The title of this entry says it all. I’ve always had an issue being overly sensitive to what other people think of me, especially when it comes to a few key people in my life. This is a serious inhibitor for me. Let me explain:
There are those currently in my life that I try to cling to. I’ve known them for years. Some only ten years, others coming up on 15 years. These people have, unfortunately, been rather spiteful lately when it comes to any success that I may have in my life. Whether it’s gaining a college degree, getting married, starting a family, or returning to college for a Master’s, these select few never seem to be happy for me. Instead they find fault — with me. In talking to my husband and other, much more supportive friends, it seems to all boil down to jealousy. Some days I completely buy into that explanation, but other days I have a really hard time grasping it. “It can’t be them, it must be me,” is the mantra that has been instilled in me over the years. It’s the one that I really need to break.
Normally one would argue that it can’t be that bad, that it must just be something that keeps me up every once in a while and that I can move past it in a couple days. Nay, that’s not the case. In fact, this fear of what other people think of me and their successive jealous fits and reactions thereof has me paralysed. I have a fears of success to begin with (as do most people), but this additional fear has frozen me into the belief that if I succeed in anything I will lose these certain people in my life. I understand how many tell me “good riddance” to such a possibility, but I still love and care for these people despite their actions and harsh criticism. (In a very sad side note, many of these people have once again made their lack of understanding felt. Instead of being supportive of my break from the social-network hype, I’ve been the receiver of some very snarky comments.)
So what’s the thing to do? Well, I feel that I really do need to get past all this in order to be able to push forward with my life and feel happy. I crave being able to enjoy my successes. I want to feel free and not worry about what others think about me.
In skimming through some self-help book and article reviews (yes, this has become so disastrous an issue I dare go that route), I found a really great quote from Julien Smith’s The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck.
So the first noble truth is that most people don’t even care that you’re alive. Embrace this, my friends, for it is true freedom. The world is vast and you are small, and therefore you may do as you wish and cast your thoughts of those who dislike it to the side.
I think I might need to get this into my head as a new mantra. It’s something that rings true and makes the most sense out of everything that I’ve read in the past year about this type of stuff.
Ok, so you’ve adjusted to the fact that most people in the world are barely aware of your existence, and you’re also conscious of the fact that those who don’t like you are in the obscenely small minority and don’t actually matter. Awesome. Next you need to realize that the people who do care about you, and no one else, are those you need to focus on.
Bingo, Mr. Smith. There’s a reason you do this for a living, isn’t there?