness even if you feel wronged. Also forgive yourself for any perceived shortcomings.

Strategies to build self-confidence

Boosting your overall self-esteem helps you care less about outside opinions. Here are ways to cultivate confidence:

Identify your strengths

Make a list of positive qualities, talents, and skills that make you proud. Refer back to this list when you feel insecure.

Step outside your comfort zone

The more you achieve, the less you worry about external validation. Set goals to challenge yourself regularly.

Exercise and eat well

Taking care of your physical health enhances self-esteem. Feel good in your own body regardless of appearance ideals.

Help and connect with others

Contributing to other people or causes provides meaning and perspective beyond yourself.

Find purpose and passion

When you’re engaged in life pursuits that excite you, judgments won’t throw you off course. Do what inspires you.

Don’t compare chapters

Stay focused on your own growth and goals. Everyone is on their own path at their own pace.

Fix negative self-talk

Notice and reframe the criticisms you levy at yourself. Treat yourself with the kindness you would give a friend.

Make self-care a priority

Reduce stress through relaxation practices, enough sleep, therapy, or whatever nurtures your spirit.

Remember people’s judgments about you do not define you.

You are not defined by other people’s perceptions. You know yourself better than anyone else. Trust your own sense of self-worth.

Tips for dealing with specific judgmental people

Certain individuals may be more prone to unfairly judging you. Adjust your strategies based on the situation:


  • Acknowledge hurtful comments without escalating conflict.
  • Accept that some disapproval comes from a place of care, not criticism.
  • Clarify your values to determine which feedback is valid.
  • Set boundaries around unsolicited advice.

Romantic partners

  • Have an open discussion about both of your communication styles.
  • Don’t tolerate partners who deliberately undermine your self-esteem.
  • Take space from the relationship if needed.
  • Seek counseling to facilitate healthy communication.


  • Stay professional and don’t get drawn into petty drama.
  • Focus on the work itself rather than personalities.
  • Address issues privately with individuals when possible.
  • Limit contact with consistently negative coworkers.

Online trolls

  • Avoid reading harassing comments and direct messages.
  • Use privacy controls to manage who can see your content.
  • Report abuse to platform moderators.
  • Disengage and block antagonistic accounts.

When to seek additional help

Handling unfair judgments gets easier with practice over time. But seek professional support if criticism or people-pleasing:

  • Is causing overwhelming stress and anxiety
  • Negatively impacts your relationships
  • Triggers depression or emotional trauma
  • Fuels severe self-esteem issues
  • Causes you to act in harmful or self-sabotaging ways

Speaking with a mental health provider, counselor, or therapist can help you build resilience, set healthy boundaries, and break free of perception bias. You deserve to live freely without being weighed down by harsh judgments.


Learning to rise above unfair judgment is a valuable skill for emotional well-being. Stay grounded in your own self-knowledge. Be selective about whose opinions matter. Treat yourself and others with compassion. And realize your intrinsic worth remains unchanged – with or without outside validation.

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