The Healing Place

What Other People Think

What Other People Think

Many people have told me over the course of my life that “what other people think about you is none of your business.” Early in my life, and even in recent times, I had striven to be liked, to not upset people, to keep the peace. Not always, by a long shot, but I found that all I managed to do was put myself in a twist trying to please everyone in all things.

Factor in my natural stubbornness, the idea that what other people think of me is none of my business was not quite one of those light bulb moments that people experience – sort of like the difference between a spiritual awakening and those of the educational variety the Big Book talks about. For me, it was more of a two-by-four over the head – and can still be.

I’ve been told I am judgmental and often wear a bitch face, but we don’t always know what a person’s walk in life is like until we take a stroll in their shoes. For me, it never became so clear and simple, the part about not caring what others thought – until I realized in an instant that what people think about me truly isn’t about me; it is about them, not me.

Their thoughts are not my business – it’s theirs. I had been striving for the impossible – to always be thought of in the “right way” by other people. While it is nice to be highly thought of by others, I now understand that it is far more beneficial, and far more achievable, to be highly thought of by myself.

Are you a people pleaser, but harbor deep felt resentment in doing so? It is impossible to make everyone happy with the choices we make. If you worry about getting everyone’s approval, you’d never get anywhere. If you let what others think of you become your business, it will consume all of your time and energy, draining you of the ability to move on in your life.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean be completely ignorant of others’ feelings, but rather their thoughts about you. You cannot change their mind by constantly worrying and stressing about what they think of you. What you can do is be the person you are truly meant to be and feel comfortable with that; more than comfortable be the person that you want to spend your time with. Forget the thoughts about you from others and concentrate on the thoughts you have about yourself.

After all this soul searching in recovery, I have finally begun to learn to accept, and love the person I am without having to put on any fronts. I no longer live my life based on what others might think of me, whether it be negative or positive. We all like to hear those positive thoughts from others, but remember that whatever the thoughts from others are, it is none of our business.

The words from others are useless unless we believe them to be true in our own hearts.