Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter what you do, the rug is pulled out from under your bottom and you fall on one cheek so hard you bite your tongue off. You do that in front of about 400 of the most important people you could ever think of and they all laugh and point their fingers.
That’s how it feels, anyway. It’s not really what happens (usually) but that how it feels.
For me it happens when I’m trying to do something playful, inventive, creative, and I get taken the wrong way, or people think I’m coming from a place other than a good one. This hurts quite a bit, because I rarely come from a bad place – unless of course you mess with my family, or touch my chocolate.
So, often, the way people have taken something has nothing to do with me at all. It comes from their experiences, what they think of people as a whole, how people have treated them in their lives recently. I have no control over that, nor do I have any control over the way people take me.
Even though I know better: each experience whereby I’m taken the wrong way leaves me feeling flat and disappointed.
I mean, on the catastrophe scale, whereby up the top I’m being eaten by a shark and down low I’ve forgotten to do my tax return, it’s relatively low. So why am I so affected? Oh, that’s right … the good old, ‘caring what people think’ paradigm. It stems way back to infancy when we were praised for doing the right thing and disciplined for misbehaviour. We aim to please people to get that positive reinforcement and good feeling vibe that comes with the nod of the head and the pat on the back. And, when the opposite happens, it’s heart-breaking.
So, I’m not going to attempt to eradicate the desire to please people from my life, I’m pretty sure that’s impossible. However, when I make a mistake, or am taken the wrong way, I will try hard to see it all for what it truly is: a brain chemical reaction to an event that more than likely will have no impact on me or my life within the next six months.
Yes I’ll take on board advice, yes I’ll grow and learn, but I WON’T allow other people’s perceptions of me to become the way I perceive myself. AND I won’t stand on my head to please the peanut gallery – that’s how the rug gets pulled out from under you, and you fall and bite your tongue off.
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