OP, I completely understand how you feel. I am a 100% believer in the efficacy and superiority of GD ... IN THE LONG RUN. But does GD always "work" in the moment or in the short term, in the way that society thinks it should? (e.g. stopping something like being too loud or active in a public place immediately) No. Maybe with some kids, but not with all. My oldest is spirited. He is not a good listener despite use of GD techniques, and he is defiant. He doesn't like being corrected, and he wants things to be his way all the time. We spend a ton of time redirecting, teaching, explaining, correcting, and I believe that he has a good foundation of empathy and morality but he is 3.5 and still selfish and has poor impulse control (although much better than it used to be -- he has improved a lot over time). He has never been spanked, and my parents have commented from time to time if we are having a challenging moment with him that if we would just ... which I think is BS. His personality is what it is, and all spanking would do is make him angry and humiliated and destroy our relationship with him, which in the end would make it less likely that he will grow up to be a good person. (IMO).
OTOH, my younger son is more compliant and much easier to parent. We don't have to spend near as much time on discipline with him because he just has a more docile personality. When we do, we use basically the same techniques ...but they work better and faster on him. One example: my older son would run away at the playground to explore at age 1.5-2.5, and would run into the parking lot if we didn't catch him. Saying "stop" or whatever was rarely effective -- it was like it just went over his head. We had to follow up with specific action, e.g. getting in the stroller and going home, to teach him that it was unsafe to run away from Mommy and Daddy, in addition to words. And we had to repeat it more than once before he started to get it. The younger, now almost 2, will stop 9 times out of 10 when we say stop, and if we do need to leave he doesn't fight us on it for more than a minute (whereas DS1 would cry and scream all the way home). That's just one example, but the differences between the two of them are amazing. And they have nothing to do with parenting style -- they are based on inborn personality traits.
So I guess what I am saying is that if you have a spirited child, you are definitely going to get judged for being a GD parent because people want to see you putting the beat down on your kid if they do the slightest thing in public. And we absolutely avoided a LOT of public situations that we knew DS1 couldn't handle (we did not go to a restaurant with him unless forced to from 18 months to 3 years old because we knew it would be a nightmare, and it always was ... whereas with DS2 we didn't need a blackout period, he does ok in restaurants). But you can't always just hide in your house so sometimes you will be in a position to be judged, especially by family. I know full well that my parents and in-laws blame us for DS1's personality and as much as I think they are 100% dead wrong, it still smarts to be judged that way. People who have not had a spirited child do not understand what it is like. Only now, having DS2, do I know for absolute sure that so much of what we go through with our kids is attributable to luck of the draw. Yes, you can handle things better and worse, but personality is still a huge driver of behavior moreso than discipline IMO. Most people don't see that, and I know that I get judged all the time for DS1's peccadilloes, and it is really annoying because we are doing the best we can.
That doesn't mean that I don't believe in GD ... but I don't believe that GD always gets results as immediate as more authoritarian methods can. I strongly believe in taking the long view with parenting, and that's what GD is all about to me, laying a good foundation for the long term ... but in the meantime you will encounter judgmental a**holes who have age-inappropriate expectations of children and who will think that if you just beat your child you would get the desired behavior. That may be true, but a GD parent would say at what cost? And to some random stranger in public, and even to some extent with grandparents, they don't really care what the costs are. We do. At the end of the day that is what keeps me going strong despite the judgment -- because I know what the costs can be and I would not do that to my child no matter how convenient and easy it would be for me. But I know how hard it is to feel judged. Hang in there!