Trying to affect other people’s opinions
How much time and energy do you dedicate to trying to control other people’s opinions about you? Think about it. Do you behave politely, dress a certain way or drive a luxury car? Surely that’s only scratching the surface when it comes to the things we all do to try to influence others’ opinions of us.
Here’s the bold truth: No matter what you do to try to control what people think about you, you can’t. Because other people’s opinions are not caused by you. They’re caused by the thoughts other people have about you. And you can’t control anyone’s thoughts but your own.
You might be the nicest neighbor on your block, but there will still be people who don’t want to socialize with you. And, as difficult as it might be to believe, that has nothing to do with you.
No matter how hard you try to control what others think of you, they will continue to judge you however they want. They’ll judge the way you look, the way you speak, and even the way you blink more than usual when you’re nervous. People will form opinions about us whether we want them to or not.
>READ: IS YOUR LIFE AS HAPPY AS YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PHOTOS?
You Do You
The trouble begins when we try to be someone we aren’t in order to appeal more to others. Because when we present ourselves falsely to become more appealing to others, we become less appealing to ourselves.
Sure, others might like the person you present yourself as on social media, but is that the real you that they like? Or is it a façade that you created because you were afraid that people would judge you?
More bold truth: They’re already judging you, regardless of what you post on social media. So how much energy do you want to spend worrying about and trying to control their opinions?
An interesting question to ask yourself is: Whose opinion matters most in my life? Is it your husband’s? Your best friend’s? Your daughter’s? What about your own?
What would change for you if you stopped trying to be a person that others will accept, and became the person that you truly wanted to be — with no filter? So many people miss opportunities to be true to themselves and create the lives they want because they’re terrified about what people will think.
>READ: BURIED EMOTIONS? HOW TO NAME IT, CLAIM IT, AND LET IT GO
Questions to ask yourself
Aren’t the more important questions:
- What will I think?
- What will I think if I’m not true to myself, or honest with others?
- How about being who you really are and letting the inevitable judgment from other people go?
Move on by asking yourself:
- Do I like me?
- Do I like the way I look, the way I speak, the way I blink more than usual when I’m nervous?
If you’re fine with it, then that’s all you need!
Freedom happens when we tear down our façades, and act like the person we really are —regardless of everyone’s judgment.
Remember…you can’t control their thoughts anyway.
Practice judging yourself instead. Tell yourself you matter. Tell yourself you’re amazing. Tell yourself you are loved. Keep believing those things and other people’s opinions won’t matter.
>READ: WHAT IS SELF-CARE? (A NOT-SO-RADICAL ACT OF FEMINISM)
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>READ: AGE BEAUTIFULLY AND ON YOUR OWN TERMS