For years I’ve struggled with what others think of me to the point that I am always trying to please everyone. I’m constantly apologizing and wondering if others hate me. Let me give you examples. I really enjoy having people over to my house. I like to cook and am a little adventurous. I’m not afraid to try a new recipe when company comes over but I’m always fearful. So as I’m setting food on the table I’m always saying I’m sorry, I hope it tastes ok and if it’s bad we will order pizza. Most of the time they haven’t even tried the food or even given any indication they weren’t going to like it.
I stress over details of bringing people meals. I analyze it to death and then when I drop off the meal I wonder if I provided enough or if they like it. I replay conversations I’ve had through out the day wondering if people took my words the way I meant them or did I upset them? Did I offend them by what I said or are they mad and is that why they are taking a couple days to get back to me?
Well, I’ve learned a few things. That life is exhausting. To constantly worry about everyone and their feelings and thoughts is just downright CRAZY! I can’t possibly please everyone. Once I please one person then I’m sure to have upset another person. One of my main mottos for the past few years has been to always examine the heart. The heart is so important and vital to all our interactions. Even if we do say something that upsets someone it may not be our issue. They may have an issue that is all their own and we really did nothing wrong. Really it has nothing to do with us. But we need to examine our heart or intent behind what we said. If we do something to make people mad then of course that is wrong. But if our intent was to help or encourage and it was taken the wrong way it’s not necessarily our issue. Ask yourself: Could I stand before God and be comfortable explaining my heart behind how I handled the issue?
It is so freeing to let go and to stop worrying. I can’t change anyone or what they think. All I have control over is myself and my actions. I can make sure my intentions are correct and then forget the rest.
All that said my struggle is not over. I still catch myself worrying about what others think. It’s a journey and I have made progress but I’m also still working.