Peoples Opinions 

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”

— Aristotle

Peoples Opinions

October 4, 2020  |   BY KIM DAMON

I don’t like admitting this, even to myself.  I’m a people pleaser – there, I said it.  Some people who know me may even be surprised by this because I don’t reveal this about myself.  When I feel that familiar urge of wanting someone to understand my intention or my opinion, I notice it and ask why it matters so much that people share my opinions. 


I found out recently just how much a total stranger’s opinion could affect me.  I was so angry and hurt over a social media post. I felt it was an unfair and unwarranted attack on my character.   I made one small attempt to set the record straight and quickly realized that there was no way I could write or say anything to change their minds.  Fortunately for me, I have the tools to manage my own thinking around this.  With social media giving so many people the keyboard courage to say whatever they think, it’s in our best interest to understand what it really means and manage our own thoughts about it.  That is how we get our power back. 


No matter how I try to pretend, justify my actions, show another person my motive, it’s not within my control to change how they think about me.  When we try so hard to control what people think by acting a certain way, we don’t show up as ourselves.  We show up as some fake version of ourselves that pretends or acts like someone we are not.  What others do, say, or think is only a projection of their own reality, not ours. 


Opinions are all around us in the world.  Politics, religion, race, the money we make, mistakes made, how we should act, what we should eat, the list goes on.  Sometimes we fall into the trap of spending too much of our time and energy trying to control what other people think of us.  The truth is that their opinions are none of our business.  We have no control over it, so let them have their own thoughts and opinions and we can worry about our own. 


What I do know is that other people’s opinions of me have nothing to do with me and everything to do with them.  When I realize this, it makes me feel compassion because I know that their opinions are about them and they are responsible for them.  Make no mistake, it doesn’t matter if it’s a perfect stranger or someone we love dearly that has an opinion.  It’s their opinion, not ours.

We are who we are, and we can show up for ourselves by acting like our true selves.  When we learn how to be okay with others’ opinions and criticisms, we stop making it mean something is wrong with us.  When we stop making it about us, we will live our lives to the fullest and grow into the humans we were meant to be.   



Kim Damon



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