Love Letters to Humans (no. 13) – on Judgment, Perfectionism, and Connection

We cannot simultaneously judge someone and also really know them, and we tend to only really, actively care for the people we know.

If you are busy judging yourself harshly (publicly or privately) for every mistake and perceived imperfection, I can almost guarantee that you are not making yourself safe for anyone else to be authentic with you.

We might think that we are hardest on ourselves, but a secret and tightly held belief in the lie that perfection is a requirement for worthiness does not start and end with us. Self-judgment cannot contain itself—it seeps into our other relationships and gets in the way of authenticity and intimacy, often showing up as some flavor of either ruthlessness (grandiosity) or fragility (shame). As we try to hide our own imperfections, people recognize our judgment and hide themselves from us.

The wonderful news is that this is all learned and conditioned, and so it can be examined and unlearned. Judgment and perfectionism do not have to be life-long afflictions. Connection, authenticity, and intimacy are available to us if we are willing to ask uncomfortable questions and be with uncomfortable answers (ours and others’). This is both work and change, and you don’t have to do it alone.

How are you becoming a safe place to be honest with yourself?

How are you making yourself safe for the people you profess to care for to show up honestly with you?

Question everything.

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