Monday, April 16, 2018

What Others Think


Last week after work I stopped at Target for dinner ingredients and a few miscellaneous items. Not in a hurry, I stopped first in the cosmetic section where I met an employee, who also happened to be a cosmologist. She was very friendly...and loud...boisterous...with a voice that traveled for anyone in the general area to hear.

And she was so. much. fun!

We chatted. She talked about products. And I let her find the correct color for me—in the Target aisle...where other shoppers were walking by and, I'm sure, could hear our conversation.

I thought about this briefly as she wiped off the makeup I was wearing. I wondered if she had attracted attention our way, but I realized I didn't care because it was fun.

A day later, I was still thinking about it...

Why are we so concerned about the opinions of people we don't know and may or may not ever see again?

Why do we worry about being judged by people who are going to judge us no matter what we do?


How often do we keep ourselves from having fun because of what others might think? 

Maybe it's...

the movie no one else wants to see, so we go alone.

the question we ask even if we fear looking dumb.

the new activity we try even though we don't know what we're doing.

Or perhaps it's whatever we later regret not doing because we let the fear of what someone might think stand in our way.

When we constantly worry about what others think, we keep ourselves from enjoying the moment we're in. We miss out on things that can make us smile and distract us from the heaviness of life.

And sometimes it's the distraction alone that makes us smile and face the rest of the day.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]


19 comments:

  1. I've spent way too much precious time worrying about what people think. Living in the moment is much more fun!!!

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  2. I struggle with this (I have a couple of boisterous sisters), I'm learning to embrace their uniqueness and not let them ruffle my feathers :).

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  3. I'm pretty sure I have missed moments of fun - any simple joys - because I worried over what others think. It makes me sad to think of it. But such a hard thing to overcome!

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  4. "When we constantly worry about what others think, we keep ourselves from enjoying the moment we're in. We miss out on things that can make us smile and distract us from the heaviness of life." I'm grateful as I get older and hopefully a bit more mature, not missing out matters more than garnering a majority opinion on my side! =) Thanks for a great post on other. Visiting as your neighbor on the FMF linkup. ~Lisa

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  5. What a great story and lesson, Laura! I love it. Just yesterday, my husband, daughter, and I had a family getaway day in a beach town, and when we arrived and I got out of the car, I was dismayed to see I'd absent-mindedly put on my ratty walking tennis shoes (even with a few holes) on with my otherwise cute outfit. I felt embarrassed and had to give myself a "Who cares really?" pep talk several times as we walked down the beach promenade! :)

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  6. I know this is too easy for me to fall prey to: "When we constantly worry about what others think, we keep ourselves from enjoying the moment we're in. We miss out on things that can make us smile and distract us from the heaviness of life." Thanks for pointing out that we don't have to live this way. Thanks, Laura.

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  7. I always enjoy coming over to your blog. Encouraged! Visiting from Kristin's.

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  8. I don't want to miss another moment! Visiting from Jaime's.

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  9. What a wonderful way to think about a very small interaction. We do tend to be people-pleasers, don't we?

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  10. Thank you for this reminder not to let the opinions of others keep us from experiencing joy!

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  11. Yes! Such wisdom. Thank you for sharing. Visiting from the Chasing Community Link-up. laurensparks.net

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  12. I think that one of the blessings of getting older is that the opinions of others don't matter as much as they once did. At least for me, I realize that I can't manage all that and so I don't. Of course, we need to care about others and our impact on them, but worry about opinions... that we can let go of!

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  13. So true, Laura. Now that I'm in my late 40s, I find that I just don't really care the way I did when I was younger. If it's not offending someone, then I'm not worried about it. :) So freeing. Wish we could be born that way, instead of having to learn it as we go. :)

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    1. I agree Brenda; age plays a part. I think we are born carefree, but somewhere around grade school we start worrying about what others think of us. There's so much pressure to fit in! But now that I'm older I have bigger, more important things to be concerned about. It is definitely freeing!

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  14. SO true. Growing up I was so afraid to embarrass myself or do something that people would think wrong. Now I am to the point I don't care. My daughter as a teen would say things like, mom don't sing to the song (I was quietly singing in the restaurant while waiting for our food), and I would say, if people are looking at me it is probably because they want to join in and are to embarrassed to. Besides all teens need a good embarrassing now and then. Now she tells me, thanks for not teaching me not to be afraid of what people think. Not that I don't still wonder what people think, I just try not to keep me from enjoying myself and trying new things. So yes, people saw you in Target, but they were probably wishing they were sharing make-up tips with a friend just like you were.

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    1. Theresa, I love that your daughter recognized the lesson and thanked you for it!

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  15. I love this, Laura. Life is too short to base what we do on what other people think. I'm glad you had fun in the Target makeup aisle! :-)

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  16. It seems silly that we should care about the opinions of people we will never see again, doesn't it? And yet, i can definitely relate to the woman who has many regrets from missed opportunities, because of my fear of others' opinions! I've been a slow learner when it comes to this, but i've come SO far! I now encourage my children to not let that stop them from the fun things in life. Great reminder LAura!

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  17. I'm still learning this lesson, and what timing. I was just talking with a colleague today about this, and we were both encouraging one another to let things go so another's opinion did not crush our spirit.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts!