Hi. My name is Marcy.I am a judger. I have judged other people (and myself) and their (and my) actions. It all started when I was born. It was a survival technique to get my needs met.
I have tried to let go of judgement. It would seem like a distant memory, until someone did something I did not agree with (idea, actions, thoughts, words, clothes, lifestyle, haircut, car, fur-the list is endless). Then I was judging myself and everyone around me like I had never stopped.
My mom is a very religious woman in the traditional sense. However, she is probably the least judgmental person I know (which I have found more often than not, is not a typical traditional religious viewpoint). She accepts everyone as they are—really. If they do not follow the Bible, she may pray for them, but does not feel like she has to convert them or drag them to church.
Add that to a statement that my dad made when I was pretty young, "If we could all live one day without judgement, it would change the world," and I started to see my judgmental side. I wanted to not judge anyone. I wanted to live in a world where it did not exist.
I tried to eradicate it from my life. However, you have to be aware of the roots before you can uproot or weed a behavior out. I saw no roots. I just wanted purity, and no judgment.
I would work on letting go of simple judgements, or surface judgements: her hair is awful, my butt is huge, etc. I was also working on letting go of judging other's behaviors. Good or bad, they were doing the best they could at any given moment, until they did it to me.
So, as I continued this oh-so-noble (in my own mind) quest of letting go of judgment, I became a co-active coach.
I went to a CTI (Coaches Training Institute) Summit back in 2011, while I was working on my certification to as a co-active coach. I was already a co-active coach, just working on the certified part. I want to share with you something I learned at that Summit that is still benefitting me today.
One thing I learned was about shadow sides and survival roles. Shadow sides are one of those new age things that get thrown around and spit at us from all angles, but are truly a great teacher.
When we begin our lives, we chose a role to survive as an infant. We chose to become a complier (person who complies, not compiles..that is covered on the hoarding shows), controller or an observer. We take on these roles to get our needs met.
Here we are, as a helpless infant, yet our brains are working, especially our survival instincts. We are very human and need to make sure we survive. To get what we need, we pick to either get it through compliance, control or observation.
If we chose compliance, we are a pleaser. We want the adults in our lives to give us what we need by giving them cooing, smiles, laughter, whatever they seem to want. We make them happy and they give us what we need. In an adult, this is the person who wants to make sure everyone is happy at all times. Let's get this done with smiles and smooth over any disruption.
At it's best, a complier makes a great public servant. At it's worst, it can ruin whole families by having one person who tries to make everyone in the outside world happy. It can run your life by needing everyone’s approval. Creates distance in relationships due to always needing outside approval. No time to focus on one-on-one.
If we chose control, we can also please, but as soon as that does not work, we scream, or do whatever we can to get the adults to do whatever it is we need. Let’s get it done.
At it's best, a controller cuts through muck and pushes through to get things under control and structured. At it's worst, it is dogmatic and forceful and even cruel because when a controller is not in control, they will make sure you are not either. Creates distance in relationships by needing to control all things at all times. How can you get close to someone if they are not doing what you want them to do? Even if they do what you want, you are thinking about what you want them to do next. They are change agents, but sometimes they miss that things are just fine as they are.
The observer watches these two parties and judges from a distance. From a pedestal of their own making, they look down on the others and watch the show. Can use both techniques, but will evaluate first, then decide which is working best, or just wait for the other stuff to play out and get what they need. They will not dirty themselves with the drama.
At it's best, the observer is a great by-stander for disputes and can see both sides of any given situation. Also can create a middle space for the other two sides to come together. At it's worst, they just judge and watch, then jump in when they wish to control or when they wish to comply. And because they have been watching and judging, they can come up with very stinging reasons why it should go the way they have decided it should.
Understanding your initial chosen role does not stop you from using any or all of the roles. More than likely, you have used any or all of these numerous times in your life. However, one was more predominant in your childhood and it shaped part of your subconscious and how you are operating behind your own curtain. This is what we are looking to uncover. Your unknown motivators that control you, instead of you controlling yourself. Oh yes, even controllers are controlled by past ideas and thoughts they have carried forward which may not even work for them any longer.
If you are very astute, you have probably guessed that I was an observer. If you notice above, (and the title MAY give it away) I am more judgmental of this type because I am judging myself. Not to worry, I will let it go. I am writing this under the veil of realization I made yesterday while trying to write a completely different article.
Observers can lean toward either controlling or complying. I lean toward controlling. This is the area that I unknowingly used to control my relationships from birth until yesterday (although to a much lesser degree in recent years). Even when I was using my compliance, it was to control the situation while judging. Ouch!
Judgement is a very human way of keeping ourselves distanced from others, and we all do it. It creates an imbalance that immediately changes the relationship. It is a safety net to protect our hearts. However, we rationalize it away. They are too______. Or I can't be with them because of _________. Hmmm.
You may want to look deeper there and see what it really is. Get help to look deeper. As the saying goes, whenever you point at someone else, there are four other fingers pointing back at YOU.
I love people. I really do. This is hard to confess because I have not been playing nice in the sand box, and all this time I thought I was. It thought I was so sweet and good and caring. And I am, but there were some false motivators in front of that goodness, sweetness and caring.
In my love relationships I was a giver—an uber giver. I gave until there was nothing left to give. I gave my blood from my own body in order to show the other person how valuable they were to me. How important they were. How much they deserved to be treated well. However, that giving was a set up. On the conscious level, I thought I was showing myself to be irreplaceable. I had to prove to them that I was so great, that no one would ever fill my shoes and they would hurt for 1,000 years if they ever left me.
Oh, the drama, when it is such a child-like plea for love.
Can we say abandonment issues? Oh yes. I have healed that part of myself. I realized that I am irreplaceable, but for very different reasons. We all are. I also realized that when I truly love someone, I do not want them to hurt for 1,000 years if it does not work out. My hope for them is to learn what they can and move on.
Under that idea of making myself irreplaceable, was another darker, uglier idea. Not even an idea, but a way to control and keep people at a distance. I wanted to not show them anything, to set them up. If I am sacrificing all of this and they were not doing the same then they were a jerk. WHOA!!! WHAT?!!
I created a self sacrificing tower of self righteousness in order to create something that no other decent human being could live up to. I created expectations along with this tower, of them trying to meet me halfway. Just give me some of what I am giving you without thought, and I will be happy. There is no half way to infinity.
No matter what they did, it could not be good enough. They could not be good enough. And I was SO GOOD! I was the victim. And they were the perpetrator.
Then when it would end, it was because they were a jerk, and I was just too wonderful and they could not handle it. It is hard to have a relationship with someone whose perch is so far above you that you can't even see their feet.
My ex-husband did help me break this cycle. Our problems were completely different from the ones listed here. However, I did play the victim far too often (which is if I play it at all) and he was the bad guy. I am very grateful that he gave me the space to do that. Forever grateful, really.
I played games that I did not even know I was playing. But I touted that I was a no games girl. Just a lover. A super lover. And I am a super lover. But I had a subconscious secret that was running things and I had no idea.
Look at your relationships. What role do you play? Who are you being in your relationships?
I am letting go of the survival. I have survived. Now I wish to thrive. I do not need to create anything that is not there. I do not need to distance myself from anyone. I want true deep connections that radiate out and change anyone that sees them or experiences them.
We are meant to connect on a deeper level. Love is what truly makes it all worth the pain and struggle and tears and hurt. I chose to release anything that inhibits my connections. I will continue to chose this over and over, until it is not longer a choice, but just is who I am.
I am not really getting into how to see your own shadow side. Let me briefly tell you about that. There was an additional part of the seminar/workshop that instructed us to look at the parts of the three areas were are not using. Think and discuss how we can incorporate them more into our lives for more balance.
Here is an exercise for you to use to see what you are:
When there is an issue that arises in your close relationships, do you:
Take charge and make sure things get done and it is addressed?
Make sure every persons feelings are taken into account before anything happens?
Only take control if no one else jumps up at it, or is doing a horrible job?
In your family structure, are you the one everyone goes to when:
They need someone to take over for them?
They want to express how they feel and be told they are okay no matter what the situation?
They want a view from both sides and then discuss feelings or have you take over?
How would your closest friends describe you in three words or less?
Structured, organized, decisive?
Loving, gentle, open?
Informed, sometimes loving and sometimes a bit cutting?
If you answered all A, you lean toward controlling. Answers of B would be complying. Answering C would be observing. This is not a scientific test, so please note that in your head. Just to give you an idea about yourself. It may not work for you, or you may have known before you even got this far.
I also find it imperative to note, this is my take on the original seminar/workshop, three years later, and I have put my own spin on it, no doubt. I may look nothing like the original, however, I do believe this is extremely valuable information into our behaviors.
Once you understand your chosen role, think about how it decides your everyday life. How does it control every single part of your relationships? Even when you are a complier, it still controls you and your life. How much of it is really you and how much of it is still survival from infancy?
Think about your shadow.
Do compliers annoy you? You then need to balance that part of your life by allowing more of it in. What annoys us is an unacknowledged part of ourselves.
Do controllers annoy you? Do you feel that they are always running over everyone else and not considering anyone’s feelings? This is your shadow side. You need to have a bit more control and a bit less comply and balance it.
Do both extremes annoy you? Well, better get off of your perch and balance both. It is not an easy task, but I promise, you can do it.
Well all need all parts of these three roles to balance ourselves and not take it all or give it all in our relationships. When a relationship in imbalanced, no one wins. Especially not the person controlling it. I swear.
I thank all who assisted me in seeing this shadow side. Now I release it to be transformed and given back to the world as truth, beauty and joy. Thank you for reading. Please feel free to contact me with questions.
For More Relationship Advice From YourTango: