Although it may seem like a rude statement, the meaning behind it actually has surpassing validity. Shame and guilt have probably been a big factor in what kept you trying to treat your mental illness alone or even drinking and using to numb.
Embarrassment and shame are unpleasant feelings to have. They do, however, serve a beneficial role. Studies demonstrate that when we are embarrassed or ashamed, we are more inclined to be considerate and kind, as well as more determined to repair previous mistakes. So, on one level, caring so much about what others think of us is a positive thing.
But, it's also true that most of us are guilty of obsessing over what other people think of us. According to studies, we routinely overestimate how much and how poorly people think about our flaws. As a result, we are a lot more restrained than we could be, and far less spontaneous and cheerful than we could be.
As you reconstruct your perceptions and interests, you will initially be more self-conscious. But remember, humans evolved to thrive better in groups, where success is defined by fitting in and earning the confidence and respect of our peers. Our need to belong is deeply ingrained in us.
While there may be some nay sayers or negative nancy’s in your past, what they think of you is none of your business. You may be thinking that since they are having these negative feelings about you, you have the right to know. Think it through - do you really want to know what they think about you, especially if it is insulting to your character? Does it really matter what they think of you? People have the right to believe anything they want, just as you have the right to believe whatever you want. People's opinions of you won't affect who you are or how much you're worth until you let them. It is up to you to live your life. After all, you're the only one who needs to approve of your own decisions.
In recovery, you are supposed to be building up your routine of self-awareness. That is different than being self-conscious. Being around people who are constantly cutting you down and not encouraging your recovery or health is not conducive to helping you succeed. To create awareness, make room for grounding activities, a spiritual practice, talking to a therapist you trust and learning something new. These right brain, left brain activities make all the difference in how you frame your thoughts and emotions. Over time, you will see yourself less through the eyes of others if you are stirring your creativity, activity, learning and positive relationships.
You will never get to where you need to go in life if you are continually concerned with what other people think. You'll have to do things that don't always satisfy other people's expectations. You'll find yourself in circumstances where you'll have to risk your pride and reputation in order to acquire what you desire. If you're continually worrying about what other people think, you'll never have the motivation to do the right thing.
The weight of other people’s opinions may feel like a burden to you. Because your entire self (personality, ideas, and behaviors) is governed by an idealistic standard of what people want to see, it might prevent you from living your life. When you're preoccupied with other people's perceptions of you, you lose sight of your own. You may make a deliberate effort to cease caring; to set yourself free. It, like meditating, is a talent that must be honed. However, if you genuinely grasp how to let go, the world will emerge in a whole different light in a short time.
People may have a bad opinion of you because of something you did. Change that opinion by living a healthy routine without their approval or accolades. When you take a leap of faith to transform into the person that you were meant to be, you have a much better opportunity to give people a better impression of how you are presently living. Giving it time does not necessarily mean that all that you did in the past will automatically be water under the bridge. More importantly, you will start to change the impression of what you think of yourself. Reputation is more about character than it is about opinion.
Let us help you change your life.
Pacific Solstice is committed to delivering quality treatment to our clients with the goal of changing one family at a time. If you are struggling with recovery and the burden of other people’s thoughts, do not hesitate to give us a call. Our thoughts can feel paralyzing. We are here to help you develop a new perspective that will aid in your recovery. You may reach us by visiting our website or calling (949) 200-7929. To help us get to know you better, you may also take this assessment and verify your insurance.