How To Drive Yourself Nuts with Self-Judgment

What drives me the most nuts is when something happens that bugs me.

I feel sad, scared, or worse, angry.

Then, I judge myself:

That was stupid. It is not as good as I wanted. It's my fault. No it is theirs.

Then, I judge my judgmental responses.

Why did I complain again? Why did I lose my cool?

I feel bad. Real bad.

Then I judge myself for judging myself. Oh! I am not supposed to be complaining. I can't handle anything. Why do I make such a big deal out of everything! How embarrassing!

Then, I feel worse. Totally flattened.

Then, I universalize this feeling to my whole life. All of my failures (perceived) fly in my face. Why try? I fail at EVERYTHING! This proves once again, I am a loser. Totally, completely a worthless loser. Nothing ever goes right. I can never feel an different because. It. Is. Me.

Any of this sound familiar?

It's from being insecure and makes us more insecure. An ego snowball getting bigger and bigger.

The original problem gets lost in the judgments as the judgements become a worse problem! Judgements attract us like a bee to a pretty flower. Or a squirrel to, well...nuts. Actually, those are inappropriate metaphors because it is not natural. This judgment is cultural.

That's the good news! We can learn to stop judging ourselves so harshly. We start by noticing the judgements and being aware that they are judgments not truths.

So try it. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself. Begin by saying this over and over: "I can be compassionate with myself."

Have you ever tried this? Share what happened in the comments.

APA Reference
Lobozzo, J. (2013, May 15). How To Drive Yourself Nuts with Self-Judgment, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R

May, 29 2013 at 2:29 am

We are really good at judging ourselves. I wish other people did it too. (Well not that hard as we do).
People who experience no guilt, and no shame, are sociopaths, and that's a fact. It's natural and good to look at your own actions with criticism. Only make sure it's constructive and leads to better performance, better attitude, better self. (And thanks for speaking my mind out, too:)

May, 28 2013 at 3:52 am

I know what you mean, I felt this way on may occasions. I think that our mind chatter is to blame and one way to stop it is to be aware of it. Then make it stop by diverting the attention to other conscious things, like breathing or phoning a friend, or running. It's mental tension that needs to be dealt with. Keep up the good work!

May, 22 2013 at 4:47 am

The only thing that is helping me reduce self judgement is understanding the reasons that caused the behavior or thinking.Once the reasons are identified, trying to change becomes a must. When I fail to change, the judgement gets bigger and more painful.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 22 2013 at 5:45 am

The things that caused it don't matter. This is your ego's tactic to make you thin your doing it to feel better but it is really out to hurt you, or prove that you are not good. It's just over analyzing and not helpful. It makes you judge harder. Stop trying to undertsand and just have compassion and end it. xo

May, 22 2013 at 6:08 am

but isn't that contradictory with the purpose of psychoanalysis?I had over 600 sessions of psychoanalysis (that didn't help).

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 28 2013 at 5:09 am

Over analyzing and judging are problems, yes, brought forth by the culture of psychoanalysis. Many things in the world that are initiated to assist us, have caused us further problems. Now the pendulum has swung to mindfulness. Just have compassion and stop judging and let the whole story go. People can corrupt mindfulness too. And go further into judgment. I have seen this, too.

May, 20 2013 at 12:32 pm

hey great article thanks!! I need to learn to accept myself more, thats one major thing I struggle with

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 21 2013 at 2:56 pm

That's what we all struggle with, and what we all must do to feel better!

May, 19 2013 at 4:41 pm

I can be gentle and compassionate with myself! I can be gentle and compassionate with myself! I can be gentle and compassionate with myself!

May, 18 2013 at 12:39 pm

this reminds me of something someone said to me. i was telling him a childhood story about my mom's dog disappearing. she was so upset with me … for years ... maybe even to this day. i don't know if it was really because of something i did (or not). i was a little kid.
i mentioned, "she's never forgiven me for that dog getting lost." he said, "you should forgive yourself." i felt time stop. what he said went right into my heart and i felt changed.
so forgiveness … forgiving yourself … forgiving others. food for thought

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 18 2013 at 4:14 pm

Liz, I agree it is all about forgiving ourselves. All of it. I am so glad your friend mentioned it! xo

May, 15 2013 at 3:13 pm

Great post Jodi, I agree. In most cases of depression and anxiety, the true cause of people's suffering is their lack of unconditional love and acceptance for themselves. Once they learn self acceptance, everything is easy.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 15 2013 at 8:02 pm

I agree. I say get rid of the judgments and then there is nothing esle to do.

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