The big thing on my mind over the last few days is how many fucks I give about what others think or what I think they might be thinking. This effects me in some pretty dramatic ways. I have anxiety about meeting people I haven’t met before and entering into situations that I have no control over. This all happens because I am using my imagination to picture an encounter that I would not like to have.
For example, I currently live with 2 other guys in a 3 bedroom apartment. One of the guys has a brother with some serious social, mental and physical issues who happens to be homeless and we all agreed he could stay on the couch for awhile. I will call him Eli for this example. Eli is depressed, hates everything and wants to do nothing. I understand how he feels as I have been there before and I know that sometimes you just have to do something/anything just to get things moving. He has begun to overstay his welcome for the most part because he doesn’t even clean up after himself unless we pressure him to. All 3 of us are getting frustrated because we want to help him and see him make progress but he isn’t.
So how does this situation relate to my caring about what others think to much? I hesitate to be blunt and say what’s really on my mind because I don’t want to be the one to upset Eli or whomever. Sometimes I get frustrated or angry enough that I say what’s on my mind but it comes across as an attack because I am upset. If I didn’t care what he thought about me or what I think he thinks about me then I could pass on my thoughts in a calm manner.
This habitual way of predicting other peoples reactions started as a child in a broken home where people very easily would escalate to anger and violence. I became very practiced at walking on eggshells without breaking any. This skill can be very useful when applied at the right time. This Fear of upsetting others has defined me through most of my life and I am able to get along with almost anyone, at my expense of course. This trait of placing others first has crippled every relationship I have ever had because I would do anything and everything to make my partner happy usually at my expense. My wife got used to all the things I would do for her and took them for granted which then led me to resent her because I was putting myself out. This led to me walking on eggshells in my own home and the collapse of my marriage. I could not speak my mind without upsetting my wife, so I kept to myself.
I want my feelings and thoughts to be more important to me than what other people might think. “Nothing is more important than how I feel” that’s from Abraham Hicks. I read that about 8 years ago and remind myself often. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. Perhaps seeing how much this impacts my life on a daily basis, It might not seem worth it to value other opinions so much. I am always afraid that any confrontation will end up violent because that was my youth. Perhaps its worth the risk.
Is the juice worth the squeeze?