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How do I stop caring what others think?

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This topic contains 109 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  anita 6 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 110 total)
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  • #302937

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    When you feel sad and have negative thoughts and yet, in the same post, you mention positive things happening in your life and stating that you “are making slow progress”, you are indeed making progress!

    Congratulations for making the progress at work and in class.

    Regarding the potential roommates: my feel, from the little that you shared, is that they want nothing more than a person to pay a share of the rent and demand nothing from them, not their time, for  one. All they need from you is your money.

    If I am correct, then the first person to write the check, gets the place. In that case, they will not be interested in a sit down of getting  to  know each other, as their goal is not social, but strictly monetary.

    I understand you feeling lonely, now that your best friend has a boyfriend.

    anita

    #303583

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    I do hope and I want to believe that I am making progress!

    It seems that I might have found a new place to live. It would be nice to finally make progress in that area. Last week I met again with the two women and we talked and it wasn’t as hectic as last time. They seemed very friendly and I liked them. They are also very independent and don’t expect to spend too much time together. They also have clear rules for cleaning the apartment and I usually stick to plans like this. I feel like this could work out! Hopefully, it would be such a relief to have this settled!

    Last weekend was also less lonely with my parents visit. I realize more and more that human contact is good for me. If I stay alone for too long, I get depressing thoughts. But the weekend with my parents was also a little stressful. So hopefully I can have a calmer weekend next week and also take a day for myself, which I wanted to do last weekend.

    Yesterday something weird happened to me and I don’t know why I am even thinking about it. A women that saw me in the street told me that luck awaits me this year. She said that the last three years had been hard but that I had prayed for help recently and that a guardian angel heard me. That I was too good-natured, but that if I needed help, people break my back. She said that a “black knot” had been “put into my cradle” (that I was born with it) and that I am the third generation. That this comes from my family, from my great-grandmother. She wanted to have a cup of tea with me and tell me how to release this blockage. I said that I usually don’t believe in such things. She said “you don’t have to” said goodbye and walked away.

    I don’t know why I am thinking about this or why I even listened to her for so long. It was oddly fascinating and some things seemed to make sense. Maybe she was a fortune teller and wanted to make some money. Or she belonged to some cult. Best not to get involved with such superstitious things, for the sake of my own mental health. It was very creepy. What a weird encounter!

    What do you think about such things? Since my teenage years I was a proud atheist for a long time. But during the last years I sometimes was thinking that religion can have some benefits. People have something to hold onto. And they can find a community in their religious group. But I think that religion is truly not for me. It is one of my core attributes that I am not religious…

    #303587

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    Living with two roommates only, two independent women who are friendly but do  not expect to spend much time together, having clear rules read, this reads excellent to me, as a living arrangement for you. If you move in with them, remember to keep your  social interactions with them friendly but superficial, do not share much if anything with them beyond what you already shared (the less you share, the less second guessing/ overthinking what you shared!), and stick to the rules, that is all.

    Regarding the fortune teller you met, (I say fortune teller because she told you the future, luck-awaits-you), let’s look at what she said:

    1. “luck awaits me this year”- luck awaits everyone this year, some luck, that is, some random happenings that will benefit the person.

    2. “the last three years had been hard”- not the last three years, but the last…  30 years have been hard.

    3. “I had prayed for help recently”- most people do, in one way or  another.

    4. “a guardian angel heard me”- can’t prove or disprove that.

    5. “that I was too good-natured.. people break my back”- I bet she could see and hear in your face and voice/ words while you interacted with her that you were very polite, somewhat unsure of yourself, eager to not displease (you are making progress on these two things!). And she knows lots of people take advantage of people who are unsure of themselves and are eager to please.

    6. “She wanted to have a cup of tea with me”- that was to include a charge, a certain amount of money

    7. “I am the third generation” – she figured about how old you are and that you have living parents (second generation) and one or more living grandparents (first generation).

    8. “She said ‘you don’t have to’ said goodbye and walked away”- after you told her you don’t believe in such things, so she figured no-sale.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  anita.
    #303601

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    yes, I also have a good feeling about the new living arrangement. And I think you are right about not sharing too much. Maybe it’s best to talk about cooking, exercising and other small talk topics… Clearly I don’t want to talk about my personal problems and leave them for therapy and maybe share them with a good friend.

    Hopefully everything works out. The only thing I worry about is that their landlord (everyone has an individual contract with the landlord) will think that I don’t earn enough money. But I do earn more now, enough that I could be (almost) independent from my parents. But on the phone today the landlord asked about my income, and she seemed o.K. with it and also stated that it is important to her that the two roommates are happy with their choice. So… it looks good I think!! But I’m not quitting my old contract until I sign the new one.

