Other People's Opinions: When Praise Makes You Soar and Criticism Makes You Cry

Day 7: Opinions

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What is it about other people’s opinions of us that can have us all up in our heads or coddling our hearts?

There’s a part of us that believes them.

We don’t have rock solid beliefs about ourselves and so when someone else, especially someone we admire shares their beliefs about us we pay attention and give it more weight then it’s worth.

We latch on to what they say. We make it mean something really really good about us or really really bad about us.

When they rave about how amazing we are, it feels good because for a minute we believe we are amazing.

When they criticize us and tear us down, it feels awful because we believe them. Some part of us believes that what they’re saying must be true.

What if we decided to believe what we want to believe about ourselves?

What if we decided to believe that we are amazing no matter what?

Here’s three things to keep in mind about other people’s opinions of you:

1) They are never really about you. They are about the person sharing the opinion. They have all sorts of thoughts about you. So will the next person. And the next person. Guess what? Those opinions will vary. People like what they like for their own reasons. It has nothing to do with you. You may remind them of someone that they don’t like. You may remind them of someone that they love dearly and miss. Really, it’s not about you.

2) Their opinions of you are none of your business. When you’re busy being you, you won’t have the time or desire to try and figure out what someone else is thinking about you. Why spend time trying to guess what’s in their brain? There’s no reason to want to know their opinion about you because they’re allowed to have their own thoughts. They have the right to think whatever they want to think about you. This is a beautiful thing! It means you get to form your own opinions as well. Just because!

3) Let them be wrong about you. It’s ok for others to be wrong about you. If you’re not believing their story about you, over your story about you, there’s not a problem. The problem begins when you believe what they think more then what you think. If their opinion is bothering you, ask yourself why? Is it because you agree with them? Embrace it if so. Why resist something that has some truth in it?