I am dependent on other people’s opinion
What will the other person think of me? Did i say something wrong?
Do what other people do. Wear what is in fashion now.
Worrying is in my nature.
Shopping for clothes? I saw this person the other day. He had his jacket. I think this is hip now. So i should buy it.
At work? Why didn’t that person smile today at work? Maybe i did something wrong? Maybe that comment i made 2 years ago. Shit. At each and every corner. Doubts upon doubts upon doubts.
In my 30 years on earth, i have never ever looked inside and asked me how do i feel. It’s all about what would others think? Pleasing others. Thats what i was always striving to do. I dont think this is a cultural issue. I think many people have the same problem.
What prompted me to write about this post, was a conversation with my friend. I Was telling him, how everyday I am over analysing the shirt i wear, or the way i look. I don’t like the way i look. ‘I just wore this beautiful shirt today, and nobody gave a s**t!’
My friend said to me- ‘common Jay, that is impossible. You have to dress first and foremost to feel good with Yourself. You cannot impress everyone!
That was a moment of Eureka for me. What? How is it possible, I mean we all try to impress others everyday right? I mean that is what Instagram, and facebook is for. But my friend’s comment gave me something to think about.
I remember when i was in India for my brothers wedding, i wanted to dress in the traditional Kerala attire. It is one of those rare occasions, where I can dress in traditional Kerala style, ie. shirt and mundu. So i put on a white shirt and white mundu, which is a white piece of cloth that You tie around Your waist. I dress up in jeans and t-shirt on a daily basis when I am home in Kerala. Dressing up as a kid from a typical kerala household from the village, was something very special to my heart. But my mother didn’t like it. ”Chandu, how can You dress like that? What would others think? Common really? Dress up normally!”
I can’t dress the way we dress traditionally in Kerala. That whole day she was pissed at me. I could’nt believe that my mother is telling me what to wear. At this age I shouldn’t be asking my mother for permission on what to wear. You can imagine how that evening was like. I was pissed that even at 30 years of age, I had to listen to my mothers opinion on what to wear.
So as You see, pleasing every one around me. That was something which was taught from a very young age. ”Common Chandu, speak silently. What would others think?” it was always ‘’What would others think?”
So now when my friend told me that, he dresses the way he wants and couldn’t care less about what other’s think, I was surprised if I can ever try that myself.
Somehow I wasn’t sure that I would succeed in this experiment of ‘not giving a shit about what other’s think’. But i decided to give it a shot.
I decided to at least try to look at how i feel. Focus on me. Not in an egoistical way. It started as an experiment. I am not extremely successful as of now.
When I have the moment of doubt, and I start over analysing- ”Whether its me? Whether its something that i said to that other person?” I immediately take the other person out of the equation. I focus on myself for a couple of minutes. I try to find happiness just the way things are. Sometimes it works. Sometimes i fall flat on my face. The important thing is to try. Iam really amazed. At the beginning it sounded like some ‘new age-happiness bullshit’. It’s fascinating.
I would love to start being happy again, with myself. Not what others think. I mean 30 years of pleasing others is some proof, that i have to stop right?
Does any one understand this feeling?