Post #98 Haunted by Others’ Opinions
You read and re-read comments, posts and texts trying to decipher between the lines. It pains you to think that somebody spoke poorly or wrote nasty things about you. You consistently wonder, “I hope they like me … I wonder what they think of me”. It might be easy for your mind to take you down dark scenarios.
Whether you’re interested in dating or desire someone’s friendship, you ask, “I wonder what they think of me”. It spins around in your head as if a washing machine. And then there are your current friends and acquaintances. You wonder what they think of you, too – are they writing about you on social media without mentioning your name? Perhaps you suspect they laugh about you behind your back. These haunting thoughts are making you suffer unnecessarily.
Be Aware of Emotional Dependence
Let’s face it, everybody wants to be liked. We all want to fit in … and this means different things to different people. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked. However, when you emotionally depend on others to like you, that’s when you get into trouble (see Post #61). If you require others to like you so you can feel good, you set yourself up for disappointment. Here’s how to test it – ask yourself, “How would I feel if so-and-so told me they don’t like me?” If the idea of somebody not liking you stirs up negative feelings and reactions, you are dependent on them. Let’s work to get you out of that dependency mode.
Start with Yourself
Imagine all the different opinions and thoughts people have about you. Throw them all in one giant bucket. Do you think you can feel great about YOU despite the opinions floating around in the bucket? My point: you have the ability and the duty to cherish the relationship you have with yourself first. When you like yourself and when you command self-respect, opinions will not ruffle your feathers. Have your own back and learn to like yourself for who you are exactly as you are. Only then will you erase emotional dependence on others. And they will pick up on it.
Instead of asking, “I wonder what they think of me”, replace it with “I wonder what I think of me?”
For additional tools and brain exercises to help you manage your COVID-19 circumstances, visit my YouTube video: Managing Student Life During COVID-19.