By Katie & Gay Hendricks
Do you notice that you often secretly judge others?
For example, your sister tells you about a new car she bought and you think, She can’t possibly afford that car on her salary. She’s so irresponsible about money.
Or your partner leaves his dirty dishes in the sink before heading out to meet his friends and you think, He’s so lazy and sloppy. It drives me bananas.
Throughout the day, every day, you find yourself silently criticizing others.
My co-worker at work has gotten scatter-brained… my neighbor is too nosy… my friend is too self-absorbed with posting selfies on social media…
What does this all mean?
Are you surrounded by people who don’t have their act together?
Is society just falling apart?
Or is this a clue about something way deeper and way more fundamental about YOU?
When we judge others or feel our “buttons being pushed” by the things they say and do, we may actually be projecting our feelings onto others.
We are accusing others of the very things we disown or reject about ourselves.
Here’s how it works…
Let’s say you have a fear of rejection that stems from something far back in childhood.
More than likely, you’re unaware of this fear. You haven’t yet acknowledged it. Or you know about it, but reject that it’s an issue.
Your subconscious mind is aware of it, though. And that part of your mind will always seek opportunities to work out this old issue. It will lead you into situations where you can bring that fear into your awareness.
In other words, you will enter into relationships with people who will “trigger” that fear or unacknowledged emotion inside you.
You will attract a relationship where your partner will withdraw, act cold, make plans with his or her friends instead of with you, have a hobby they love that doesn’t (or can’t) involve you, etc.
Instead of causing you to face and accept your fear, their behavior will cause you to be secretly judgmental or critical.
You don’t think, Hmm, I’m feeling afraid that he’s going to abandon me and I’ll be alone again.
Instead you think, He never spends time with me, he’s off having fun instead of fixing these things around the house, he’s wasting money playing golf all day when he should be saving money and spending the day with me.
Another example – let’s say that you consider yourself a neat, tidy and financially conservative person. You keep your home and car clean and you never spend more than you make.
But deep down, you’re really someone who wishes they could forgo responsibility for a while, kick up their feet and be self-indulgent for a change.
However, you don’t want to admit that to yourself. It’s just not something you accept about yourself, for whatever reason. Maybe in childhood you were rejected for being that way.
Your creative mind will actually draw you into situations where you are around people who seem sloppy, irresponsible and flaky.
And instead of admitting that you’re a little bit like them, you will find yourself secretly complaining about them.
When you don’t, or can’t, acknowledge your feelings or accept something about yourself, it’s a sign that deep down, you don’t love yourself.
And if you don’t love yourself, you’ll never feel completely at peace with yourself and the world around you.
You’ll always find something to complain about, and the people in your life will always seem to be less than perfect, because YOU think you’re less than perfect.
Unless you can learn to love yourself, and accept yourself and your feelings, you’ll never be able to be fully loved by anyone else, either.
There was a time in my life many years ago when I so badly wanted love and acceptance, but all I did was criticize my (ex) wife and accuse her of being nit-picky and too sensitive.
I had several other unhappy relationships in my 20s and 30s before I met Katie. I thought women were too critical and too obsessed with talking about feelings. I didn’t fully believe them when they said they loved me or wanted me to be happy.
The truth was, I was out of touch with my own feelings. I wasn’t “sensitive” enough to what my mind and heart wanted and needed. Therefore, I projected those unacknowledged aspects of myself onto others.
I was secretly judgmental.
It wasn’t until I had a major breakthrough in my life where I finally learned how to love myself that all that changed.
I met and fell in love with Katie, lost 100 pounds and exploded my career.
I had discovered something transformational.
That’s why everything that Katie and I teach is rooted in the fundamental concept of loving yourself first.
And when you subscribe to receive our free relationship advice newsletter, you’ll understand exactly why so many relationship problems – even stubborn, long-standing ones – can finally be resolved when you learn to identify the underlying issues within yourself. You’ll learn:
Learning to love yourself in a relationship is seeing that you will create the very situations you need that allow you to experience the parts of yourself you cannot love.
When you do that, you stop seeing the “wrong” in others. You stop being triggered all the time and you become a less judgmental person.
When you love all of yourself, as if by magic, you will find yourself being completely loved by others.