July 13th: Other People’s Opinions

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It is easy to get caught up in the fear of what other people may think.

During my separation, I was worried about people judging me… judging my marriage.

I didn’t like the idea that my personal life was on display for all to see and that if people didn’t know the details… they could just make up some of their own.

It was difficult not to “blurt” out my version of the whole entire mess of my situation.

It seemed that if I did just that… at least they would know my side of the story and I could rest easy believing that they would now “understand” me and therefore not judge.

But what was I to do?

Run around making sure everyone got it right?

Would that stop them from gossiping, creating their own opinions, judging?

Then one day, two very important things happened.

First, I accepted the fact that everyone has an opinion and there is nothing I can do to silence it: People will believe what they care to believe no matter what I say or do.

Second, while I was stepping up to tell yet another friend everything about my divorce to fend off a future judgement, they stopped me and started ranting about their own relationship problem in fear that I would make a judgement about them.

Right then and there I stopped speaking out to each and ever person.

I realized that just like me, each person I was choosing to talk to was worked up about their own problems, their own lives, and though my separation and divorce may have been interesting fodder for a few moments of time… it was not consuming their days as it was mine: they were dealing with issues in their own world.

It was funny to know that all of the time I was so concerned about what others’ thought of me they were actually focused on what I thought of them; worried that I would judge them unfairly for how they were dealing with the problems in their own lives.

“Dear God, help me to let go of pride. Help me to focus on moving forward on my spiritual path instead of being caught up in my own ego.”

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10 thoughts on “July 13th: Other People’s Opinions

  1. I am so glad to know that my words were there for you… it is such a hard road to walk… just keep moving forward… I know you will get through it! 🙂 D.

  2. During the divorce I thought I had to walk on eggshells about everything!
    Turns out … Yes people are honestly concerned for the most part , curious , and also wrapped up in their own triumphs and dilemmas .
    I was SO self- conscious and finally , over time I realized most of the anxiety was manufactured by my own thoughts / anxieties. And it took some thought re-training !
    And what anyone else chooses to think or believe is beyond my control or attempts at “editing “! 🙂

  3. because of sobriety, I have learned that what other people think of my is none of my business, and if I am not asked for my opinion I keep it to myself, GOD BLESS have an awesome day.

    • You have a great day too, Robert. Someone once said to me, “Do you think you’re really going to go into the ground one day without someone somewhere disliking you? Get over it.” 🙂 I always thought that was so funny 🙂 D.

  4. I LOVE and appreciate your posts and extend a thank you to everyone who replied for I am right there living it with you and you are not alone. This post is SO TRUE and couldn’t come at a better time. I live in too small of a town and people are going to think whatever that want about you. I can’t control what other people think. I also found out early in defending myself post divorce that it’s just wasted energy. Some people may appear that they are supportive and understand you but really they don’t. Many just want to know the scuttlebutt. They haven’t walked in my shoes. And even after defending myself they still formulate their own opinions, combining it with what others heard and have said about you. It’s hard but you can’t worry about what others think. You have to be good with yourself, do what you have to do to move on, be happy and loving — to yourself and others. And thank you, D.D., for helping me move forward. Love your posts! 🙂

    • Kathleen it is so good to hear from you. And good for you! Keep moving forward. Recently, I just went through this again with a work colleague and I was surprised at how much I ruminated over the conversation even though I chose not to engage in details. It was weeks before I let it go worried about what she thought about me and my life and who she might tell. Then… I just started letting it go… a bit at a time… (sigh) These meditations have reminded me that though my marriage and moving through the pain ended quite awhile ago for me… I will still need to remember the lessons and continue the footwork for a life time! 🙂 Big Hug to you. D.

  5. I love and appreciate all the posts here. Learning so much.
    I functioned for so long on “what other people might think”.
    Frankly I/we have a hard time coming to grips that the notion is highly overrated 🙂
    I do care these days, but I don’t lose sleep now about it as much.

    People really do believe their own perceptions –
    I’ve actually started to look at it as a novel . Good guys … Bad guys … Foils … Heroes … Spoilers…
    And our lives unfold.

    I was so damn mad at my ex but frankly , he’s dug his own hole.
    I actually found myself refuting some of the opinions or so called facts people defended me with.

    What I really saw … And we all have all heal and move on …
    Everyone has their issues , problems , episodes with people — and they aren’t thinking about you or focusing on “you” as much as you might think. It’s reflecting their concerns and needs.
    Some of my closest friends were initially the tougher critics and highly self- misinformed .
    I working on being tolerant and not taking so much I hear so literally.
    I grew up in a small town and hearing a pin drop was news 🙂

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