Just Being You
20th December, 20100 Comments
Have you ever given much thought to the different worlds in which we exist? And to how these different worlds effectively mean that we can have only the merest glimpse of what someone is really like and why they behave in particular ways.
Isn’t it fascinating that, although we all live in the same physical world our connections and experiences in that world mean that no two of our ‘emotional worlds’ are the same. This gives each one of us a very particular view of who we are and how we fit. And as we live and experience, we come to create that ultimately unique construction of our own emotional world and the often flawed perspective of other people, their views and biases, attitudes and behaviour.
Robert Burns wrote ‘O wad some Power the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us’?
In this one line he captures the essence of something that many of us struggle with on a daily basis - wondering and worrying what people think of us, how we come across, whether what we say or do is good enough.
If we only knew how people, particularly those important to us really see us, what they really think about us, we’d be happier, more content and comfortable in our own skin.
Or would we?
Should we really be relying on others’ views to determine our level of inner contentment? What we feel and how we live our lives can be disproportionately affected by the many others with whom we come into contact. Their comments and attitudes and the way we perceive them, can have a corrosive effect on our self esteem and over time, if we take this into ourselves, our mental health.
We are all only human. We all have our good days and bad days, our fair share of the frailties and inner tensions which, in the mix, go to make us who we are. But that also makes us and that includes our important others, inconsistent and unreliable as any kind of reflective measure of our self. It makes it almost impossible to use others as some sort of gauge of our own personality, inner strength and confidence.
In his writing it’s possible Rabbie was just referring to the plight of an unsuspecting lady.
Or maybe he understood only too well the futility of worrying about what others think of us and the wisdom of not trying to be someone we’re not?
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Andrea Harrn Psychotherapist and Author of The Mood CardsMay 13th, 2011
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