‘Am I a d*****bag?’ a friend asked me recently. This person is particularly kind and lovely to chat to, and I was very surprised to hear him ask that. Why did he ask? Because he thought other people thought that of him.
Now, it’s pretty important to listen to the opinions of people who know you well, because sometimes you really need a second opinion. Sometimes, it’s important to be aware of people’s reactions to you, so you can ready yourself for what lies ahead.
But here’s my thought. Say, for example, someone didn’t know you well and asked you to help them with something right now, but you had to help another person who, by your judgement, needs your help more urgently. You help the other person, knowing you did what was right by your judgement, but the other person might think badly of you because you didn’t help them instantly.
In that case, maybe we don’t need to be listening to everyone’s opinions, all the time. It’d get pretty darn loud, super overwhelming and, in the case of those opinionated people who have a tendency to ramble, you’d probably hear a few things you could’ve gone without.
We definitely need to listen to opinions of people we trust. That’s what keeps us grounded and it, ultimately, a good indicator of whether we need to change something about ourselves.
But too many opinions swirling around can be a lot, and just because one person thinks badly of you, doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.