What Will Other People Think?
Growing up, I remember my adolescent days of wanting to be part of the “in group” – the group that was leading the trends, the people who were at the front of the room in school and popular. I thought if I pleased everyone, I too could be accepted into the popular groups. At that time it seemed like I was always preoccupied with the idea of what other people were thinking.
One of the things I have noticed lately is that even as we all grow up, what others think appears to be many adults preoccupation. So many of the professional people around me seem to want acceptance of others beyond all else. Even in my family there have been struggles over the years on being “people pleasing”. It causes them to twist and turn their lives into places that aren’t really who they genuinely are.
When you constantly worry about what other people think, you can easily get caught in an emotional trap. In reality, you don’t have to please everybody any more than your ability to please everybody allows. It’s that false sense of panic to think that in order to be happy, you must be loved and validated by everyone you meet. Inside you know it’s just not how it works, but you do it anyway.
If you feel controlled or manipulated, its likely that you’re allowing yourself to be controlled or manipulated. It’s good to stand up for what’s right, but no one can pressure you unless you allow them to. Perhaps you don’t see it, or you ignore it, but it can happen easily. Inside your head you want acceptance, and you may be willing to color things to feel like you are not being controlled, but it can happen anyway.
It’s OK to be strong and center yourself on who you really are. How often do we fool ourselves to think it is more spiritual centered to just be quiet and put up with it all. But God doesn’t expect you to be run over by everyone you meet, you are made to be strong and be yourself.
How often are there missed opportunities in our lives that we let pass by? Do we find ourselves burying our talents, our sensibility and throwing them aside in order to please others, to be accepted. Then ironically, we get angry at our circumstances and allow even more control to be sacrificed to others for the sake of being accepted. We wonder how we got where we are.
In the end, it’s good to be ourselves, let the “people pleasing” efforts come out as a result of being ourselves. Don’t let it rule your life. We can allow our spiritual life to guide us to the relationships that are around us, and we will be accepted. Centering yourself on being who you are and not what others want you to be. You will find your goals will change and what you want out of life will be refreshing and personal. You know what other people will think?… won’t you?
You make such a good point mgert, thank you for this.