One certain recurring lesson has been playing out for me…
What other people think of me is none of my business.
It was there when someone called me sanctimonious and judgmental and I let it hurt my feelings.
It was there when someone said the offer I made for an energy healing session ‘didn’t come from love’ and I let it devastate me.
It was there again, when many someone’s interpreted ‘now’ as ‘immediately’ rather than ‘next’ and made judgements on that and I let that bother me.
I have progressed through these lessons successfully. Which means that each time it took me less and less time to remind myself of the fact that what other people think of me is none of my business.
Why does it bother us when people misinterpret our intentions?
Why DOES it bother us when people misinterpret our intentions?
That is a fine question…and one I haven’t answered satisfactorily yet.
The short easy answer is that we obtain self-value from the approval of others. We do. Even when we don’t want to. Even when the whole of our value isn’t dependent on what others think. What others think plays a part in how we see ourselves. Some people even gain value from being dis-liked as opposed to being liked, but their self-value is still dependent on other’s feedback.
To some extent the need for feedback is human. It is a natural desire to be accepted and appreciated by our peers and being misinterpreted interferes with that. So, perhaps that is why otherwise seemingly well-adjusted individuals get their feelings hurt when someone holds them out of favor.
Where it gets pathological is when the whole of our self-value is dependent on what other people think. I think its vital for us to keep this in check. I think it is important to explore when someone’s opinion of us bothers us.
In the above situations, I found it helpful to ask myself the following questions 1) was my intention what I thought it was? 2) if not, what was my true intention? 3) was my communication clear? 4) Is it necessary to clear it up.
If the answer to #4 is ‘no’ then that is the end of it. If the answer to #4 is ‘yes’ then I make efforts to remedy the misinterpretation. During that process, it may become clear that the error was not in my communication but in the other’s receptive processing. Then it is out of my hands and I drop it. I can’t help those who won’t meet me half way.
Communication is a two-way responsibility. We are responsible for what we send and how we receive. We are NOT responsible for what others send, nor for how others receive.
Which means that what someone thinks of us is more often than not a reflection of how they are receiving rather than what we are sending…
Thus we are back at the beginning where what someone thinks of us is none of our concern!
I love you…