I began writing this blog as just one single post however, after a week I had only managed to get about halfway through it. I realised that it was already becoming a ridiculously long blog so as a result, I decided that I would develop it into a ten-part series. I wanted to share some things I have learned over the last couple of years that have changed the way I think and feel about the world around me.
People always care what other people think, unless they have a serious mental issue.
There have been studies done to prove this theory and if you wish to read one you can click the following link to read the very article which taught me this lesson in the first place. http://www.thehappytalent.com/blog/unless-youre-a-psychopath-you-are-obsessed-with-what-others-think-of-you.
This is a tough lesson to learn because it means you also need to learn how to see things through another person’s eyes and know when it’s time to be a little more understanding of that person’s motives. I used to think there was something wrong with me and when I was angry at someone, I would wonder why I couldn’t take everyone’s advice to stay positive and not care what they think or how they treated me.
I now understand that there is nothing wrong with me and that while everyone means well, they are not giving me the right advice to help build my self-esteem. I am still struggling with this lesson as anytime a person does something to upset me, my emotions constantly take over and I find myself venting to others who, in the most caring way, advise me not to worry about it.
These emotional reactions I have developed over the years prevent me from allowing myself to see the other person’s side of things which could actually restrict these emotions in the first place and I guess this is a skill I need to practice but I will get there one day. What I am still trying to remind myself to understand is that when someone upsets me, they are struggling with their own self-esteem issues and more often than not are they aren’t trying to upset me on purpose.
You may come across people in your life that are compulsive liars, or at least constant embellishers and it will make you wonder what the fuck is going on in their head to make them lie so blatantly. The simple answer is that they are trying to cover up some sort of insecurity because it is just human nature to care what people think of you. Understanding this fact does not mean that you should allow people to lie to you or continually forgive someone for disregarding your feelings. It simply means that you should take every situation with a grain of salt and acknowledge the fact that this person is probably not lying to you just to screw with your head. When we are hurt, we want to think the worst of people because the flood of emotions does not allow us to think properly and stops us from realising that not every wrong-doing is the result of a negative intention.
There are plenty of people who will sit there and say that they don’t care what people think of them and these people may even back this up with their actions but this is actually not true. By portraying a persona in which they don’t care and cannot be hurt by the thoughts of others, these people are protecting themselves from possible rejection. They fear that rejection will make them look weak or feel insignificant and often they have portrayed this persona for so long that it has become subconscious. A lot of the time you will even find that they overcompensate for their fear by rejecting others before giving them a chance.
Too many people wrongly associate self-conscious actions with an individual’s self-esteem and with so much focus these days on self-esteem, people are constantly being told that they should not care what others think. While good intentions may be the driving factor, given that these thoughts are only human nature, it is unproductive advice and can often bring about a result that is in fact the opposite to what they had intended. Further to this, to encourage a lack of care towards another’s thoughts can also encourage a lack of empathy towards that person’s feelings and there are too many people residing in this world for it to function properly without empathy.
Self-esteem is crucial to mental wellbeing and more importance should be placed on building self-esteem through encouraging strength in character rather than discouraging a perfectly natural urge to care about what others think.
“Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.” – T. Harv Eker.