Why are some people so sensitive to other people’s opinions and judgments of them? Watch this clip from my interview with Dr Gabor Maté.
People with PTSD are more susceptible to other people’s opinions of them than people who haven’t been traumatized. It makes intuitive sense. When we are always trying to hustle for safety, it is crucial to manage other people’s experience with us. Scott Kiloby talks about Core Deficiency Stories, where having the experience of being unloved can lead to a belief we are unlovable. This feels intolerable and we try to escape.
My experience is that as I have healed from Developmental Trauma and PTSD, I have more tolerance for other people’s judgments of me and more resilience when it happens. It might come to mind several times over the next few days but it doesn’t torture me the way it used to. I’m not compulsively going over it and I have the mental strength to put it into perspective. I prefer it when people like me. It no longer feels like a survival level imperative.
I was speaking with a friend this week who feels devastated when people judge her, and look at her like she is deficient and unworthy. She told me she has been working with the phrase “be yourself” recently and noticing the space that opens up!
It was a big aha moment for me as I hadn’t thought of my own process in quite that way. I am more able to “be myself”. How does this happen? It is a complex healing process involving emotions, social relationships, personal insight and is all rooted in safety.
What would open up for you if you no longer believed what other people think of you? We are susceptible to that because of what we were told and believed about ourselves as children. The Living Inquiries are an excellent tool to reveal and dissolve these beliefs.
When I go out into the world, I can tolerate it when people are indifferent or even hostile to me because I know that someone else’s opinion of me is not who I am. I know in every cell of my being that I am okay as I am. I am basically good. I have kindness and compassion for myself. I know this through direct experience of meditating and self-inquiry.
Do this practice. What would open up for you?