What Other People Think of You
 In General

gossipWhat a week! One of my favorite sayings personally, as well as professionally when I was working as a therapist, is the quote:

What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.

For years, I had no idea where this quote came from, but this week I discovered that it is attributed to Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Funny that came up  because two things happened this week that triggered me to think about this quote.

First, I was reading an online forum where a writer reported that she got feedback from a blog subscriber that it was beneath her (or unnecessary), to use curse words. The writer got a lot of feedback, and all in the same vein. One said, “Tell her to go fxxx herself”. Another championed, “Be yourself”. And another brought up the ubiquitous, “Don’t listen to her because you know haters will hate”.

Maybe those of us with a more moderate point of view just didn’t pipe up in the face of all of the positive regard.  If I had my advice would have been, “Take a look at the feedback and see if it fits”.

I myself have no problem with cursing in general.  Some people seem to get away with it since it fits with their persona. But I find other people who throw in curse words appear to be trying too hard to be cool and these words feel forced, out of character and distracting. I don’t know this person or her writing, so I didn’t weigh in on the subject.

But the topic of what other people think of you came up again this week when I received some feedback about why I didn’t land a big website that we had bid on. At first, we were very excited about the prospect of doing this project. New Tricks made it to the final three.  But the  proposal process had been so long and tedious that when we were notified that we were not chosen, I have to say we were all actually relieved. But that’s beside the point.

The feedback I got was that this company didn’t want to work with me personally because I was arrogant and furthermore they didn’t like our creative.  Hmmm…that was really surprising to me.  I would not have ever considered either of those things as the reason we didn’t get the job.

Don’t get me wrong; I know I can be opinionated and bossy. As the oldest of seven children, I came by this naturally. I can remember being in the girl scouts when I was in fourth grade and overhearing a conversation between our two leaders saying I was bossy. I quit going after that. I knew that what they were seeing wasn’t bossy; it was confidence.  As the oldest kid, I had already learned how to do many of the things these other girls were doing for the first time.

But, getting back to the current situation, I wonder if I were a man would I have been seen as arrogant?  I usually know when I am being or have been arrogant or overbearing so I carefully considered every detail that transpired and I probably was blunt a time or two but arrogant?

Though this situation was sort of like being dumped by the guy you didn’t want to date anyway, I still felt bad hearing their bad opinion of me. So I had to remind myself, “What other people think of you is none of your business”.  But like the writer in the forum …maybe it is?

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  • Heather Herrig

    I was also the oldest in my family (with just two siblings under me, but still…), and developed quite the “bossy” reputation. One of my mom’s friends told her while I was young, “She’s not a leader, she’s a dictator.” This could be considered criticism or praise, depending on the girl. Personally, I love telling that story now. You may be pleased to know that things seem to be turning around, at least within the Girl Scouts. I discovered recently that they’re partnering with LeanIn.org in a “Ban Bossy” campaign to eliminate that “B” word when it comes to girls asserting their confidence, leadership, and opinions, and to show it as all positive. Pretty cool.

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