Anyone who follows me on social media will know that I have often said that I really don’t care about what others think about me. Some have challenged this, unsuccessfully, and then decided that I must come at life from a sociopathic perspective because no one can not care about what others think about them.
So here is the thing. It is not sociopathic. What is sociopathic is thinking that your opinion of anyone else in the world should matter to anyone other than yourself. I was raised in an environment that was both nurturing and destructive. I spent years repairing whatever damage had been done to me because I always want to be a better person today than the one I was yesterday. That is who I am and that is how I am. Yes, I have thoughts and opinions that grate against other people’s sensitivities. That is their problem, not mine. I will always authentically voice my thoughts, opinions and beliefs, because they are my truth. I do not expect them to be everyone else’s truth. They are mine.
In all of the life experiences that I have had over 50+ years, I have learned one most valuable lesson: NO ONE KNOWS ME BETTER THAN I KNOW MYSELF. So when someone has an opinion, be it positive or negative, I do my best to not take that personally in any way, because that is THEIR opinion of me, and it really has no bearing on who I know myself to be. Sure, it feels great when someone’s opinion of me is good, but I can’t take that personally because if I do then I have to also take personally the opinions of others who decide that they don’t like me at all. If I were to do that, I would drive myself crazy trying to live up to expectations and demands of others. I do not care to do that to myself because I love myself too much for that nonsense.
This also does not mean that I am leaving no room for personal growth. Quite the contrary. I know myself well enough to know what feels congruent and what does not when it comes to personal change. So when I do change, it is because that change upgrades my personal authenticity. I do not change simply because others demand that of me. I can actually be quite stubborn about the demands that others place one me. I have been known, on numerous occasions, to let people know in no uncertain terms what they can do with their demands and expectations. Yes, this maddens them. That is because they cannot influence me. And this brings home to them just how important I feel they are in my realm. But the thing is that I don’t tend to allow myself to be influenced by many people at all. Sure, the ones who are near and dear to me I value and will always listen intently to their perspectives, and often will adapt to that because I value them. But for someone who is not in my very tight and very small inner circle, that would never happen. Yes, I take personal responsibility for myself and how I conduct myself in the world. But to think that this equates into serving obligations and demands of others is myopic at best and arrogant at worst.
There are many things that I believe in. The equality of all people, the need to treat everyone in a humane way, the fact that love is love, no matter who we love, the essence of energy and spirit that connects us all to each other and connects us all to nature and to the universe, the right that every person should have to choose what happens to their own body, the fact that we are caretakers of this planet and that we are failing at our jobs, the fact that dogma exists in pretty much everything and unless we move beyond it we will create more damage to humanity than we create good. These are just a few of the things that I believe in that make me who I am. How I define myself is up to me, not anyone else. If someone wants to know about me, all they need to do is ask me what they want to know. But to make assumptions based on anything external, or based upon my gender, my age, my skin colour, my culture or anything else is a moronic move.
So the fact that people discover that their opinions of me don’t matter to me at all is a life lesson for them. If they want to truly learn about that, however, they can always ask me about it. I will be very clear as to why, and how it is that I can do that without having to be categorised as a “sociopath”.