*In addition to a blog topic, I’m writing this as a reminder to myself.
From time to time, we all become concerned with what the people around us think about us. We’re only human after all. This is especially true, when those people whose opinions we’re concerned with, really matter to us. We all want our friends, family, coworkers, and those we interact with regularly to like us. Totally normal stuff. But what happens when somebody’s opinion of you isn’t great? Then what?
I recently had an instance where a friend and peer of mine, assumed something about me that wasn’t true. I won’t get into specifics here, but the situation was such that an assumption was made about my motives, that was totally inaccurate. Initially, I was hurt. I wanted to defend myself, I wanted to explain the actual situation, but most of all, I wanted to shout, “Don’t you know me at all?!?” and “Why are you automatically assuming the worst of me?” I felt frustrated and defensive. I was angry, but most of all I was hurt.
We humans are social creatures, and we crave the trust and friendship of other humans. When something in our world makes us question the authenticity of our relationships, it feels yucky.
As I processed what had transpired with my friend, I realized that it had also triggered something in me (from some old wounds) that made the situation feel worse than it actually was. On the one hand, this was a relief and it helped me to just let it go. On the other hand, it presented the opportunity for me to work through my feelings once and for all.
We’d all like to think that when our character is called into question, those around us would base their assumptions about us on what they know to be true. Our past behavior should speak up favorably for us when we’re not in the room. So, why doesn’t this always happen? Simply because people don’t see us as we are, they see us as they are. I’ll say that again for the people in the back:
People don’t see us as we are, people see us as THEY are.
This, my beautiful friends, is why what other people think of us is really none of our business! Instead of feeling hurt or insecure because someone doesn’t like you, just realize that their opinions are filtered through who they are as a person. Through their experiences and traumas. Through their identity and beliefs about themselves. It’s really not about you at all. How freeing is that?
For me, the truth in this realization allowed me to move forward without carrying the shame of what someone else thought about me. It’s not necessarily easy, and it takes some time, so don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a while to get there! I know that I’m a good person, and just because someone else doesn’t see it, doesn’t make it any less true.
This is a vulnerable post for me, but if it helps one person heal from a hurt, I’m happy to share. Believe people when they show you who they are, good or bad. The most amazing thing we can be, is kind to one another, and especially to those who may not deserve our kindness. We’re kind because that’s who we are inside, not because a person may or may not deserve it. We’re all fighting battles that we don’t share, but if we see people as WE are, and what WE are is kindness, we can make the world just a little bit better with every interaction.