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Worrying about what others think

We all worry, in our own ways, about how we’re being perceived.

The fact that we’re being judged matters much more than whether those judgments seem fair or well-informed. We also don’t tend to worry about someone having an undeservedly high opinion of us, unless we can see how that might cause us trouble later.

Being "fairly" judged

It’s impossible to be fairly judged. Nobody will ever understand you perfectly. You will continually be both underestimated and overestimated.

Your own assessment of yourself is hardly the “right” one. We tend to either obsess over our faults or overlook them completely.  And with strangers, there’s no hope of anything approaching a fair assessment. They have zero context for what they see in you. 

How we judge strangers

Become aware of your own judgments. You’ll discover that they’re almost always categorical (good person or bad person), that they’re provoked by a single behavior, and that you rarely second-guess these judgments.

Notice what it feels like to judge a person, how absolute and uncomplicated it seems, then remember that you’re seeing this person through the keyhole of a single moment in their lives.

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