“If you want my opinion…” I’m sure most of you must have experienced these words. The judgement is then given, shoved down your throat even if you’ve shown absolutely no interest.
How often has this opinion actually been good advice? But then again the question arises: good advice for whom? Oft-times what may sound logical and well-meant could actually be the opposite of everything you think is right for you.
So, of course, you have the option of nodding away while totally disregarding their point of view, or, boldly telling them what they can do with it. But there is a third choice – to patiently listen to others. It could be a loved one or someone who knows you well enough, advising you, to try and prevent you from making a mistake.
We care about how others perceive us, thus building boundaries around our thoughts and actions and limiting our growth. We conform because we love the compliments that follow. Don’t you feel happy when someone praises you? It pleases us when we’re praised or flattered and so we repeat our “acceptable” action. Others may be defensive and say with breezy insouciance that other people’s opinions don’t matter at all and may think contemptuously of the “yes man”. But these are two extremes and we need to remain true to ourselves in this situation.
This is where our character steps in. Our character, guided by our conscience, can lead us up the right path. Only we can choose our thoughts and actions. Whereas it may seem easy to gain approval by kowtowing, this is temporary and can in fact lead to stress and anxiety.
We need to look within. Be the “real me”. We can pay heed to the noted Indian singer Kishore Kumar’s message in the lyrics of his song from the movie Amar Prem – Kuchh to log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehnaa, loosely translated as “People will say something or the other, it’s their business to talk.”