Any longtime single knows what it’s like to be asked about their relationship status for the umpteenth time and for some, it can feel like an ongoing assessment of ones worth and desirability.
I’ve heard it over and over again from clients and friends alike - “I’m tired of feeling judged.”
THEY’RE JUDGING YOU
When we believe that someone’s judging us, we can hear an outwardly innocent comment or question as having a negative unspoken, underlying meaning.
Innocuous intent? Nope, not when we’re convinced of their critical eye.
“Are you seeing anyone?”
Translation: “Has anyone wanted you yet?”
“Are you still single?”
Translation: “Are you still unlovable?”
“Are you in a relationship?
Translation: “Are you normal yet?”
Ahh, yes, the ever faithful and devoted inner translator.
MEANING MAKIN’ MACHINE
Let’s assume that one’s internal interpreter is correct 100% of the time and that those people are in fact judging you; They really do think you being single means you’re unwanted, unlovable and strange, etc.
Okay, now this is going to sound completely backwards. But despite its paradoxical nature I implore you to test these questions out:
Where is there truth in their judgments? Could they be right?
I’ll go first, shall I?
Where am I unwanted?
Unwanted is defined as not or no longer desired…
Where am I unlovable?
Where am I strange?
...where to begin?!!
THE TRUTH IS
If we take ourselves to be the body-mind then we’re always gonna be a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Welcome to duality folks!
And what I’ve discovered in myself is that the pain is in the resistance, the defense that arises when I think I’m being judged.
To paraphrase Byron Katie, “For peace to be possible, it cannot be dependent on the actions of another.” Aka for sanity to be possible as a singleton it cannot be dependent on the questions or criticisms of Aunt Mary.
Whether we’re single or not, people will have judgments about us. And without the need for them (read: ourselves) to think we’re perfect, maybe that’s okay.
As the good ol’ Elbert Hubbard said, “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and benothing.”
Is your inner interpreter always right about what others are thinking about you?
“If you are not moved by the desire to be somebody, you are free.”