Maybe more often than once in a while people will be wrong about you. I want to challenge you to accept that. Let it be okay.
We spend so much time considering what other people might think of something we say, or how we do something. There’s concern about hurting other people’s feelings. We try to tailor the way we do things. We want to be who we are, as long as other people are okay with it. As long as it doesn’t cause any problems, hurt feelings, or cause contention.
And I’m with you, I don’t set out to do things, ever, with the intention of bothering or hurting someone, that’s not who I am. I’m guessing that’s not who you are either. But the amount of energy some of us spend on worrying about what other people think of us is high.
And here’s the thing, even if you think everything through, make all of your plans, carefully considering how people are going to think, feel, and respond…you still might be wrong.
It’s impossible to decide for them that if you say something a certain way or if you decide not to do something that you want to do that they will for sure like you more, be more okay with your decisions, or be more forgiving of you when you do things they don’t like. You can’t arrange those things. Why? Because of how other people think and feel are only ever up to them. You understand this because how you think and feel are decisions owned by you. You may have a preference on the order something is done, how something is approached, or any number of components in a given interaction.
But, how you feel once it is done or not done in the way you prefer is totally up to you. Let’s focus there for a minute because it is really empowering.
You are the one, the sole decision-maker on how you think about everything you think about!
Nobody can make you like them
Nobody can force you to love them
Have you ever been in a situation, where somebody really wanted you to be more interested than you were? It happens a lot in the dating realm.
Those are choices YOU MAKE. They cannot be made for you, even if the person on the other end is very convincing with their cause. Your thoughts about your interactions and experiences with a person impact how you feel about them. It isn’t what they do or don’t do, it is your thoughts, your perspective about what they do or don’t do.
Let me explain in more detail what I mean. Let’s go back to the dating world because I think the imbalanced-interest couple draws a good parallel for some of the things we’re discussing.
In a dating couple where the interest level is not mutual (and isn’t going to be), one person often puts forth more effort than the other into demonstrating a fondness. The reason for this is obvious because we’ve already defined it. There is one more interested person and one less interested person.
The more interested person might shower the other with gifts, give the other a lot of attention, help the other where they think he or she might appreciate it, show physical affection…any number of efforts to demonstrate and act on the level of interest he or she has.
The other person – the less interested person – though appreciative of the kind gestures and actions – cannot be forced to think the same way about the more interested partner. The less interested person isn’t bad or wrong for not having the same thoughts about the relationship, he or she has different ideas about it.
Put yourself in the shoes of each person for a second. Notice that as the more interested person the efforts being made are sincere, kind, and generous. Those are good qualities and selfless motives. Notice that as the less interested person you are grateful and aware of the efforts being made. Gratitude and awareness are also good qualities. Neither person in this equation is wrong or bad.
But what I want you to notice is that even with all of the kindness being offered in the direction of the less interested person, with all of the consideration and forethought about what might be pleasing to the less interested person – the receiver had a different perspective, different thoughts.
So is it wrong to spend time trying to think about what would be pleasant for someone else?
Is it bad to try to do things in a way that causes the least friction?
No, not necessarily. But it is important to realize that you cannot control how other people are going to receive you. Even with the best of intentions. For me, that is totally okay and I hope it is for you, too.
Allow them misunderstand you. Let them judge you.Why? Because their opinion about you has no power over you. You don’t even need to know it, but if you do it can only impact you if you let it.
Just like the person who kept doing nice things in hopes that the dating partner was having fond feelings as well. Just like any situation where one person does nice things hoping they will be well received. The person on the other end has total jurisdiction over what they think and feel about those nice things.
The control is yours over what you think and feel about someone doing nice things for you. You also have absolute and total control over what you think and feel when someone is wrong about you.
One option is to think nothing about it at all. Really, that’s my favorite option because it requires the least brain chatter.
The Least Amount of Energy
The Least Amount of Drama
It looks something like this, “It seems that person is wrong about me.” Then no more thought or time is directed to that person or situation. If that is hard for you, I want you to ask yourself why.
Does it matter what someone else thinks? Why is it impacting you to know that somebody is wrong about your motives, your actions, your past, your future?
Why does any of that matter?
The only reason somebody else’s opinion would ever bother you would be if there is some part of it that you believe or are trying not to believe. If you fear that you are unacceptable in some way, if you think about being unacceptable and you worry about being unacceptable, and somebody else says that you are unacceptable. You may hear his or her comment as a confirmation of what you’ve been afraid of.
But notice it isn’t the other person, it isn’t the words or tone they’re using, it is you. Your voice, your opinion is stronger than you realize. When you decide that they are validating a concern you’ve had when you decide that their opinion holds weight when you choose to believe that they are authoritative enough to make an assessment of you, your worthiness, your level of acceptability, your level of talent, your goodness, your strength when you allow any other person space in your head, IT IS YOU, allowing it.
You are choosing
You are in the power seat
And just as quickly as you can elect to give someone a talking seat at the table in your brain, you can kick them right out and go back to the phrase, “It seems that person is wrong about me,” or whatever variation of that phrase resonates with you.
Own your control over your mind. Allow others to have their own opinions. Let people be wrong about you. It is okay. You know who you are. You know what you’re about.
And you know you are 100% worth it and worthy.
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