Saturday, August 2, 2008

What They Think About Me

Al-Anon quote - almost a slogan -

This is a good one. I've heard this many times since going to Al-Anon. I have applied it to almost all of my affairs - business, personal, in Al-Anon meetings, at the store, etc. etc.

Let me state what this almost Al-Anon slogan is - and it is a great one. Here it is;

"What they think about me, is none of my business.

(I think for bettter effect, leave off the comma.)

I try to tell myself this whenever I drift off into thinking about what the other person is thinking. What a crazy thing, this thinking about what the other person is thinking. Hello. Is anyone home? Are you crazy or what? You are thinking what they are thinking - about you? Seems really silly, when you stop and really think about it?

How often do we do this? And worse, we can send ourselves down the tubes, in terms of moods, when we do this, because naturally we think they are thinking something bad about us. It is never good is it? And our moods - well - we can ruin a perfectly good day

This happened to me yesterday. I was - well - er' - serene. Until a conference call. And I rambled. And I spoke almost non-stop. Why? Because I was passionate about the topic. Why? Because I did not prepare as well as I should have. Why? Because I was tired.

Well, now I am in the other party's head. I am thinking; "What are they thinking?" and "What should I do now?

Yesterday I obsessed a lot about this. So I found a meeting (an Al-Anon meeting) to get back to a centeredness.

What can I do now? Nothing. Pray. Turn it over to God. Do a Step 1 and 3 here.

Stop obsessing - and playing that "what if" and "how could I" questions in my head. If I get an email that I sucked, I will not die. But I will come back and address it and make amends and ask for a "do over."

I am still in recovery. I cannot believe I am where I am and how affected I have become in this disease. Thank God for a program.

So, back to my claim above about I how I applied it in almost all my affairs. I need to be clear on this and truthful. I remind myself often, but I still drift into other people's heads, wondering what they think about me and it can turn negative and just destroy a very perfectly fine day.

I hope you can use this tool today.


Anonymous said...

When I start thinking of what others might think about me, I pull myself into the moment and try to focus all of my attention on what I am doing. It's called mindfulness. When I do that I become much more serene, my day goes smoother, and I enjoy more of what I am doing. Once the attention is off of everyone and on myself, then a feeling of calm starts to come over me. It takes practice, and with more practice, the easier it becomes.

Anonymous said...

I lived in six different places from kindergarten through high school, and I always had to make new friends every time we changed schools. This "thinking about what other people think of me" was extremely helpful in figuring out the social hierarchy and fitting into each new school. Adaptability to stressful situations was a trait I cultivated because I had to keep on being the new kid.

However, now that I am an adult and responsible for my career and the welfare of my daughter, "caring so much about what others think of me" and "feeling responsible for other people's happiness" have become burdens.

I have discovered the need to close my ears to a lot of other people's b.s. regardless of what they may think and do what is most in harmony with my goals (raising a wonderful child, and performing my work with integrity as the first priority).

On another note, it is theraputic for me to empty this stuff out of my head by putting it in print; and also nice to know that someone somewhere out there might be helped by reading it too.


Syd said...

If I wonder what others are thinking or doing then I am forgetting about myself. I am letting someone else "rent" space in my head. It's the fear mode that I get into--am I good enough? Am I okay to them? I've come to realize that I don't need to live my life by how others perceive me. If I just live life, then the rest doesn't matter much.