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What will people think of me

All my life I've been trying to learn not to depend on other people's opinions. And the hope in my eyes - maybe I have something that turns my mind upside down. 

There is. 

Thinking about how my life resonates in the people around me is the sign of a mentally healthy adult. It is the liveliest and most effective mechanism for helping us live in the human world.

Only at the stage of immature adolescence does it seem that adulthood is about such independence, when I sincerely don't care about anything that others say or think about me. By promising to "unbuckle" from public opinion and teach independence, it is guaranteed to draw a full house. This is a "sore" subject of humanity. 

"Buckle up," by the way, can indeed be done. Alcohol gives good results - it generally dulls our sensitivity to everything, much easier it becomes possible to do what with a clear head we just can not survive.

The second way to get out from under public opinion - to reduce their social contacts to a minimum, better to zero, admitting myself right, and everyone is not competent enough in my life. Proudly suffering from loneliness, "giving no one the right to violate my boundaries.

We are dependent - and that's okay. We can call it social conscience, responsibility, the collective unconscious, the ancestral experience, the oneness of all living beings. Every action or choice we make affects everyone. Whether we know it or not, believe it or think of ourselves as purely biological carcasses, disconnected from everything and alone in our journey. The world really cares how I live today - tomorrow depends on it. And with all our gut we feel keenly that we are also nowhere without it. That's why we listen so sensitively to feedback.

"What will they think?" and "What will they say?" - is a signal system, a semaphore with a siren in our path that warns us that we're on thin ice and maybe something is going wrong. Let's put it bluntly: when was the last time you worried about what people would think? Was it a really clean situation on your part in every sense? Or was it still...?  Or was it, after all.

There is, by the way, a socionic context to this story, surprisingly enough. Extroverts are much more powerful in their social assessments. Those who are most acutely affected are the ones who read these assessments best - the extroverted ethicists (Huxley, Hamlets, Napoleons, and Hugos). Extroverted logicians (especially Don Quixote and the Zhukov) are no less vulnerable, but they often complete other people's reactions simply from their heads, misinterpreting someone's manifestations usually not in their favor. Introverted sensoryists are the most "protected" in this sense - they direct very little of their attention (simply by virtue of the mental structure) outward, so they often do not see reactions.

But this is only about perception. But the reactions to what is already "thought" - always remain a personal choice of each. For example, getting the signal that the solutions we've chosen don't get us excited in our environment is a good place to stop. 

This is a good reason to double-check.

What dictates someone else's opinion of me? Love? Concern? Fear? Envy? Boredom?

Am I really wrong? 

Or have my gauges gone off and I've stopped noticing things that are obvious to others? 

Maybe the move is unnecessarily risky and I'm overconfident? 

Maybe I've gotten caught up in a situation that I'm really not too happy about myself anymore, and "public opinion" is just mirroring what's going on inside me right now?

Whose opinion really matters to me? If they are important people and they know me well, what is the rationale behind what they say? If they aren't people close to me, who don't share my values, don't know me and don't understand me, it's unlikely that their judgment of the situation is adequate - most likely it's white noise, you can ignore it.

And calmly move on. 

We unpleasantly "cling" to people and hurt ourselves about their opinions until we settle down inside of us in a unified harmony:

  • what I feel does not contradict what I think
  • what I think does not contradict what I say
  • what I say does not contradict what I do
  • what I do does not contradict what I feel.

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Yulia Kassich

psychotherapist, specifies on socionics. More than 20 years of experience, thousands hours of consultations, hundreds hours of trainings, webinars, online courses. Yulia is living her dream life by traveling the world for the last 12 years

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