Do you ever find yourself concerned about what others think of you? I think it is human nature to do so. Like First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said, “What others think of me, is none of my business.” I guarantee Mrs. Roosevelt had undergone just a little ridicule and speculation while serving the longest First Lady residency of the White House to date for twelve years.
Eleanor shook up the norm of the First Lady role, writing her own newspaper column, and played a role in fighting poverty and racial discrimination in the World War II era. I can only imagine how a bold opinionated woman was received in a Congress mostly full of men. This makes me realize how thankful I am for the strong women who fought the status quo in our history to help women get the freedoms we have today.
When I find myself questioning my words, actions or ideas because I am concerned what others think of me it brings anxiety. If you are anything like me; I will run through conversations in my head, wondering what I could have or should have done better.
Here are a few questions I ask myself that help me put my mind at ease with my deeds, and conversations.
- Did I speak my truth?
- Was I kind?
- Was I able to keep calm and collected?
- Did I give the other party an opportunity to speak their truth?
- If there is no compromise of opinion, did we respectfully to agree to disagree?
- Did I hold on to my personal values? And did I allow the other party to do the same?
If I accomplished all these things, I feel okay with my interactions. You and I both know that there are times we don’t get along with everyone. So, when the other party may not like the outcome of our conversation or there is conflict, I start to think, “I wonder what they think of me?”
Truthfully even though I am fully aware ‘what they think of me is none of my business.’ I still do care! I care because I want others to see that I live and act in harmony with my beliefs. I believe in being kind and compassionate to every living being I come across in life, and although I know this is my intention, I want this to come across to those I interact with.
Yet I have learned I must be strong and stand firmly in my truth. I will not be happy if I allow myself to be steamrolled or bullied into silence. Standing up for yourself can be uncomfortable, especially if you encounter someone who does not show you respect to be authentically you.
I’ve met some people who seemed like unkind, selfish, mean, bullies in my day. Yet as I grow older, I see beyond their actions and see the pain underneath that makes them act out in this way. Maybe that person has not been shown compassion or kindness themselves? Maybe they were raised in a very totalitarian home with no empathy and not allowed to show emotion?
Clearly a person whom cannot practice compassion has not been shown it. These are the people who seem to have the loudest opinions and greater tendency to have behaviors such as: punish harshly, belittle, or bully others. When I have an interaction with folks like this it stays with me for days because it feels so icky.
Then I ask myself, “What did I do to bring this situation to myself? Was I part in escalating this uncomfortable situation or an innocent bystander of emotional violence?” I know that I am opinionated myself and am hardly ever completely innocent when it comes to debating with those with differing opinions. Yet how I interact with the world around me is very important to me.
I try very hard to be the best me I can be. I try to raise vibes, not lower them.
So, while it is true that “What others think of me is none of my business.” I still go back to those questions (see list above) and hold myself up to the personal standards I have set. I feel like when I answer those questions, I know if I can rest easy with my actions or if I have some room for improvement.
It is important to stand firmly in my truth, and to be okay when others do not like or agree with me. Because what I think of myself is more important than what others think of me. I know who I am inside and if I am upholding my personal values while feeling a little uncomfortable, I must be okay with that.
While we may always wonder what others think, it’s more important to ask yourself. “What do you, think of you?!” There is always room to grow, there are ways to improve being true to you too!
I imagine this may be what Eleanor Roosevelt was expressing with her quote. “What others think of me is none of my business.”
I hope this blog helped you in some way. I’d love to hear what you think!
Wishing you an abundance of blessings!
Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister
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Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister