My Coworkers Are Judging Me

Have you ever felt judged the moment you walked into a room?

Sofia feels like that all the time. She is both a doctor and a model, and she feels like both sides judge her for opposite reasons. The doctors seem to think that she’s vain and prissy and doesn’t like to get her hands dirty. She constantly struggles to be taken seriously. The models on the other hand, seem to think that she is uptight and no fun, and that Sofia never has time for them. Sofia doesn’t know how to fit in with either group.  

I think that Sofia’s perception of others' judgment stems from her own beliefs about herself. So I would start by looking at Sofia's own self-judgment and challenging her beliefs.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast. Oh! By the way, I'm also the Co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back™.  

If you haven't heard about The Journal That Talks Back™, I encourage you to be interested and take a look! Come to and check it out. We have created a program that is specifically designed for young professionals, a coaching program that is affordable, accessible, and unlimited! So please come check it out.  

But in the meantime, today's Fridays with Ferne and I'm thrilled to welcome Ferne back. If you don't know, Ferne is my daughter, we kind of look alike, right? So welcome Ferne to Fridays with Ferne. Hello.  

[00:00:52] Ferne Kotlyar:
Hello! How are you?  

[00:00:55] Kim Ades:
I'm great! [Chuckles] I know, strange intro, but that's fine. 

[00:00:58] Ferne Kotlyar:

[00:00:59] Kim Ades:
What's on your agenda today?  

[00:01:00] Ferne Kotlyar:
Love it. So today we have a case about a young woman named Sophia. And Sophia has been working really hard for several years to finally become a doctor. And so, she's working her first job and she's loving it. But what she does on the side, she started also modeling on the side. So she loves both of her jobs. She finds that they're super different and provide a lot of contrast.  

But the issue is that at each location, at each job, the people there kind of judge her for the other job that she does. So when she's in the office as a doctor, people see her as this pretty girl who just got her way there because of luck and they don't really respect her or... not necessarily agree, but she has to work 10 times as hard to earn other people's respect and for people to actually believe what she says, because you know, she's a model on the side, so that means that she's probably not that intelligent, or is what people think, at least that's what she thinks is going on in their heads. 

On the other side, as she's a model, you know, they see her as this doctor, so she's stuck up, she's better than everybody else, that's what people– she seems to think, what other people think. And so, she feels a bit left out in both of these communities. She feels a bit shafted almost, because each job is so opposite that they have kind of stereotypes about the other.

And she feels really in the middle of both and kind of on the outskirts as well. And so, she doesn't know how to create more of a community and get into more of each of the communities on either side.  

[00:02:54] Kim Ades:
So, what we have here is a person who is highly driven, who's doing two really cool things. And by the way, in order to become a doctor and start that career, you gotta be kind of smart, right?  

[00:03:03] Ferne Kotlyar:

[00:03:04] Kim Ades:
So the idea that people don't think of her as particularly smart is a bit ridiculous. And so, the first thing we need to do is actually not worry about the communities and not worry about what other people think of her, but really explore what she thinks of herself. 

So, when we look at her as a doctor, simply as a doctor, has she earned her place as a doctor? Does she feel she earned the right to become a doctor? Or does she feel like she got away with something 'cause she happens to be attractive? Right?  

So we need to explore how she feels about herself, what she thinks about herself, because what we're seeing is she's projecting onto others what probably she thinks about herself on some level. And so we don't need to help her fix how she communicates with others, at first. What we need to do is really take a deep look at, what do you believe to be true about yourself?  

Is it true that you're smart? Is it true that you got away with it because you're good-looking? Is it true that you're stuck up in the modeling world? What is it that you think about other doctors? What is it that you think about other models? What do you truly think? What do you truly believe? And we need to address that stuff first, because what we see is there's a lack of alignment between what she's doing and what she's thinking about what she's doing. 

[00:04:27] Ferne Kotlyar:
What do you mean? 

[00:04:28] Kim Ades:
Because it sounds like some of what she believes to be true is "I'm a doctor, I'm not sure I deserve it. I'm not sure I'm worthy of this role in this position. And so I'm giving off a vibe that I might not be worthy. And so, what I see in others is people question my value, my worthiness".  

[00:04:49] Ferne Kotlyar:
So how would you go about fixing her own...  

[00:04:54] Kim Ades:
Her own beliefs? 

[00:04:55] Ferne Kotlyar:

[00:04:55] Kim Ades:
I would, first of all, identify those beliefs, I would pull them out of her by going back and getting some stories. So she says to me, "Hey, you know, I think that people are judging me", I would say to her, well, give me a whole bunch of examples. Right?  

So what I'd really like to do is assess if they are truly judging her or whether not, perhaps she's judging herself. My guess is she's judging herself. But she might also– and she's being hard on herself, right? But she might also be judging others as well.  

[00:05:32] Ferne Kotlyar:
Why do you say that?  

[00:05:33] Kim Ades:
Well, because when we believe that others think about us poorly, we have a strong judgment, they have strong judgment and that judgment sometimes backfires on us.  

[00:05:50] Ferne Kotlyar:
Only sometimes?  

