Tuesday, August 28, 2012

None of your business

Yesterday at work I stopped in to use a staff restroom that I've never been in before. On the back of the door was a printout of the often-repeated Regina Brett column, 45 Life Lessons. (It has been since updated with "5 to grow on.") Much of the list is good advice, a bit is trite and almost cliched, like a grocery store greeting card. One line really stuck out at me, though.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

What a difference from how most of us think!

We want to be liked. When someone doesn't seem to like us, we can drive ourselves batty trying to figure out why. We spend so much energy dwelling on how other people view us, and how to change those opinions that we don't match our own views of ourselves. But you know what?

It doesn't matter.

It might not be anything we CAN change. And really, why worry about it? Just like it's none of my business how Sally feels about Sue, or how Sue feels about Bob, it's also none of my business what opinions anyone else has of me. (I of course exclude family and close friends - but would hope those have favorable views of me. If not, I would hope they would try to work things out.)

Sometimes people just don't get along. Don't take it personally.  It is such a relief to not have the burden of strangers' (or acquaintances') opinions weighing on your already-full shoulders. This concept relates to an article discussed on a local morning radio show recently, 15 Things You Should Give Up to be Happy.

It all comes down to one simple concept: Let it go.

I tried this out recently, too. One person in a group I couldn't get along with? Hidden. People in my Facebook friends list that are not really friends? Unfriended. And I admit it, at first I felt awful. Guilty, even. As if they would even notice! But why let myself feel stressed about it? It is time to take control of my own peace. I'll be doing more, too. I've thought about closing my Twitter account. Realizing my first thought to that was "what will the people I follow and the ones who follow me think?" further illustrates my need to let go. Most of the ones I interact with there are also on Facebook. Or Pinterest. Or Instagram. What would I be missing? I can't think of a good answer.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. YES! Totally!!! I think social media has totally enabled people with a "want people to like me" problem and caused other people who wouldn't otherwise have the problem to have it.

    Great post!

  2. Funny that you mention feeling guilty for unfriending people on Facebook. I just did that with a bunch of people, some of which I didn't know, and some of which I did (and had even talked to recently). And I felt bad about it. But then I sat back and said, "why feel bad? You don't need that person in your friends list--you aren't actually friends with them and have moved on from that part of your life, and don't need them as a professional aquaintence any more either. Stop being silly and move on!" and I DID! And it was easy! :)

  3. Yes - it doesn't matter. That's one of the positive things about ageing, by the way - you stop caring about what people think about you. You are YOU! (that kind of sounds like a cliche, too.) Congrats for your social media follow through.

  4. Let it go... The most liberating action we can take.

  5. I so needed to read this! Because I move around the country so much, it's easy to get caught up in what people think (because I'm always new). But you are so right. At the end of the day, I have to embrace who I am and the people who appreciate it. Thank you!