    You are right about the fortune teller, the things she said were vague and could apply to most people. It was an interesting story I guess and something like that doesn’t happen everyday. Maybe I could even include it into a little comic story in the future. A story about a cursed child and a dark past and maybe include some historic background, family secrets… I like this kind of stories. But I will see…

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Lily.
    #303609

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    Good thinking on your part, regarding not sharing personal things with the new roommates, and not quitting the old contract before you sign a new contract. Regarding the fortune teller story, being a story you will write one day (in addition to the inner critic illustrated manual (I think it was, manual) you mentioned recently, read interesting and captivating ideas to me.

    anita

    #304149

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    hopefully everything will go better with the new roommates. Most of the time I am feeling better about myself, but at the dormitory, I still feel like a freak.

    Yesterday, I did my laundry, and as somebody else had used my laundry rack, I took somebody elses. As I was putting up my laundry, I rested my hand too heavily on it and one of the sticks broke on one end :/ (Why does this have to happen exactly when I am borrowing someone elses rack? Why couldn’t it happen to my own one?)

    I didn’t know what to do, but I wanted to inform someone, maybe pay for it. So I saw someone was in the community rooms and told them. But maybe also weirdly, and I did not say that I wanted to pay for it and didn’t find out who it belonged to. And it was probably exaggerated to tell someone anyways and maybe I disturbed them during their lunch…

    I just feel like a horrible person while I am here. Like someone who only causes problems. It is because I didn’t communicate with the others and excluded myself. If I knew them better, I could have handled situations like this much better. At work, now I talk more to my colleagues and get along better with them. I feel more accepted and better there. And I started to like myself a little better again.

    But here, it is too late to fix this. And I will hopefully move out soon anyways. I guess it is what is. The last year was just terrible for me and I didn’t handle a lot of things well. I went completely crazy and my insecurities got worse. But maybe I also learned some things.

    Thinking back, I am unhappy with myself. I created a lot of problems.

    But I am also trying to work on myself. Last week I met my mentor again and it made me feel more motivated. I have to work on all the ideas that I have. But sometimes I become too overwhelmed over where to start. Maybe I can start with smaller projects, like the article about the inner critic.

    It is the best way for me to work on my projects, go outside or do sports instead of worrying.Soon I will move out, and start fresh. I really want to do better this time (but I am also worried about causing problems again).

    Hopefully I will feel better tomorrow. I plan to go to the forest. That usually relaxes me and makes me feel better.

     

    #304221

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    Visiting the forest reads good to me. How fortunate are the trees and the forest animals for not having an inner critic, aren’t they?! It takes a long time to shrink that overactive, insane inner critic. In the laundry room, your inner critic told you that because a stick broke off on one end of a laundry rack, you are a bad person- how insane is your inner critic!

    I mean, there is no correlation between a stick getting broken and you being a good or bad person. It wasn’t on purpose, and more sticks will break because this is the nature of things made of sticks.

    Because of your inner critic being so insane and vicious, better be mindful in your actions, pay attention and when the critic tells you something, challenge it, ask it: what is the evidence that I am a bad person? And if it says: you broke a stick on that rack! You say: it was not on purpose, sticks break, they are not strong, they naturally break with use.

    When will you be moving out of the dormitory? When you live with your new roommates, remain friendly but minimize conversations and interactions (from my understanding they are too busy and uninterested in socializing). Pay attention to their behavior and copy it- they say “good morning”, you answer “good morning”. You see them the morning after, say “good morning”, don’t add: how are you? or “what are you cooking for breakfast?” or any such thing. Later, let’s say,  one asks you: how are you, answer: find, how are you?” If she answers, “fine”, conversation over. If she tells you more about how she feels, reciprocate next time when she asks you how you are, and tell her a bit more.

    Copy their behavior this way, I see it as best for you to do so.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by  anita.
    #304241

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    no, I didn’t feel bad just because the stick broke. But then, I wanted to clear everything up, but it went wrong. And maybe it was too exaggerated to bring it up. I don’t know, I just wanted to be honest.

    But in the past months, I had felt bad and yes, I was behaving weirdly and my inner critic was insane. It started with K. (but of course I was insecure for a very long time, but this triggered it, as I am just not very experienced with men), because I let things happen to fast. And I was not able to talk to him about it. And I was so worried what he would think about me and started to feel like I was not good enough for him, too complicated.

    I felt badly about myself and didn’t want to be seen, started to isolate myself. And then I behaved weirdly in the dormitory. Which makes me feel like, why did I always have to be so difficult? But in the end, what have I done to them?? Nothing. I only was a bit nervous and withdrew myself. Maybe I made them a little uncomfortable when I met them. Because I didn’t know how to act anymore. I had lost all of my remaining confidence in myself. And I obsessed about what they thought about me. Most likely they didn’t think much of me at all, as I don’t play a big role in the community life. We rarely see each other, so how could I have possibly hurt them? I don’t know, was I passive aggressive? I never had anything against them, I just was very unhappy with myself and became too insecure over small things.

