Yes it is early this week, but I am leaving once more for the open road. I won't have a way to blog. I've had something rolling around in my head of late. So I will process it here and maybe help you guys too.
I've done a pretty good job the past few years detaching from opinions as they are expressed on Youtube comment threads. For the most part I couldn't care less what some person hidden behind a screen thinks of me. Don't get me wrong it pleases me when people leave encouraging feed back, but I don't take it to heart when someone decides to insult me on the internet. This is good. This is progress. Where I still struggle is out in the big wide world. I do worry how I am received.
This I understand is a natural human concern. We evolved living in small groups and communities. We depended on each other for our physical well being. With all of our modern toys we may be less aware on the surface of how interdependent we are, however when we get down below that veneer our social standing is often a strong motivator for our actions. We are all keeping up with the Jones' in a sense. Now the form this takes varies among groups and individuals, but all of us (barring sociopaths) are invested in what esteem our social groups have for us. Now the degree to which this dictates our actions and behaviors also varies among people. Some people just don't care what others think of them…unless it is their family doing the thinking. For others it is their friends or their romantic partners which generate the most anxiety surrounding their self image.
Don't believe me? Think you are above all that? Well try this little thought experiment. Imagine someone you hold in very high regards, someone you really respect, someone you love. Now imagine how you would feel if this person was absolutely disgusted by you. Imagine they are repulsed by your appearance, your voice, your hygiene, your choices, your behavior, and your interests. Does that idea disturb you? Well welcome to the human race.
I have realized that I still worry a good deal about what the people around me think of me. I am likely projecting my own insecurities on them and playing out my own fears of rejection. The thing is, experience has taught me that I am a poor judge of what people think of me. In other matters, I'm actually really good at gauging motivations, but every intuitive has a blind spot when it comes to themselves. The other thing I have realized is that it really isn't my business what people think of me. I mean don't get me wrong I work very hard trying to make it my business. I am not quite sure why I think I am entitled to know what goes on in other people's heads. It isn't like the information gives me any sort of peace of mind, it is rather the opposite.
So what about you? Do you feel entitled to know what people think of you? Are you always concerned about what is going on inside the minds of our fellow humans? I think you'd be quite shocked at how seldom we cross the minds of others. What would happen if when these worries surfaced you reminded yourself that it isn't any of your business what goes on in other people's minds? Would that free you up? Would that let you relax a little bit more? Try it out and see.
Peace and Blessings,