Appreciating Opinions

The opinion of others always came first in my life well above my own.  I’ve spent most of my life trying to please others while neglecting myself.  Finally, I am ready to take care of myself and do the things I feel are most important.  People can say whatever they want, but I know the truth.  I must be able to live with myself and my decisions.  When I go to sleep at night, I want a clear conscious, so my dreams are my own. I appreciate the opinions of others, but I listen to my own voice now.

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Author: Undeniably Sara

Hi, I'm Undeniably Sara. I'm learning how to live well with chronic illnesses by focusing on self-healing with the goal of lifelong health.

21 thoughts on “Appreciating Opinions”

  1. I’m so glad that you wrote about this! It’s really tricky to navigate between listening to others and listening to yourself. I know what its like to be a sort of “people-pleaser”,too, but the most important thing that I realized is that while its important to be kind and giving, its also important to make sure you do it for people who appreciate that about you- people who are supportive of you. These are the people whose opinions should matter and who will always see the best in you.

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  2. I had a bit of your syndrome and one day my shrinks asked me if I listened to the instructions of the flight attendants before take off. I thought he was kidding or simply trying to change the subject but no, he was serious. Then he asked more precisely, what do they tell you to do with the oxygen mask? I simply answered that they say to put yours on before your children’s. Then I finally understood and it stuck with me. Thought I’d share this with you.
    Peace and serenity
    Lawrence

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I have heard of this scenario about the oxygen masks many times from therapists and other councilors. It is such a powerful image to me and helps me to remember that we cannot take care of anyone if we don’t take care of ourselves first!

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  3. I find it difficult to actually appreciate something I reject or brush off simply because I am so fragile. How can I genuinely say I appreciate something given or said to me if I don’t put it to good use or, at least, process it with the one offering me the suggestion? Is it so wrong to be honest and reject the opinion openly?…even if that may sound harsh.

    And, while being a “people pleaser” has it’s negative sides, if you spend all of your energy–or spoons– on it, isn’t there merit in it, as well, because you are not acting purely for yourself. I guess some part of me is concerned for the loss of kindness in the effort to maintain ego or “independence.” I get most of my pleasures in life from assisting others. Whatever I do with only myself in mind usually feels quite empty and unsettling. I feel guilty and selfish doing things for myself. Not so much things people tell me I should be doing for myself but even hobbies or casual interests. If I indulge in leisure, it’s like I am not keeping a firm grip on life and giving way to temptation. Being a “people pleaser,” as long as you don’t let yourself get treated like crap, seems a noble, selfless path…as long as the “economy” permits it.

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    1. I see nothing wrong with rejecting an opinion you disagree with and if pleasing/assisting people gives you pleasure than it seems like a reasonable expenditure of your time. I found myself giving to the point of having nothing left and being unable to care for myself or my loved ones. I had to draw the line somewhere for my own health and sanity. We each find pleasure in different things.

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      1. The more I thought about this post last night (and a bit this morning), the more I could see how saying “I appreciate your opinion” might not be so bad. I could only think of “Thank you for your opinion, but I am sticking with my own” as an alternative. I guess the word “appreciate” felt more like something you want to genuinely have/give than take casually. Likewise, if you are not thankful or sorry, why say so?

        So many words get used so casually without genuine intent. Thus people get careless with the words and their intentions. If I can flip you a “sorry,” we’re good…but maybe we are not actually “good,” and the problem festers or goes unresolved.

        I was also pondering how it might become such a steely pattern of rejecting others’ opinions just to remain stable within yourself but lose out on some connections and good, useful information/opinions. Thus, rather than just put up the shields all the time, we end up having to stand strong and face both helpful and negative opinions, using a filter system of some kind.

        I totally get that nothing left feeling. Or, rather, I give so much and don’t feel it’s genuinely appreciated or put to good use. Sometimes you meet people who are like salivating temptresses, and, once they see you can do something to dazzle them, they want you to be always entertaining. If you give into them, you’ll just end up drained and, later, rejected.

        Sometimes, you give and give as if subconsciously waiting for some reassuring reward and see nothing so satisfactory.

        Sometimes I want to give because it bubbles up in my soul…only to find it is not appreciated or wanted in that place and/or time. Yet, if I don’t give that energy to some good outlet, it rots, and I offer less over time…which is discouraging. It’s kind of like growing a plant that could be put to great use just to let it wilt and die when you decide to chase around the city/world.

        If you are neglecting people closer to your heart to please beyond that circle, and feeling depleted, then, yea, I’d say that’s a signal to pull back some energy. Yet, for those who don’t have such a great inner circle, it seems almost vital to reach out and find a strong circle, which has been most difficult for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I can totally relate to this. It was also always really important to le what others think of me and my actions until I realized there just one person that should be important: Me 🙂

    I learned it the hard way. A book that helped me get a different view of things was “the subtile art of not giving a f**k” by mark manson 😉

    thanks for following Sara, i enjoyed reading your posts and I’m sure that even if we both struggle with different things we will find our way somehow

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