Freedom From Other People’s Opinions

Happy Pride Month!

In honor of Pride and Juneteenth, this month’s theme is freedom. And we’re starting with getting free of other people’s opinions of us.

This post is going to have a lot of clichés. Not sorry. Just warning you ahead of time. They’re appropriate to this post. 

So here we go!

I recently found myself in a bizarre online altercation.

Without getting into the ridiculous details, a stranger believed they knew more about me and my body than I do, and they were determined to prove it.

They came at me and seemed to be out for blood. They became increasingly more aggressive with every attempt I made to respectfully disagree with them about my own body.

Do they know more about the overall subject being discussed? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know. They sure seemed to think so.

But what I do know is they don’t know more about me and my body than I do. 

They’ve never seen me face to face. They don’t know me from any other light skinned, dark haired, woman presenting person on this planet.

When it became clear that this person wasn’t interested in anything other than proving me wrong, I reminded myself that I do not have to attend every party I’m invited to.

Especially if a pound of my flesh is on their menu.

Something I try to live by is “If I don’t know you, I don’t owe you.” (Came up with that one myself. And honestly even if I do know you I still decide what, if anything, I owe you.)

I will give you basic respect and common decency until you prove you are unwilling to do the same.

Then we’re done.

This person wanted me to continue engaging until they’d beaten me down. Until they “won”.

That’s because they have their own shit they’re dealing with that I know nothing about.

They let their Shadow take over and attack someone on the internet in order to soothe whatever pain they’re dealing with around the subject.

I’m not excusing it. 

They have free will, just as I do. They made that choice when they could have made a very different one. 

However, I’m making the choice to understand that’s what was actually happening, and that it truly had little to do with me.

But I do not have the spoons available for this type of thing my friends. And I sure as hell didn’t owe them the win they were searching for.

I turned off notifications and went about the rest of my day.

None of this means they didn’t shake me. 

They most certainly did. I am not completely unflappable and I never will be. 

I perseverated for sure. On and off for days if I’m going to be honest here.

As I’ve said before, I am Neurodivergent. Something we can do better than anyone else is perseverate.

Anyone that’s also ND knows the lifelong struggle of trying to get Neurotypicals to understand you. (I’m sure NTs deal with their fair share of this as well. Not saying it’s exclusive to us NDs. See? Making an effort to make sure I’m not misunderstood is pretty ingrained in me.)

It’s incredibly frustrating to me when people insist on misunderstanding me. It is a pain point because it has been a big source of abuse in my past – intentional and not. 

It can be triggering, and this interaction definitely triggered me.

There have been countless times in my life where I’ve tried desperately to get someone to understand what I’m saying instead of what they’ve decided I’m saying.

That lives in my Shadow. 

This is something I have to work on and work through regularly; allowing others who are dead set on misunderstanding me or misrepresenting something I’ve said or done to just be wrong.

To not care enough about someone else’s opinion of me to just let them be wrong about me.

It was a major struggle for my former people pleasing self in the beginning. It’s gotten easier with time.

At the end of the day, what someone else thinks of me is none of my business.

I learned years ago that life is so much better when your mind is not filled with worry about what other people think of you.

The right people to interact with? They’re not intent on misunderstanding you or misrepresenting you.

They’ll say “Hey, is _________ what you mean? Because that’s what I’m hearing.”

They will attempt to understand you and where you’re coming from. No attacks, no triggers. Just a respectful interaction.

Those people? They may be worthy of a spoon or two.

Anyone who’s intent on not understanding you? No spoons for them. 

Let them misunderstand you. 

It’s really not worth your energy. They have their own healing they need to work on, and they won’t hear you unless and until they’ve done that work.

Go forth and give no fux.

Mindset and Shadow Work are the key to learning to let go of unhelpful behaviors like people pleasing and giving too much credence to what others believe about you.

My introduction to Mindset and Shadow Work program “Reset Your Mindset” is perfect for you if you’re ready to start down this path, but aren’t sure where to begin.

Click here for more information!