I was a very emotional kid. I was a people pleaser. I think this stemmed from being adopted – I think most adopted kids struggle with feeling unwanted – even the very fortunate ones like me who were adopted and chosen by amazing families. I worried about people liking me and would take it very personally when people didn’t. I remember coming home crying to my mom (as a child) when someone said something mean to me or I felt left out. She always listened. But I can still hear her voice asking,
“Why do you care?”
This used to bother me. We’d then get into the same discussion that would undoubtedly end with her saying,
“I am (x) years old, I don’t care what people think. If you like me great, if you don’t – it’s their problem. It doesn’t have any affect on my life.”
My mother is a master artist of not worrying about the opinions of others. I always envied that. There is so much truth buried in her words.
I think I’m finally (x) number years old. I think we just reach a point where public opinion doesn’t matter nearly as much as self respect does. Here is a how you get self respect – believe in what you do, mean what you say, and be the same person in the dark as you are in the light. Do things that make you proud of yourself – work hard. Be honest. Be genuine. Be clear on your standards and beliefs and stand by them. If there’s something about you that you want to change – *do the work to change it*. ( * = important step. Pretending to be something you’re not is a falsehood and not actual change.)
If someone is trying to manipulate you by showing their disapproval, or calling you names, or claiming there’s a group of people against you – remember
Their opinions don’t pay your bills
You are not responsible for their words, their behavior, and how they treat people.
Someone calling you names and being mean is a reflection on their character, (or lack thereof)
The only person who can change your life or ruin your life is you.
When you don’t rely on others for your validation, you can truly be yourself. When you know the truth, your identity is not shaken by lies others say. Someone calling you a name should have no more affect on you than someone saying your eyes are blue when they are brown.
Learn to be okay with your haters. They are nothing but bricks to build your success upon. “Haters make you famous.” It’s true!