I’ve Been Judging You: And This Is Why

You deserve better. I haven’t always been kind to you.

I’ve assumed your worst intentions.
Doubted your intelligence.
And ridiculed your appearance.

I’ve been judging you: and this is why. 

Discovering the worst version of myself  

I’ve spent a lot of time as they say–venting. This always felt like a healthy habit, allowing myself to identify the problem, talk about it, and move on.

Interestingly, the problem–whether it was at work or at home–was never me. I dwelled, and spread all of that negativity to those around me who would listen.

A specific example haunts me. An entire year–365 days–went by with me relentlessly ridiculing another person. This individual, in my harsh, delusional mind, was unprepared, unqualified, and unpolished.

Worse, I openly let other people know that I felt this way, and as a true coward, I of course never said it to that person’s face.

Even worse, this person is a she. And instead of empowering her, I delegitimized her.

Not once did I stop to reflect why I was acting boorish.
I was far too busy being right, being smarter, and being better.

In reality, I was becoming, undeniably, the absolute worst version of myself.

Asking a difficult question

It’s okay to not jive with another person. Please, disagree all you want. However, my disrespectful behavior was and is simply not acceptable.

So, why was I doing it?

Focusing on you distracts from me, deflecting my own insecurities. It allows me to silence an ugly inner voice that compares me to others. A voice that tells me I’m not:

  • Smart enough.
  • Successful enough.
  • Pretty enough.
  • [Insert your favorite] enough.

This version of me was handing negativity out like Halloween candy. It was sinking me, and forced a new revelation–it’s not them, it’s me.

Searching for a solution

Lucky for me, as the problem, I have control over the resolution, and with a little help, I’ve identified three rules:

1.) Stop complaining.
2.) Stop comparing.
3.) Start living.

The first two are self explanatory–but what does start living mean? Simply, identify, and do the things that fill your heart with love and your soul with joy.

For me, that’s snuggling our daughter, laughing with my partner, and walking our pup.
It’s reading novels, listening to politics, and filling pages with prose.
It’s running races, sipping coffee, and the first bite of a warm chocolate chip cookie.

It’s not being a victim, but instead taking ownership of my life, and my actions.
It’s about hearing you, appreciating you, and praising you.

It’s assuming good intentions, spreading kindness, and always being a decent human.

Will there be days of reversion?
Will I hear that nasty voice of judgment and doubt?
Yes. Undeniably.

But–from now on–I will kindly tell it to shut up.


Katie is a spouse, mother, and professional communicator. She became acquainted with Iowa City as a student at the University of Iowa, earning degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and most recently her MA in Strategic Communication. Katie and her husband met and fell in love in Iowa City, deciding to never leave. Their family can often be found eating their way through downtown, walking their dog in City Park, or cheering on their beloved Hawkeyes at live sporting events.


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