I remember reading once that you shouldn’t worry too much about what other people might be thinking about you. Because the truth is they are so wrapped up in what they think of themselves or what people might think about them that they are too busy to really even think about you. Even though we know it doesn’t really matter what others think, once it is in your head to care it is very difficult to shake off. It’s like trying to wash Crisco off of a plastic measuring cup.
I have decided that not being me because of what other people might think is ridiculous. And saying “well, I would do ______ if the people around me were OK with it,” is just a giant excuse. It is ridiculous and I know it and I’m still doing it. Now I’m trying to get rid of this horrible idea of caring about what other people think of what I do and it’s hard. Like I said. It is like trying to wash Crisco off a plastic measuring cup. It’s awful.
So how do you get Crisco off a plastic measuring cup? Lots of soap and hot water. So I have been trying to clean up my life a bit in order to rid myself of this self-defeating idea that I shouldn’t do or be something because of what people might think. But I only know what is working for me. So, I’ll tell you what is working for me and maybe that will spur you to think of something that will work for you.
I have stopped spending time with people (on Facebook and in real life) who are very negative and who gossip excessively. If you put yourself down all the time on Facebook or at parties then it is possible that you are doing that as a passive aggressive way to get positive feedback. I don’t mind giving you positive feedback! Just ask for it! But I have found that these same people will start bashing others in order to get the positive feedback when the self-deprecating talk just isn’t enough. Listening to you bash someone causes me to feel bad about myself. I don’t need to feel bad about myself so you can try to feel better about yourself. Seriously? If you can’t say anything nice…. Don’t talk.
I have started to reframe people’s comments. “Oh, you are one of those people who do elaborate things with the Elf every night for your children.” Instead of thinking of this as a cut down or a negative thing towards me I am starting to think of it as a complement. Yes, I’m one of those people with the crazy elf adventures. It’s fun. I like it. But there are a lot of things I’m not. So to each his own and thanks for noticing that I do a great job with the elf!
I have started to remind myself how short our time is here. We may live to be 100 but maybe we won’t. And I have never heard anyone claim the last words someone said were, “I should have cared more about the local gossip and stopped doing __________.” I’m sure someone has said that though. But I don’t think it will be me.
That’s what I’m doing so I can stop thinking about what other people are thinking about me. How do you balance what you want with what other people think? Are you comfortable doing your own thing? Tell me how you handle it because I might need to incorporate your ways of handling it too!