Who Matters?

(You are Stronger!)

What do other people think of you? Does it matter? We like to imagine that other people’s opinions don’t matter but the reality is that they do. People can cheer us up with a smile or a wink or hurt us terribly with words that strike us like the crack of a whip. Sometimes the influence is subtle. For instance, you’re feeling absolutely fine and somebody comes up to you with a very concerned look on their face and they say gravely, “Are you okay?” and instantly you begin to wonder where before there was no doubt at all.

The fact is that we have gotten our cues on how to live from the actions or the words from those around us since the day we were born. So, the question isn’t really whether we are affected by others but more importantly, how do we minimize getting hurt by others.

My grandmother, God rest her soul, was unschooled but one of the wisest women I ever met. Her answer to this age old question was the best I ever heard and it shapes my life to this day. She said, “When faced with hurtful words being thrown at you, always consider the source. Is that person worthy of your admiration? If they are, there might be some truth in what they are saying. If they are not worthy of your admiration, then it’s about them not you.”

Look around, we all have toxic people somewhere in our lives. Some are coworkers or family or neighbors or “friends” or friends of friends. Do you admire them? Of course not. Then why do they matter? Because you make it about you and not about them. Listen to my Grandmother, “It’s not about you. It’s about them!!” Observe them, pity them, stonewall them, ignore them but for Heaven’s sake, don’t believe them. You’re better than that and you know it!

(c)2012 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


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