From the Vivian Scott’s Conflict of Interest blog
If you’re on the Internet at all, you’ve probably seen those quotes floating around social media that are supposed to give you strength, inspire you, or simply provide a chuckle here and there. Some of them can be quite thought provoking; enough so that I often share them myself because I think they’re a quick way to remind us all to be our best, try our hardest, and to generally calm down while we focus on the good things in our lives.
Nevertheless, I’ve noticed that on more than one occasion I’ve had a negative reaction to some of the quips. There is one in particular that I have seen too many times that always rubs me the wrong way. There are various versions of the quote but generally it reads, “What others think of you is none of your business.” Really?! I’m not buying that one at all.
I wholeheartedly believe that what others think of us is not only our business but it’s also our responsibility to seek out those thoughts and to do something about them if they’re not so good. Before I go on, let me say that I know there are plenty of people and situations in our lives that we can’t control and sometimes it’s true that no matter how hard we try our first impressions aren’t so good or that we can’t know about every piece of baggage someone is toting around in their childhood red wagon. So, I can somewhat understand the thought behind the quote if it’s intending to say we can’t walk around taking on everyone else’s issues.
But, can we agree that for the most part what others think of us is based on how we make them feel? If that’s the case, then this particular quote sounds like a lazy and self-absorbed way to keep one from maturing, growing, and becoming the best person they can be. It makes me imagine that the author is someone who bulldozes his way through life with little to no regard for others and then wants to blame (if you will) any negative feelings about his actions on the very people he’s damaged. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty confident that if I tried to share my negative perspective with him, he would say it’s none of his business. So, instead, I’ll share it you.
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