Posts Tagged With: what other people think

Day 1977: Other people’s opinions

Yesterday, in a therapy group, people discussed  and wrote down their thoughts and feelings about other people’s opinions.

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What is your personal experience of other people’s opinions?  What makes other people’s opinions more difficult for you? What helps you deal with other people’s opinions?

In yesterday’s group, I shared a personal experience of other people’s opinions, which I’ve written about previously (here). At the end of a weekend-long retreat, decades ago, I participated in an exercise where everybody got to give and receive opinions about each other.  The people who were running the exercise offered this excellent opinion: When people give you their opinions about you, they are often talking about themselves.  However, if you hear similar opinions from different people, you need to take those opinions seriously.  At that retreat, I was surprised …

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… to hear mostly positive and supportive opinions.

After group yesterday, I swapped opinions with author and friend Chris, who was my student at Boston University decades ago (and who has appeared in other blogs posts, here, herehere, and here).

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That’s Chris taking a photo of the street sign at Fenway Park that was recently changed from Yawkey Way back to its original name — Jersey Street — because of other people’s opinions.

I sang my first original song — “I Don’t Like You” —  for Chris, and his opinion matched other people’s opinions. When I told him I was going to debut that song at an Open Mic tomorrow night and also share that performance on YouTube, his opinion was very supportive.  I have very positive opinions of Chris and I’m sure other people share those opinions.

I’m wondering, here and now, about other people’s opinions of this post, including all my other photos from yesterday …

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… and the music I’m choosing for today’s post.

On YouTube, other people’s opinions of Jake Shimabukuro playing the ukulele are similar to mine.

I look forward to other people’s opinions, below.

My opinion is that you should express gratitude to others whenever you can, like now!

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 1122: Overwhelmed

Yesterday, people in my therapy group were overwhelmed with many stressful problems. Therefore,  I suggested that we write, draw, or otherwise express ourselves about being overwhelmed.

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If it’s not too overwhelming, how might you answer those questions?

Here’s how I answered Question #1: What is your personal experience of being overwhelmed?

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As a way to let go of being overwhelmed, I shall now list what might overwhelm me, in the moment:

  1. Fear.
  2. Worry.
  3. Anticipation of what might go wrong in the future.
  4. Anticipation of what might go right in the future.
  5. Concerns about other people’s judgments.
  6. All the things I’m supposed to get done today.
  7. All the things I’m supposed to get done during this time of the year (including TAXES).
  8. Things I cannot control, such as the weather.
  9. My 63rd birthday, coming up in less than a week.

For me, what helps is to make a list of what might overwhelm me, like the one above. Then, it all seems less overwhelming, especially if I challenge what’s on the list, like so:

  1. Life is scary, so feel the fear and do it anyway.
  2. Worry doesn’t help me.  Don’t worry, be happy.  What me worry? Let go of worry about worry!
  3. I can’t control the future; I can only do my best in the moment.
  4. Really?  I’m overwhelmed by what might go RIGHT?  How goofy is that?
  5. I can’t control what other people think or how they judge.  And, I know that other people’s judgments and thoughts can’t really hurt me. Are you judging me now?  Guess what!  It doesn’t touch me!
  6. What if I don’t get everything done today?  Is the world going to end? I think not.
  7. See #6, above.
  8. “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”
  9. Up until now, I’ve always loved my birthday (because it’s GROUNDHOG DAY) and I’m grateful I’m still here.

I don’t know about you, but I feel less overwhelmed.

Are you overwhelmed by any of my other photos from yesterday?

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Overwhelmed by all this?  Try making a list and letting it go.

Overwhelming thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for visiting here, today.

 

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Day 237: What other people say

I have a really good memory, it seems, for what other people say.

Not for everything everybody says, of course.  It’s amazing the things I’ve forgotten over the years.   But I think I still have a pretty good memory for what people say.

Certain things people say really grab my attention, including these:

  1. Anything that indicates danger to somebody.
  2. Things said by people I respect.
  3. Comments about me, about what I’ve created, and about how I’m living in this world.

This is a partial list,  but those are on my mind, this morning.

Why?

Because I’m realizing, again, that some things people have said, over the years, have gotten “stuck” in my memory. They loom too large. And they’re not helpful.

I’m not blaming the people who said those things, right now.

In some cases, these people may not have even said what I heard.

It doesn’t matter, though, does it? Those things have stuck.

And I’d like to let go of those things, or at least reduce their power.

I have an idea!  How about if I write a few of these things down, and put them in a “magic” wastepaper basket?

Here’s one:

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That’s not helping me these days.  So let’s crumple that one up:

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Here’s another one, that hasn’t been helping:

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Let’s crumple that one, too,  to reduce its power.

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That felt good, I must say.

Next, let’s throw these two things away.  That means I need to choose a wastepaper basket.  Decisions, decisions.

I know!  This one:

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Perfect!  Now, let’s throw those things away:

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They’re in the magic wasterpaper basket!  Hooray!

Before I end this post for today, I would like to share something else I heard somebody say.  Opposed to the two things I just threw away, this is something

  1. I heard recently and
  2. I would like to stick in my memory more (not less).

I heard this yesterday, when I listened to this TED talk by lexicographer Erin McKean:

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Here’s what she said that I especially want to remember now*:

“When parts of your job are not easy or fun, you kind of look for an excuse not to do them.”  (At 1:54 in the talk.)

That’s much better, rather than labeling myself …

A Procrastinator.

Lazy.

Or, this:

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Hey!  It’s another job for the magic wastepaper basket!

Thanks to Erin McKean,  all the people in my life who’ve taken the time to tell me something they thought would be helpful, cool wastepaper baskets everywhere, and to you, too, for reading today.

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*Erin McKean refers to something else, in this talk, which I found incredibly valuable when somebody told me about it many years ago.  At 5:00, she describes what she calls “The Ham Butt Problem”, which also relates to letting go of old, unhelpful ways of thinking!

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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