Why are we only as good as our last worst mistake? Judgement always seems to prevail.

17 Oct 2023

Ever feel like others are quick to judge you, often without any knowledge of the particular circumstances, context or real perspective on your situation? I venture this happens a fair bit.

Whilst we can not change what or how others feel, it does seem to me, this issue has worsened since everyone has jumped on the ‘cancel culture’ bandwagon and use of social media in a fairly pernicious way.

Easy enough you say, it is to simply ignore the judgement of others and live your life according to your own personal creed. Don’t agonise over things you can’t change and don’t worry what others say or think because this is often only a reflection of how they themselves feel and nothing more.

It seems we are becoming more offended on behalf of third parties more than ever before. Why is this? Are we just always looking for someone to blame. Are we all becoming too much of a ‘vexatious litigant’ in our ordinary lives or are we just too easily offended these days?

I was involved with such a situation recently. I had been working far too hard for far too long; I was tired and I’d experienced a long, hard and unrewarding day at work. I felt unsupported and as though all I was achieving was putting out a succession of fires, all day. At the end of the day, having just worked 12 hours fairly much straight with no meaningful break, I reached saturation point and snapped: I said the wrong thing to the wrong person, in frustration but without malice and any intention of offence.

Whilst, on sober reflection, I can see how this might have made others feel and it plagues me deeply that I upset anyone else, the consequences which followed felt a little sledgehammer to crack a nut, perhaps. By this point, I had already apologised profusely for any offence I may have caused. However, there was little or no empathy for me in terms of the sort of day and, in fact, week I’d had. 

To me, it flies in the face of logic simply to condemn someone for remarks made in the heat of the moment at the end of a very long and challenging day. But that is exactly what happened. 

Being inwardly reflective, I have metaphorically whipped myself soundly for not keeping control and for not taking a beat. That is on me and I can accept it. But the fallout and consequences, that is entirely another matter.

There are lessons to be learned from my actions: don’t work too hard, especially when others just seek to just cruise; don’t try and do everything yourself and in the event, get no thanks at all for your efforts. Do, take each day as it comes and recognise some will be good and others, not so good. Do take breaks; do take the time to breathe and live in the moment: it is the only one you have; look forward and not back for what is done, is done. Learn, grow, use self-compassion and that empathy you so deftly use to help others, use it on yourself!

Cancel culture or no, what is important to you, is you and your mental wellness. In fact, it is paramount and let nothing impinge on this. Live your life according to your own values and on your own terms. We get one shot at this little life and one shot only. In the geographical timescale of matters, we each exist for a relatively short time. Accordingly, it’s extremely important we use our time well and rise above the day to day nonsense which can bring us down.

Robin Goodfellow


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