Target audience

I’ve had multiple conversations lately about a very difficult subject.  So many of us feel like we are being judged as worthless/useless/ugly/invisible/etc.  Every day, we walk down the street and feel like everyone around us is judging our clothes, our speech, our selves.  And that’s a really harsh view of the world.  Of course, it is periodically reinforced by some asshole who comments on X,Y, or Z.

So how do you handle it?

What do you do/say/think when the person waiting on you at JCPenny/Old Navy/Macy’s rolls their eyes when you try on clothes?  When they huff their breath when you ask if it’s available in a different size?  When someone almost runs you over on the sidewalk?  When your child is screaming in the grocery store and everyone is staring at you?  How do you make it not matter anymore?  Thinking everyone is judging me always made me feel as though I were lacking in some way.  It’s a pretty vicious circle of thoughts.

It’s taken me a long time to figure this out.  And I still fall back into that pattern of thought.  But now I have something to tell myself when I start thinking that way.

“Is this my target audience?”

Is the person in front of me someone I trust?  Is the person in front of me essential to my life in some way?  (Like a boss.)  If not, the answer is no.

Why does this matter?

When I start to feel judged (either internally or externally), I ask myself this question.  It doesn’t fix the issue.  I am not sure that my self-esteem and past experiences will ever allow me not to feel judged, even if I am the one doing the judging/comparing.

Thinking about who my audience is makes a difference to my thoughts.  If the person is someone I trust, then I will listen to them…to a point.  If the same person is saying the same negative things while other people I love don’t, I’m going to start wondering about that person.  If several people I trust tell me I’m doing something irritating (talking loud, twitching, etc.) or dressing in a less than flattering way, then I will listen.  I may not change anything, but I will listen.  If I am walking around in work clothes (upper end of business casual) and feel there are people around me judging me based on these clothes (stuck-up, show off, etc.), then I think about my target audience for these clothes.  Unless I am at work, the people around me are not my target audience.  Personally, my clothes and posture are a big trigger for me.

For others, it might be your children.  I have seen more parents than I can remember turning red in the face and throwing out apologies when their child is misbehaving.  I won’t lie.  I’ve been one of those judgmental people thinking the worst of someone’s parenting skills.  Until my best friend and his wife had their baby girl (about to be 4).  She’s a great kid, as is her younger brother, but they are still kids.  They misbehave, generally at the most inopportune time.  Knowing there are parents who have kids with higher energy levels and more stubbornness makes me feel so much worse about my judgemental thoughts.

If you are out with your children/parent/special needs family member and you start to feel judged by those around you, think about your target audience.  Your partner/spouse, any other siblings or family members, and possibly nurses involved in his or her care.  If those people have not told you there’s a problem, no one’s getting hurt, and you know you are doing your best…then you have your target audience covered and the peanut gallery can be ignored.

So remember.  No matter where you are or what you are doing there are 2 questions to ask when you feel judged:

1.  Is anyone being hurt?  (ALWAYS the first question.)

2.  Are these people my target audience?

If the answer to both questions is no, then do your best to ignore the judgmental looks/feelings.


~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on February 5, 2015.

One Response to “Target audience”

  1. Very good insight into when we should and shouldn’t worry about what others are thinking. Thank you, dear!

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