Sunday, July 23, 2017

Facebook question for the day

An acquaintance on Facebook asked this question today: "Question for the masses... Do YOU let the opinions of others about you affect you?"

Man, oh man. Did I care what people thought of me growing up! I thought I was worthless if I wasn't popular and liked. I know a lot of people like that in this world, and I feel sad for them. But, I realized that the saying, "You will become the sum of the people you surround yourself with" is true. There's no need to punish yourself by hanging out people that don't like you and/or speak badly of you. That's like self-flagellation for no real reason. Of course, when you're in school, you don't really get much of a choice of who you are around, but when you graduate, I swear it gets better, something to look forward to. In the mean time, try to be fair, honest, generous, and kind, but don't forget self-care.

Here's the response I shared on that thread, and I hope it rings true for you.

A few things weigh into that for me.

I grew up believing how much others liked me was equal to how good of a person I was. The older I am and the more confident I've become with age (and therapy to distance myself emotionally from the people who taught me that dangerous lesson, lol), the less stock I put in what other people think of me... in accordance to how close we are and how much I respect them as human beings.

The people I've chosen to surround myself in the last year are fair, honest, and generous, and laugh off rumors, not putting any stock in them. They don't manipulate or control me and who I'm friends with, and I want to be like them. If I'm not like them, why would they want to include me? So yeah, what they think is important to me. I want to reflect their values because I admire them as people.

With people that don't like me? Especially the toxic ones that set out to hurt me? Oh well, I don't have to hang out with them. They're not the only game in town. The more confident I've grown, the more I realize that they are the ones missing out because I love my friends and do my best to care for them and help them (within reasonable boundaries and limits). I think I'm a good friend, but I do have to take care of myself, first. You can't drink if you never fill your own cup. If I never interact with the people who don't like me and have made it clear to me, they can't really hurt me. Out of sight, out of mind.

So, in short, don't stay around people who think poorly of you when they make it clear one way or another. What other people think about you is none of your business anyway. You can't change it, so why bother? Just work to reflect your own values and live your life.