Confessions Of A Judgmental Person (Who's Trying To Be Less So)

I wanted to be less judge-y but it was harder than I thought.

Confessions of a judgmental observer | Shutterstock, Kameleon007, pixelshot | Canva

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.

Here are the confessions of a judgmental observer:

1. I have tried to let go of judgment

It would seem like a distant memory until someone did something I disagreed with (ideas, actions, thoughts, words, clothes, lifestyle, haircut, car, fur. The list is endless). I was judging myself and everyone around me like I had never stopped.


My mom is a religious woman in the traditional sense. However, she is probably the least judgmental person I know (which I have found 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 my dad made when I was pretty young, "If we could all live one day without judgment, 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.


RELATED: The 2 Subconscious Ways We Judge Everyone (And Why We Do It)

I tried to eradicate judgment from my life. However, you have to be aware of the roots before you uproot a weed or behavior. I saw no roots. I just wanted purity and no judgment.

I would work on letting go of surface judgments, 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 mind) quest of letting go of judgment, I became a co-active coach. At a training summit, I learned something that is still benefitting me today.


2. We choose a role to survive as an infant

We chose to become a complier (a person who complies), controller, or observer. We take on these roles to get our needs met. Here we are, as a helpless infant, yet our brains work, especially our survival instincts. We are very human and need to make sure we survive. To get what we need, we try to get it through compliance, control, or observation.

3. If we choose compliance, we are a pleaser

We want the adults in our lives to give us what we need by 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 its best, a complier makes a great public servant. At its worst, it can ruin whole families by having one person who tries to make everyone in the outside world happy. It can control your life by needing everyone’s approval, creates distance in relationships due to always needing outside approval, and leaves no time to focus on one-on-one.


4. If we choose to control, we can also please

However, 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. At its best, a controller cuts through muck and pushes through to get things under control and structured. At its worst, it is dogmatic forceful, and even cruel because when a controller is not in control, they will make sure you are not either. They might create 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 fine as they are.

5. The observer watches these two parties and judges from a distance

On a pedestal of their own making, they look down on the others and watch the show and can use both techniques, but will evaluate first, then decide which is working best, or wait for the other stuff to play out and get what they need. They will not dirty themselves with the drama.

At its best, the observer is a great bystander for disputes and can see both sides of any situation. They can create a middle space for the other two sides to come together. At its worst, they judge and watch, then jump in when they wish to control or when they wish to comply. 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.


Judgmentally observing herself on a mirror Ilona Kozhevnikova via Shutterstock

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. It shaped part of your subconscious, and how you are operating behind your curtain. This is what we are looking to uncover. Your unknown motivators 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 I was an observer. I am more judgmental of this type because I am judging myself.


RELATED: 5 Powerful Ways To Show Unconditional Love — To Yourself!

6. Observers can lean toward either controlling or complying

I lean toward controlling. This is the area I unknowingly used to control my relationships. Even when I was using my compliance, it was to control the situation while judging. Ouch!

Judgment is a 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. They are too______. Or I can't be with them because of _________. Hmmm.

You may want to look deeper there and see what it is. Get help to look deeper. As the saying goes, whenever you point at someone else, four other fingers are pointing back at you.


I love people. I do. This is hard to confess because I have not been playing nice, and all this time I thought I was. I 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.

7. In my love relationships, I was an over-giver

I gave until there was nothing left to give. I gave my blood from my own body 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 setup. On the conscious level, I thought I was showing myself to be irreplaceable. I had to prove to them I was so great, no one would ever fill my shoes and they would hurt for 1,000 years if they ever left me.

Can we say abandonment issues? Oh yes. I have healed that part of myself. I realized I am irreplaceable but for very different reasons. We all are. I also realized when I truly love someone, I do not want them to hurt for 1,000 years if it does not work. My hope for them is to learn what they can and move on.

Under the idea of making myself irreplaceable, was another 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, they were jerks. Whoa! What?!


I created a self-sacrificing tower of self-righteousness to create something no other human being could live up to. I created expectations 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 halfway to infinity.

No matter what they did, it could not be good enough. They could not be good enough. I was the victim, and they were the perpetrators.

8. When it would end, it was because they were jerks

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 can't even see their feet.

My ex-husband helped 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 he gave me the space to do that. Forever grateful.


I played games I did not even know I was playing. But I thought I was a no-games girl. Just a lover. A super lover. And I am a super lover. But I had a subconscious secret running things, and I had no idea.

9. Look at the role you play 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 to radiate out and change anyone who 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 choose this over and over until it is no longer a choice, but just who I am.

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.


RELATED: 8 Troubling Signs You're An Adult Bully

Here is an exercise for you to use to see which you are.

1. When there is an issue that arises in your close relationships, do you:

  1. Take charge and make sure things get done and it is addressed.
  2. Make sure every person's feelings are taken into account before anything happens.
  3. Only take control if no one else jumps up at it, or is doing a horrible job.

2. In your family structure, are you the one everyone goes to when:

  1. They need someone to take over for them
  2. They want to express their feelings and be told they are okay no matter the situation.
  3. They want a view from both sides and then discuss feelings or have you take over

3. How would your closest friends describe you in three words or less?

  1. Structured, organized, decisive?
  2. Loving, gentle, open?
  3. Informed, sometimes loving and sometimes a bit cutting?

If you answered all 1, you lean toward controlling. Answers all 2 would be complying. Answering 3 would be observing. Please note this is not a scientific test.

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 compiler, it still controls you and your life. How much of it is you and how much of it is still survival from infancy?


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 compliance 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.

Meditating on how to not be a judgmental observer Mark Skalny via Shutterstock


We 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 is imbalanced, no one wins. Especially not the person controlling it. I swear.

RELATED: 3 Perfectly Normal Things That 'Good Girls & People Pleasers' Are Allowed To Do (But Don’t Know They Are)

Marcy Goss Garcea is a life coach, Reiki Master, and writer from Illinois. She specializes in many issues, including marriage, body image, anxiety, abandonment, self-esteem, and motherhood.