Don’t be afraid of what others think about you.

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Over this past week I’ve never said a sentence more than “Don’t be afraid of what others think about you”. It’s a really easy thing to say but much harder to actually do. I find myself being torn between caring and not caring. Feeling annoyed at being misunderstood and then empowered by knowing that I don’t need to explain myself because at the end of the day I am happy with who I am. I’m by no means perfect and I think that you do need to be able to look at yourself and take some criticism on board because it can help you become a better person. But I think in todays society a lot of the criticism that’s thrown out there doesn’t come from a place of wanting to help someone become better. It seems to come from people wanting to make themselves feel better by putting someone else down.

I stopped by London Fashion Week this weekend. Walking along the cobbled stones in Somerset House brought back memories of working there. This time, I couldn’t help but notice how uncomfortable, cold and self conscious some of the people were standing around in their carefully chosen outfits. It was weird. Once upon a time I would have walked around that cobbled square looking at everyone thinking, I wish I could be that cool or make a statement like that. This year I was just happy to see my friends and walk around in a big warm jacket and trainers. I didn’t want to be anyone else except myself, a feeling i’m just getting used to having.

At the same time the atmosphere there was really judgemental, everyone looking at everyone to see who’s looking at them. It was hard not to get sucked into looking at some people and judging them in a negative way. I had to remind myself that those people were just being themselves and who was I to judge? What do I know about them and how they feel? It was so strange, why would I need to have a bad thought about anyone there?

Tolerance is something I think we should all have for each other, whatever the situation. Why is it we are all so keen to criticise? I find I have to knock myself back into shape every now and then because I’ll judge someone in a negative way, like I did this weekend. It’s such an odd behaviour and I know I’m not the only one who does it. Where does it come from?

Imagine if every interaction you had with a person was a kind and caring one, even if it was difficult or challenging in terms of the situation/outcome. How different would we all feel about ourselves? Do we really need to be nasty to anyone ever?

I think as a whole if we stop being afraid of what other people think about us and spend more time making sure that the thoughts we have about others are positive and kind then maybe we could change the world a little bit.

Having said ALL of that… You shouldn’t be afraid of what others think because they are just people and thoughts, and people and thoughts can always change.

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3 thoughts on “Don’t be afraid of what others think about you.

  1. zoe says:

    There is a quote I live by and I tell the kids I work with, “what anyone else thinks of you is none of your business.” It’s true, does it really matter about other’s judgements and perceptions? Often we are out own worst critics and burdening ourselves worrying about what others think only makes us miserable. Ultimately as you said, we have to be happy in ourselves for ourselves. We all make judgements, it is human nature, but we can change them. I follow Buddhism and I quite like the Zen idea of seeing everything for what it is. In example when we first look at a flower, we see a flower. What we then do is attach all of our ideas to that flower – it smells nice, is pretty, looks sorry for itself etc etc. What we have to do is take ourselves back to the moment when we saw just ‘the flower.’ We need to remember that with people and look at them as ‘people’ before we add any of our ideas/judgements to them. I also believe that to truly love someone else, you first need to learn to love yourself. If you are happy in yourself, nothing can touch it, everything else is then a bonus 🙂

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