Other People’s Opinions

There is one argument that Amber and I keep having that repeated itself yesterday.  And it is how much thought do you put into what others think.  To explain, when you are making a decision, how much weight do you give to how others are going to view that decision.

For example, when I was much younger I had a Big Dog (or was it Bad Dog) shirt that I loved to wear.  I thought the art was cool, and just felt good wearing it.  But then I ran into an acquaintance who was happy to inform me that only skateboarders wore Bad Dog shirts, and that since I was not a skateboarder I was therefore a poser.  Since I did not want to be a poser, I no longer wore a shirt that I loved.

As I have progressed in my life, the weight that I put on what others think of what I do, say and think has decreased to basically zero.  That is not to say that I do not value others opinions, or that I do not seek those opinions out.  What it means is that if I make a choice, I am going to value my thoughts and conclusions with significantly more weight than others.

Where this hits home with Amber and I is that she knows exactly what those thoughts and opinions are going to be from the people she is worrying about.  She knows that even if she did everything that was expected of her from these people, they will still be horribly depressed and unhappy.  She has no control over how they feel.  She cannot change their outlook on life.  Yet she let’s their disapproval hold sway over her.

And that I do not understand.  It is her life.  Not theirs.  It is her actions that she has to be happy with.  She wants things one way, and they want them the exact opposite.  She knows that there is nothing she can do about this.

So my advice has been to question why she holds it as important to make these people happy.  Really think about where this need comes from.  Dissect it and see if the origination is something that you actually care about.  I said think about if you did everything that they wanted; do you think they would be happy then?  (She knows the answer is no.)  If you could have it your way and knew that everyone would be perfectly happy, how would you want it?

We all find ourselves at some point wondering what others think of us.  My question to you is why?  If you think well of yourself, if you have decided what you really want and why, your opinion should matter the most.