Brain Health

Feeling Judged? 8 Ways to Let It Go

When you think the people around you are judging, dissing, or rejecting you, these 8 tips will help you deal with those negative feelings and fend off you inner critic.

Groups of people who are feeling judged by the others
Faceless people in colored circles

“You’ll worry less about what other people think of you if you stop and think how seldom they do.” That remark has been attributed to various sources from Mark Twain to David Foster Wallace, but I think its true source is the eighteenth-century sage and literary genius, Samuel Johnson. He wrote some 250 years ago, “If any man would consider how little he dwells upon the condition of others, he would learn how little the attention of others is attracted by himself.”

Such a sensible perspective often eludes us, especially those of us who have attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD). The condition really is a mixed bag, composed of advantageous elements, each of which has a disadvantageous flip-side. One advantageous element is uncanny intuition and sensitivity — the ability to know what other people are feeling and thinking before they do. The flip-side is that you may be wounded by what you perceive to be negative judgments of you by other people.

So what can you do, other than remind yourself that other people do not think about you much at all? What can you do when you feel perpetually put down, rejected, judged, found wanting, and dissed by people? Here are 8 lifelines to use in the face of perceived rejection:

[Free Download: Rein In Intense ADHD Emotions]

  1. Try not to give a s**t. If you need help doing this, there are books out there that can help.
  2. Don’t feed the demon, the default mode network (DMN), by paying attention to negativity. When you enter into that trance of perceived rejection, don’t feed it by paying attention to it. Focus on something else, like your breathing or making a sandwich.
  3. Listen to loud music, which can drown out demons. Soft music works also, but loud is more fun.
  4. Whistle or sing. It is almost impossible to sink into a funk of perceived rejection if you are whistling or singing a song.
  5. Talk to another person who knows this crazy, sensitive side of you. That person can help you snap out of it. Never worry alone.
  6. Get the facts. If you feel brave enough, ask the person you imagine is judging you if they actually are. Nine times out of 10, the answer will be no. If the answer is yes, you can talk it out constructively instead of brooding in silence.
  7. Snap out of it. Lighten up. This is what other people should say to you, but they are too polite to do so. So say it to yourself. It’s not all about you. Let it go. Life’s too short. You know the sayings, so use them on yourself. Give yourself a pep talk.
  8. Give your brain and body what they need: good sleep, lots of exercise, don’t overdo the alcohol, meditate, eat healthy food, and, perhaps most important, get daily doses of “the other vitamin C, vitamin Connect.” Make a point of interacting with human beings every day in a positive way. These things will make you calmer and more confident.

[Building Your Network of Friends]

Final Tip: Get a Dog!

This is my solution to most of life’s problems, because a dog will give you unconditional love. You will never feel judged or rejected by Fido. Get a dog, love your dog, let your dog love you, feed your dog, walk your dog, play with your dog. The next thing you know, you won’t be caring as much about what other people think of you. And remember, they rarely think of you!

5 Comments & Reviews

  1. Sometimes my husband will hear me say under my breath… I don’t care, it use to really bother him. Now he understands I’m trying to talk myself down. I always had my little sister who shared my inner demons we could just hear each other’s voice and know what to say. She passed away 10 months ago, for 10 months these inner demons voice, thoughts, obsessions have been out of control. We only had each other out of our abusive family, so far nothing has helped! I feel out of control, lost, alone, and no one knows me at all. We had a language only sisters who survived everything could have, irreplaceable! 😔❤️.

    1. I have an understanding of the depth of sisters and the connection we can share.
      Your loss seems profound and I encourage you to talk about your pain all you need to. I have found a therapist who is easy to talk with and my Catholic Priest is a life saver. I have lost my closest sister to Dementia and it is deep loss. I pray almost constantly for family and friends and for whomever comes to mind. God is my saving grace and I hope you come to know that you are deeply loved!

  2. I would expect the writers of Additude to know that people who are not neurotypical make easy targets especially for the kind of relational bullying girls prefer, and part of why people develop our insecurities is because of all the times we really have been singled out. To dismiss these feelings as being crazy sensitive without regard for our lived experience is neither helpful nor honest.

    One of my sadder memories from HS was finally feeling secure in a solid friendship by the end of a rough freshmen year only for the bullies I thought had finally tired of me decided to making things up about me again so I was once more eating lunch by myself. Obviously they were the problem, and not me, but it didn’t make lunch time any less lonely. We didn’t even share any classes and I never interacted with them so it always came out of left field.

    Similar things have happened in adulthood, and eventually it was my child with ADHD being singled out by mean mommies and one creepy dad with ulterior motives. The only reason I even made those connections were for my children so to have one targeted to hurt me bothered me much more than if they came at me directly.

  3. If resolving rejection sensitive dysphoria were as simple as willing it away, I would have done it years ago. It didn’t work for the first 48 years of my life but stimulant medication DOES WORK to resolve these problems for me.

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