To think about relationships, we have to also think about attachment and the necessity to bond and be close to other people. But should we care and hear what everyone has to say or think about us? The answer is no! I’m not saying that we should isolate ourselves, but we are living times where even though some individuals call themselves independent, they live their experiences and life based on what others will think or say.
Let’s look back in human evolution and history. Before the agricultural revolution, people used to live in small communities as a survival mechanism, and for a matter of fact, what others would do or say, would matter. They would grow up surrounded by the same tribe, same people, and of course, the necessity to maintain a good relationship with them was pivotal.
But now, in the twenty-one century, do we need that? Aren’t we freer to choose what or not to accept from others and life in general?
The reality is our brain still has the same characteristics as our ancestors and isn’t adapted to live in this modern world. For this reason:
- We give the same importance to virtual relationships as we give to real-life relationships.
- We seek approbation, reputation, and applauds on social media from others.
- Rejection ignites the same brain circuits responsible for identifying physical pain.
- We can pause a youtube video but not one emotion.
- All this involves an emotional and unconscious process, so we can’t control it, but we can always change how we experience it through the gain of awareness.
All the scenarios above send children, young adults, and even adults to therapy offices because of anxiety, depression, and emotional rumination.
What can we do to change the situation? Remember, we can’t control emotions, but we can, and we should choose how to act on them.
- Think about life as being in one arena, and you are the principal actor or actress of your story.
- Ask yourself, does it really matter what other people think or say about me? My life will change or end because of what they might say or do?
- Understand that vulnerability means you carefully chose who you let to know your shameful stories, but also your inner self. Trust should be earned and not giving away like feathers.
- In time, it will be hard for you to remember who criticized you because what counts aren’t your critics, but your actions and if you are living your life purpose.
In your life journey, people will try to sabotage your path. Criticize your words, but mostly your actions. Chose wisely your tribe because your tribe will never feel or see your strength and kindness as a threat. Be proud of your achievements, celebrate who you are, and don’t let somebody else lack of resiliency and frustration dictate how (YOUR) life and human experience should be.