What other people think
… is none of your business
Other people’s opinions are none of your business
Have you ever asked yourself “What will people think?”
Many people spend so much of their time trying to control what other people think of them. When you understand that what other people think of you is none of your business, you gain freedom. Let’s look at this in detail.
Life is filled with experiences and these are factual and not negotiable. Experiences consist of everything that happened in the past, it includes other people and everything outside of ourselves.
Every experience you have causes a thought in your head and this thought is made by choice. How you choose to perceive the experience and interpret it is totally up to you. From the thought in your head a feeling emerges and this feeling will cause the actions you take. The actions you take (or lack of actions) are caused by how you are feeling about the experience. Your actions cause your results and the results always try to prove the initial thought to be correct. WOW – that was a mouthful.
So how does this relate to other people’s opinions of you?
When looking at yourself, the only thing you can control are the thoughts you have about your life. If you can only control your own thoughts, how do you think you can ever control anyone else’s thoughts, especially about you. What someone thinks of you is not only none of your business but it’s simply their opinion from their perspective. Just like what you think about them is your opinion about them all seen through your own lens.
Everybody has their own preferences in life. Some people love chocolate cake while others prefer something more savoury like cheese and crackers. If someone doesn’t like the chocolate cake, does that mean there is something wrong with the cake? No, it just means not everyone likes the same thing. The same is with other people’s opinions of you. Some people will be naturally drawn to you and enjoy your company while others may dislike you from the moment you meet. The more you try to ‘make’ them like you, the less they probably will.
So why do most people feel uncomfortable when the opinions of others are not positive?
Because most people just want to be liked. The more successful you are, the more opinions people will have about you. The more money you make, the opinions just grow. If you are creative and paint pictures, create courses or write books then you will face lots of opinions about your work but also about you as a person. The more you are out in the world, the more people feel they can judge you.
It’s when you make the opinions of other MEAN something to you that causes the problem. If I stand up in front of a group of students and teach them about the mind, half the students may be interested while the other half may think it is a load of rubbish. I decide what it means by what I think about their opinion. If I believe any of what is being said is true, then my negative thoughts will reflect this and may cause me to feel inadequate. If I don’t believe the opinions of other people, then I will continue to feel confident in my work and my choices.
To be criticised can generate negative emotions, if the thought you have allows it. The more you put yourself out into the world, the more you will attract people who believe they can say whatever they want about you. And they can. You cannot control what other people say or think of you. The actual criticism doesn’t hurt, it’s the way you choose to think about the comments. You determine whether the comments mean anything or not.
People will always judge – you judge… I judge (even if it is about myself). Are you your worst critic?
DESPERATE FOR APPROVAL
As a child, you are given approval for doing things right. When you put your dishes away, you may have been told you were a good girl. If you behaved in a certain way, you receive approval for the actions you took. As adults, we have been conditioned to still believe in receiving approval and most times this is not a bad thing. It is when you do not receive approval and/or receive criticism that the opinion of someone else becomes important. You have spent all your life chasing the approval of others, so when it is not received, the thoughts turn to “I am not good enough or I am no longer liked”. In reality, the only approval you need is your own. If you believe you have done a good job or you believe you are a good person, then that is all that matters.
When you give people permission to not like you or to judge you, you will no longer take their opinions personally. Their opinions become none of your business because no matter what you do or don’t do, you have no control over what someone else is thinking.
So why stress over it??
Linking up with Kylie for #IBOT