    But I don’t agree with you that I should interact less with people. No, if I talk more to people, I worry less about what they think about me. I know them a bit, they know me and we understand each other better. Then I feel more comfortable. So if I broke something accidently, maybe I would tell them and ask them if I can replace it. But then I wouldn’t worry much about it. It is the people that know me, but don’t really know me that I have most problems with. And then I start to worry, are they talking about me? Are they laughing about me? Are they thinking that I am bad?

    But of course, I don’t want to bother my new roommates. If they don’t want to have lots of contact, I will let them be. But knowing them a little will make me feel less awkward. Social interactions are still hard for me. But it gets better, when I know that people generally accept me. The problem was, that I knew that I had behaved oddly. That I was too nervous, that I hid myself. And I worried that they had overheard me when talking on the phone. And some also reacted weirdly to me, like ignoring me, when I said hello. But of course, it was initiated by my own behaviour, that would have made them feel awkward.

    I seems like I will be moving next month. And I don’t want to have the same problems there as I have here. Now I feel more stable, so I will not feel so nervous and ashamed of myself and I will be able to handle things better. But of course, I still worry, that things could go wrong.

    Going to the forest helped, it made me feel much calmer. I think I should do it at least once a  week. And fill my days with useful things, then I will feel better about myself.

     

    #304251

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    I sure hope your experience August in your new home will be way better than your experience in the dormitory. Maybe initiating interactions with your future roommates is a good idea, but be mindful: if you see that a roommate is busy, leave her alone. If it seems like she is not busy, initiate a light conversation and listen to her response, and accordingly continue or withdraw. It is also a good idea if you don’t use their property in common areas, such as dishes, if possible, so to prevent accidently breaking anything. Do you think this advice of mine is useful?

    anita

    #304253

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    yes, thank you for your advice. It just seemed to me that withdrawing myself further will not be a good idea. But to be polite and not bother people when they are busy is a good idea. Usually I try to be polite, but I also asked my roommates about the broken rack when they were eating, which was not so polite. And maybe not the best way to approach things.

    About using property in the common areas, the new roommates already told me that they share their dishes. I would also let them use mine. But usually I wouldn’t take anybody’s things without asking, it was just that my laundry rack was used by someone else. And I thought it wouldn’t be a problem. Do you think it would be a good idea to stick a apology message to the rack, including some money for a new one? or is this awkward as well? I really didn’t mean any harm. Maybe I have to be more mindful in my interactions with people.

    #304257

    Lily
    Participant

    By the way, my laundry rack also had a broken stick suddenly some months ago. Maybe the same happened to someone else. But I didn’t think much about that!

    #304259

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    Because I used to feel guilty all the time, feeling that I was doing something wrong very often, I wasn’t able to tell the difference between when it was that I was doing wrong and when it happened that I only felt that I was doing wrong. What followed from this confusion is that I tried to correct things I didn’t do wrong, and continued to do things that were wrong.

    So the rack, you felt you did something wrong, or felt that you will be doing something wrong if you don’t confess to what happened, so  you interrupted the people’s eating, which was wrong to do.

    If you learn to tell the difference, you will know the right thing to do at any time, you will be able to figure that X was not wrong to do, and leave it alone, and figure that Y will be wrong to do, and avoid doing it.

    Regarding the rack, it can still be used with the stick broken, correct?

    anita

    #304263

    Lily
    Participant

    Dear anita,

    I feel like this happens to me a lot, that I try to fix something and make it worse. I try to do the right thing and everything goes wrong. It is frustrating that I am so socially awkward. But I guess I haven’t learned some things yet. But this was also one of the reasons why I withdrew myself. Because I feel that I often make people uncomfortable. So better stay alone, to make no more mistakes. But it is also not a solution and made me unhappy with myself.

    The rack is still useable, except for that one stick. Maybe I should just let it be then?

    #304269

    Lily
    Participant

    OK, I asked someone I met on the floor if it was hers and it was. And then I apologized and said I would pay for it, but she said I can buy her glue to repair it. I feel better and it was one of my goals to become better about confrontation. So I feel nervous after talking to her, but I am relieved. It’s always best to talk.

    #304271

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily:

    Well, you resolved the rack situation, good for you for taking the initiative, talking to her and coming to a solution- glue will do.

    “I try to fix something and make it worse. I try to do the right thing and everything goes wrong”- in this very recent case, the laundry rack, you did the right thing and made it better, seems to me. Let me know how this goes, if indeed you made it better.

    anita

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