[00:05:52] Kim Ades:

[00:05:52] Ferne Kotlyar:

[00:05:53] Kim Ades:
Right? And so, what we see is that a person like this judges themselves harshly, and they judge others harshly. And so, when you're judging yourself harshly, it's hard to connect with others. And when you're judging others harshly, it's also hard to connect with others. 

[00:06:19] Ferne Kotlyar:

[00:06:20] Kim Ades:
So, what we aren't going to do up front is give her strategies for connecting with these people, that will come late, right? That will follow. Like, how do we talk to people? How do we show interest? How do we bridge the gap? How do we show warmth and compassion? And all of that kind of stuff. Right? So that comes later. And to be honest, if I, as a person, see somebody else is judging me, what do I do?  

[00:06:50] Ferne Kotlyar:
Judge them back. 

[00:06:51] Kim Ades:
I either judge them back or I shrink. I hide from the judgement, I protect myself from the judgment. And if I'm protecting myself from the judgment, am I connecting? It's impossible. So right now the first course of action is to really explore two things: what she believes to be true about herself and how she judges herself and what she believes to be true about others and how she judges others.  

And what we need to do is explore and really go through the evidence that she has collected that suggests to her that people are judging her, because my guess is that some of the evidence is seen through a bit of a faulty lens. But even so, even if it's true... beyond that, what we want to do is collect evidence of the fact that there are lots of people out there who really appreciate her, value her and respect her. And perhaps she's looking at a few people who might see her in a poor light.  

[00:08:00] Ferne Kotlyar:
And how do you know that there will be people who value her and respect her?  

[00:08:04] Kim Ades:
Well, she's a doctor.  

[00:08:05] Ferne Kotlyar:

[00:08:06] Kim Ades:
I would ask her, "are you treating patients? Are you treating them well? Are they getting help from your treatments?" Chances are they are. Right? And what we're really talking about is where is she focusing her attention. What is she focused on? She might be focused on a few people who are judgmental. That'll happen in this world. 

[00:08:20] Ferne Kotlyar:
[Chuckles] Yeah.  

[00:08:22] Kim Ades:
Right? So there are lots of different components to this picture. Starting with, "how do I feel about myself? How do I feel about others? What do I think they think about me? Is that even true, or am I making it up? And if it is true, who are these people? Why am I giving them so much importance?" And does this represent all of the people or are there some people who really truly value you and appreciate you for what you bring to the table? And where are you focused? Where is your head focused?  

[00:09:08] Ferne Kotlyar:

[00:09:09] Kim Ades:
So, lots of different pieces. And then after that, after we clean that up, after we clean up the beliefs, after we help her see things maybe a little bit more objectively, we then might give her some tools or some skillsets to approach the people she would like to connect with more openly and warmly. 

[00:09:31] Ferne Kotlyar:
I have one kind of last question for you. Would you give her the same advice for both kind of camps? Would you give her the same advice for the doctors as you would for the models?

[00:09:43] Kim Ades:

[00:09:46] Ferne Kotlyar:
How come?  

[00:09:46] Kim Ades:
Very much so. Because she's a model for a reason. How did she get there? So, you know, what she's doing is she's carrying around on her shoulders, like, these titles for herself, right? "Oh, I'm a doctor and I'm a model, so I don't really fit here. I'm not like you, I'm not like everybody else". And she's probably giving off that vibe, right?  

So, we give off an energy that reflects what we feel and think about ourselves, and she's probably doing that in both camps. And she's creating a barrier or a distance or a wall between herself and others. 

[00:10:27] Ferne Kotlyar:
Makes sense.  

[00:10:28] Kim Ades:

[00:10:28] Ferne Kotlyar:
Amazing. Well, thank you.  

[00:10:30] Kim Ades:
You're welcome! That was an interesting case. You know, it's very interesting in my mind, we always have an impression or a judgment of how we are in the world, whether it's in one community or another, but we assess, we self-assess. And sometimes when we self-assess to not fit in, we are awkward in certain situations or uncomfortable, and that creates this weird indescribable barrier or distance between us and them.

We're not even aware of what we're doing, we just feel out of place for some reason. And so very often the first course of action is not to try to fix it or to try to change other people's perceptions of us, but it's to look inwardly and say, "well, what do I think of myself? And why do I feel like I don't fit in? What am I doing to create that distance or that gap? And how am I feeling about myself?" That's the first course of action, in terms of addressing the discomfort we feel in other environments. 

[00:11:33] Ferne Kotlyar:
Good piece of advice. [Chuckles]  

[00:11:35] Kim Ades:
Hope that helped! For those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge that you want to share on the podcast, please reach out to us. Ferne, what's your email address?  

[00:11:46] Ferne Kotlyar:
Please do email me. My email address is  

[00:11:57] Kim Ades:
And you can reach out to me as well. It's We'd love to hear from you, we want your cases, and we want you to share and like the podcast. And again, if you have a situation that you would like to share with us and maybe not talk about it on the podcast, then please reach out to us as well. Again, my email address is  

We will see you next week. Have a great week, everyone.  

[00:12:23] Ferne Kotlyar:

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