I used to be the kind of person who cared a lot about what other people thought.
I used to live in such a hole…but projection is something we all do. When we externalise our emotions, we perceive them in others.
One of the biggest prisons that people live in is the fear of what other people think.
I used to be the kind of person who cared a lot about what other people thought. I used to live in such a hole.
And then I couldn’t live in that hole any longer. I decided to stick out like a sore thumb; people called me crazy but I didn’t care. I really stopped caring.
But I was raised like that: what others thought of me was more important than what I thought of myself. Growing up, I cared a lot about what others thought. I tried to read their minds. Their judgements affected me. I conformed just to please them. I did what they asked me to do.
I would clean up even before the act.
Like many of us, I was directed outward, instead of inward.
A simple insight.
What I learned is a simple insight into the human psychology.
That when others judged you or formed a negative opinion about you it is a projection of who they are. A belief that they have.
Projection is something we all do. When we externalise our emotions, we perceive them in others.
If a person has fears that her partner/spouse is having an affair or is untrustworthy–it is likely a projection of the way she feels about herself. When others judge something about you, it is often an aspect which they cannot accept in themselves. If someone judges you as being arrogant, it is because they are arrogant, except they won’t admit that they are.
If you are jealous of someone, it is because you see an aspect in them that you have denied in yourself.
When you admire someone, you see an aspect in them that you already have or have a positive association of that quality.
Opinions and judgements of others serve us only when they inform us and guide us to become better and happier selves. When they don’t, we are affected. We become victims of other’s people projections. We become victims of other people’s dark side.
“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish…It’s their mistake, not my failing .” ~ Richard P. Feynman
It’s their mistake, not my failing.
Explore the reasons behind your projected feelings. It’s the only way we can own how we feel. Look at the person who has hurt you—and what aspects in that person that has plugged you in. When we do that we will no longer feel affected or troubled by that person.
When you find yourself judging someone, instead ask what aspect in him or her is that you judge. If he is a free and fun loving person—is it because you have denied that quality in you? If you judge someone for leaving his or her job—is it because you did not find the same courage within yourself?
It is our inability to accept parts of ourselves that becomes our dark side. Anger, blame, jealousy, sadness, and depression are symptoms of denying and suppressing important aspects in our ourselves.
Once we discover the reasons behind the projections, we will stop caring about what others think. We will start caring about what we think.
When you point a finger at another, notice that you have three fingers pointing right back at you.
When we stop caring about what others think of us:
We will feel happier.
We will be less inclined to be depressed.
We will feel freer.
We will stop blaming others.
We will become less judgemental of others.
More accepting of ourselves.
When we care less, they care more.
Author: Radhika Mia
Image: Jem Yoshioka/Flickr
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
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