IT MIGHT sound rather obvious, but we can’t affect the thinking of other people. In fact, you might even say, ‘Tell me something we don’t already know, and don’t waste my time with such obvious statements of fact!’ But, there’s a practical difference between knowing this truth and really living it.
This truth of not being able to overtly influence others’ perceptions of us is probably one of the most powerfully empowering concepts known to human experience. There’s a level of true mature acceptance involved in really taking hold of this.
‘What you think of me’:
ü Messes with my mind if I dwell upon it i.e. what I think you’re thinking. Then my perception of you and our interaction is slanted toward a reality that cannot, in fact, be real—it has “me” all over it, not “us” plus the situational context;
ü Is based only on what you see—a separate reality to mine. No matter how much I try I cannot see as you see;
ü May impact upon me and will cause me to reflect upon our interactions, and I can’t help that. How I reflect and the conclusions and attributions I draw from my reflections are my responsibility entirely;
ü Cannot and should not ever become a concern of mine unless it becomes an issue for you to broach with me—then I need to work with you toward a win/win outcome if that’s at all possible;
ü Tells me, if I’m intuitive, what I (and only I) can do to improve or maintain things between us. If I’m ‘picking up’ anything intuitively, I’ll check with you first to ensure there is a truth basis to it;
ü Is important, but only to the extent that it helps us to just be ourselves together.
Mind games are no fun, not for the person suffering them or for the persons impacted on the other side of things.
We are best to discipline ourselves and hold ourselves to account, reacting to things only of pure fact. We’ll hence be amazed at what is not there!
© S. J. Wickham, 2009.