Most of us know at least a few judgmental people. Whether it’s friends, colleagues or nosy aunties who just can’t stop preaching about how you’re living your life the WRONG way, they can pop up in any aspect of our lives. Here are five ways to deal with them.

Don’t Take It Personally

The most important thing is to not let anything they say get to you. What people say to others is generally a projection of their own reality, and judgmental people tend to be critical of everything and everyone. They then prey on others so that they feel better about themselves. Realise that they are the ones with the problem, not you. Don’t make yourself the victim but instead smile (or shrug) and move on.

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Pick Your Battles

It’s not always easy to ignore and it can be tempting to answer back – or even get into a full-blown argument. Go for it if it gives you a thrill, but understand that you’re never going to win (especially if the person in question is your superior at work). Judgmental people are unable to see any other points of view, so you’ll only be arguing until you end up with a sore throat (and probably a sore head, too). Be the bigger person and walk away.

Be Confident

What a judgmental person says about you might make you doubt yourself: Do I really spend too much money on shoes? Was what I said to my boss really as inappropriate as this person thinks? Be sure of yourself and of the fact that there’s nothing wrong with the way you live your life. They also know how to tap into people’s insecurities, so if they go for a low blow, don’t react but just keep calm and carry on.

Do Some Research

What do you know about this person who keeps making these judgmental comments? How much do you know about their background? There’s a chance they could have had a hard life or are going through some personal issues and are therefore lashing out at others. If it’s someone you care about, have some empathy and don’t judge them by their words (that is, don’t be judgemental, too).

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Be Grateful

Take it as a life lesson and appreciate others in your life. Keep your distance from these people and concentrate instead on those who love and appreciate you just the way you are. Surround yourself with positive vibes and you’ll have a happier life. Good luck, and keep your chin up.