The Women's Journal

Who Needs Judgment? Nobody!

By  |  0 Comments

By Fred Dawson,

Author, Entrepreneur

When I have talked to many professional women for whom I have great respect, and several have shared something that has brought significant stress into their lives: judgment.

These women have been quite successful, both personally and professionally. Yet, politeness has hindered their willingness to tell the “judgers” they have hurt them. 

I don’t know anyone who likes being judged, but I do know many judgmental people. In her article for Psychology Today, Dr. Barbara Markway, a psychotherapist who treats anxiety disorders, says, “Judging someone does not define who they are; it defines who you are.”

It’s About Survival

Markway says humans are “hard-wired for survival,” which makes us judgmental, even when we don’t mean to be. When threatened, we go into what she calls “fight-freeze mode.” We can’t see the “myriad possible reasons for another’s behavior. We get tight and defensive.”

Even so, we know when some is judging us. It hurts. Markway quotes Albert Einstein, who said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” 

Cutting Off Judgmental People

I have a dear friend who has reached an epiphany. She’s embraced a milestone in age — though she won’t tell me what that age was — and says she had tolerated judgmental people all her life. On her birthday, she gifted herself with freedom by divorcing the people in her life who have judged, mistreated, or betrayed her. And, she says, she has never felt more content.

It’s not comfortable letting people go, particularly if they’re related or longtime friends, but my friend says it was easier than she thought it would be. In her case, a family member said something intensely cruel about her child. This statement’s callousness and insensitivity propelled her into action, though she realized that part of the problem was her fault. She had been intimidated by this person for so long that she allowed herself to feel deserving of constant judgment and criticism. 

You don’t mess with Mama Bear, as my friend says. It took a revolting comment about her child to wake her up. A person who can so flippantly insult a child didn’t deserve her energy. There was no reason to be intimidated by this family member — or anyone else. Letting the judgmental person go was the most freeing thing my friend had ever done.

Let Go with Love

Ending a relationship can be done with animosity or kindness. Every person will handle the situation differently. How we choose to end a toxic relationship is our business. 

In her article called “When Someone You Love is Toxic: How to Let Go, Without Guilt,” Karen Young says, “Toxic people have a way of choosing open, kind people with beautiful, lavish hearts because they are the ones who will be more likely to fight for the relationship and less likely to abandon.“ 

For my friend, the judgment came from a family member, and that’s the most painful kind of judgment there is. But Young offers wonderful advice: “Set the boundaries with grace and love … they are something that draws in strength and courage to let people see with great clarity where the doorway is to you. If the relationship ends, it’s not because of your lack of love or loyalty, but because the toxic person chose not to treat you in the way you deserve.” 

It isn’t until we’re happy inside that we can stamp out the unpleasantness outside. My newly-contented friend would agree.

About Fred

Fred Dawson is a writer, musician, businessman, speaker, and community leader. The author of Pearls: Women Who Radiate Success, Fred celebrates successful women who have found satisfaction after years of work, struggle, or discrimination. Inspired by his mother, whom he describes as “fiercely determined,” Fred donates the books’ proceeds to the Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation, a nonprofit awarding scholarships to women who wish to transform their lives through education but lack the means.



“Fred Dawson gives us an up-close-and-personal look at the lives of extraordinary female trailblazers, leaders from all walks of professional life: higher education, politics, entrepreneurship, law, big business, small business and non-profit. These women have leapt over barriers, recovered from grief, made profound sacrifices, broken rules, discovered untapped courage within themselves and given selflessly to others. They are mothers, wives, daughters and friends.”- Carla Markell, Delaware’s First Lady

“. . . these remarkable women deserve to have their stories told. Without them, who would be our mentors? Pearls is a well-written, heartwarming read, and I enjoyed every word of it. Five well-deserved stars!” – By Kristy Volchko

“This inspirational book will truly motivate you to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway. The women featured have shown that with the right attitude and willingness to face challenges head-on, you can achieve anything.”- By Lesley Jones

“Pearls by Fred Dawson is the continuation of Books I and II and, like the earlier ones, will give peace and strength to readers to see how the women in the book have risen above their personal difficulties and found a balance in their workspace and personal lives. Every story and every woman mentioned will encourage readers to find their worth. These women from different walks of life, be it education, politics, law, entrepreneurship, and business, have written their own success stories. Books like this one help women to pursue their dreams and stand their ground.” – By Mamta Madhavan