Monday, November 9, 2009

The thing about caring what other people think...

The thing about caring what other people think is that it’s OK. Oh, and it’s human and healthy and perfect and reasonable and natural. So there. Really? Yes, really.

But, there’s a catch.

Imagine a unique and gorgeous glass cup. Fragile, fabulous, and full…sometimes. This cup represents how you and others see you-how amazing you believe and know yourself to be-your confidence. Guess who fills that glass? Other people. I know, I’m confusing all of the messages about self esteem you’ve ever gotten… so let’s clear it up and make sense of it all.

Human beings are relational creatures. We need one another. We need to know we’re heard for what we’re saying, seen for who we are, understood for how we feel, praised for being frikin’ amazing. We need to hear it. We need to feel it. We need someone to look at us and touch us in a way that says…I get you. We need to know that others notice us, love us, and are proud of us. It’s part of being human.

That being said my loves, no matter how many compliments you get about your inside, your outside, your talents, your intelligence, and anything and everything in-between....nothing will stay in that glass if there’s no bottom. Ya, that’s the catch…

The only way for everything poured into your inner glass to stay put and fill you up is to create, build, and sustain a strong glass bottom. That bottom darlings, is the love from within.

Some people have such strong bottoms that they hold in love from others for extended periods of time… they stay full all the time. Those people pretty much don’t exist, let’s be honest. Some people have leaks; love from others seeps out and needs to be refilled. Welcome to being mortal. And others really have no bottom to claim, and all the love and approval they receive enters and exits in almost the same moment…and they need more, like now.

When I hear someone say, “I don’t care what people think of me” I get very curious. Curious because in my book, that’s a big bunch of you know what-just not possible. Like I said, caring is part of being human. When people say they don’t care what others think, in my world, it means one of two things….

One. Their glass bottom is so strong in that moment that it’s holding in love and approval to the top. They’re full. They don’t need any more approval at that moment. These times are amazing and beautiful and delicious, but can be rare, so savor every second of it.

Two. Their glass bottom is so deeply fractured that they just keep saying they don’t care what others think with the secret hope that they actually might be able to convince others, and themselves, that it’s true.

Now what? Well, have a little love.

Send love toward yourself, build your glass bottom. Feed yourself with compliments. Tell yourself how damn hot you are and how ridiculously intelligent you are. You know it’s true! And have a little love for others. Everyone needs it. If you have something nice to say, say it. Do your best to be patient with those who need a more constant stream- they have their reasons.

All of us want to be filled and feel fulfilled…we need each others help. Go ahead my darlings, care what people think…just be mindful of the leaks.

And that’s the thing about caring what other people think


1 comment:

  1. Nice post Brooke!

    This summer I learned about adult development theory in the context of builidng school leaders, and what you are describing is a phase called a "Socializing Knower" by Ellie Drago Severson. She describes people in this adult development stage as really caring about what others think and needing approval from peers they respect. Her higher level of adult development is something called a "Self-Authoring Knower" who is someone that lives by their own ethos, and of course needs relationships, but really and honestly cares more about living by that philosophy than by others' approval. I have an extra copy of her book, and I'd love to share it with you.