Why I Don’t Care What You Think About Me
For as long as I can remember, my goal seemed to be pleasing everyone else. Whether it was my parents, siblings, friends, teachers, significant others or bosses, I felt an unexplainable need to satisfy them by doing everything that they wanted me to do, in the way that they wanted me to do it and in the timeframe they required. When I did not meet these expectations, I felt as though I had let them down, that I was not good enough, that I was a disappointment to them and that I had to find a way to do things better so that this did not happen again.
I had to adopt the principle that I truly did not care what someone else thought of me, my work, my goals and the choices that I make for my life. I had to step back and assess a situation without first reacting emotionally to it in order to be able to do this. I had to understand that no one else is in a position to know what is best for me.
At first, I was of the belief that I was a perfectionist and that was the reason that I worked this way. But, when I stepped back and took another look, I realized that there were lots of other things that I did where I did not endeavor to be perfect so that didn’t apply. In the interim, I continued to not only strive to do better but also would become extremely upset with myself when someone else would do or say something that reflected poorly on anything that I had worked so hard to achieve. All I could think is that there was just something wrong with me that caused others to treat me this way and to feel that it was necessary for them to point out everything that they did not like.
I couldn’t begin to imagine what I could do to change this. After all, these people were all in my life for a reason and I was convinced that there was something that I needed to learn about “constructive criticism” or whatever other buzz words applied on a particular day. That was until it hit me that there truly is no such thing as “constructive criticism” as criticism by any other name is still criticism. Then I had to ask myself what it was that I was doing that needed to be criticized in the first place. I realized that what was happening was not a matter of my doing anything wrong or that it was sub-standard or not good enough. I realized that what I was doing was outstanding work and that I was accomplishing much more than what others were doing. And what I finally realized was that either I was hearing what someone else said as a critical judgment of myself or that I was being addressed in that way as the result of another person’s insecurities.
So, first, I had to understand that what some people were offering to me was their personal insight into what they thought was best for me or how I might improve upon something if I took a look at it from a different angle. They were not telling me what to do or suggesting that what I had done was wrong but rather offering a different perspective. I had every right then to decide whether I needed to change things or decide that I didn’t need to do so and to thank them for their offering. Second, I had to be able to recognize when someone was directing something toward me as a result of their own insecurities, their need to feel superior, their need to cover up for their own failings or their need to always be the one who had all of the answers. This was the tough one.
There was only one way to achieve this goal. I had to adopt the principle that I truly did not care what someone else thought of me, my work, my goals and the choices that I make for my life. I had to step back and assess a situation without first reacting emotionally to it in order to be able to do this. I had to understand that no one else is in a position to know what is best for me. And most importantly, I had to become aware of my own interactions with other and make sure that I never, ever spoke to them or about them in a way that could be viewed as criticism. I wanted for them to understand that I care about them enough to want the best for them in whatever they choose to do and how they choose to do it. I want them to know that no matter what, I will be there for them. After all, that is what I want for myself from others.
Powered by Facebook Comments