I’m Drowning In Other People’s Opinions

I am drowning, drowning, drowning in other people’s opinions on how I should be living my life and never realized how much I was holding on to other’s opinions or how it was affecting me until recently, like two days ago.

It all started with a podcast episode “How To Find Your Calling” by Rachel Hollis. The first ripple in my pond happened when she mentions her struggle with having a lot of anxiety and how it stemmed from trying to please everyone around her.

Everytime I hear someone struggling with anxiety issues I ask, who are you trying to please? – Rachel Hollis

Trying to live for others while being yourself IS like trying to live a double life. There are so many opinions flying around about how women should act, feel, or do in life, that it’s hard to differentiate between your own thoughts and those that’ve been learned.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I need to let my Hubs feel like he’s the man in the house and that me being a strong woman will squash his manhood. So I tried for a  to not be so “strong-willed” and it did nothing but make me resent him, even though he wasn’t the one who even said it, the first, second or third time!

He married me, he knows who I am. If he didn’t like an independent woman then he wouldn’t have married one. But I beat myself up for a bit for not being that dainty submissive lady books are written about, who gets saved and everyone protects.

If I could go back I would simply nod and smile, make no comment and not let that idea (because that’s all it is) be stuck to me. Deep down I’m proud of who I am and only I know my relationship with my husband, why would I let someone outside of it influence it? Plus, he’s only ever complimented me for my strength and independent traits.

These opinions aren’t just reserved for marriage. I feel it professionally. I recently was told, “I think you like to try new things but then get bored.”

I’ve been struggling about what I want to be doing in life and have been trying out new ways to make a difference both on and off social media, so this felt like a jab to my abilities to perform and accomplish tasks.

What I took home that night was, you’re a professional floozy, and then yes you guessed it, beat myself up about it for a while because look, look at all these women who are writing books and killing it on social who are making a difference in their follower’s lives. All I’ve done is make a 7 episode podcast I’m not sure I can continue because finding people who were homeless and want to share their story is tough, and I don’t think I want to change my topic.

Letting it consume me and beat me up is again, on me. I have control over my actions and reactions. One of my favorite lines my friend repeats to me is, “you can’t control how people act or how they react to you, you’re not responsible for their emotions or behaviors. You can only control how you act and react.” 

My small ripple quadrupled after Rachel then mentioned how hard it was for her to step down as CEO and hire her husband for the position because she felt a certain pull to be THAT woman who ran her own company and be that example for other young women, until…

Her friend asked her if she actually liked doing any of the roles required under the CEO like budgeting, scheduling, etc. Her answer was no, she’d rather write and create content because that what makes her happy. So now she’s the Creative Cheif instead.

DING DING DING.

Why am I fighting my want to write and be creative? Why don’t I just do it and stop distracting myself with all the other things? Every year I tell myself I’m going to start my word count. Every month I tell myself I want to build my own business, freelance, build my following and grow an email list but have no real plan on how to do it, so I end up getting frazzled and reminding myself that old saying I heard so many years ago about “nobody makes a living by writing” or my favorite “you’re not THAT kind of creative.”

So I drown my wants to write the stuff I want to write and create the content I want to create because of comments from others, how ridiculous, I mean really!

I’ve completely forgotten about the fun part and ps: I already DO make a living out of creating content. I do all the writing for Marconi Automotive Museum, hello!

Basically, if you’re struggling with anxiety…who are you trying to please? Are you living for yourself, or trying to make everyone else around you happy?

Me trying to please everyone and live up to their expectations based off conversations they probably didn’t mean to have such a deep effect on me is true madness. Yeah? Man, I hope someone resonated with this, otherwise, I am crazypants.

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear. (2)

Ps: there’s a part two to this story. The real big mic drop came after Rachel begun to speak about this one moment from attending a Tony Robbins growth conference where he asks which parent did you crave love from the most, and who did you have to be in order to get that person’s attention? I’ll catch you guys next week…

Come be my friend on Instagram. I’m hilarious.

Give Yourself A Break – Strive For Imperfection, Instead

This morning on my drive to work I was catching up on one of my favorite podcasts, Jen Gotch Is Okay…Sometimes. It’s described as a podcast that “is weird and original and funny and honest—just like me.  Each week I’m going to get in your ear, tell you about my fears, my pain, my triumphs and hopefully in the process help you become more self-aware, build your own emotional intelligence, and more than anything else, FEEL LESS ALONE.”

It drops every Tuesday and has become one of my favorite listens on the drive to work. I missed this Tuesday’s episode so I caught up this morning and wow, did it hit home and put into perspective what I was blogging about yesterday that I didn’t know at the time I was blogging about. Does that make sense? 

If you missed it, yesterday’s blog Cutting Loose Ends talked about how I’ve been struggling with carrying the thoughts and opinions of others while trying to fight the urge to self-isolate and block out. Let’s not get it twisted, it’s still annoying how much people dump on unsuspecting souls. The trick is to not let it stick and define you.

Yesterday I think was I was blogging about (but didn’t know it at the time) struggling with perfectionism and after this morning’s episode about striving for IMPERFECTION, it gave me some perspective on what I wrote about yesterday, weird right?

Here’s why letting go of perfectionism will help me let go of other people’s actions:

Trying to ‘live up’ to other people’s expectations is a waste of damn time. I want to be successful both personally and professionally. This need to excel at excellence means trying to do everything to the best of my ability, a.k.a. as close to perfect and efficient as possible and I don’t want to let anyone down so I put a lot of value in what others think and say about me (which pains me to write because ew, I wish this wasn’t true) and forget I do this, hence yesterday’s frustration.

This does nothing but distracts me from my own inner voice. I know me, so I should listen to her more often because when I’m constantly filling my head with what others have put on me, it stifles my inner thoughts and feelings. So fuck that shit, I need to be more self-aware so I can internally combat this.

She continues on to say:

“What if we just decided to be imperfect?”

Being comfortable with being imperfect actually helps us achieve more since we’re not overwhelming ourselves with undue pressure. “Let’s not worry so much,” Jen says. “Let’s not try and strive for something that actually isn’t achievable because you just end up feeling awful all the time.”

“We still need to have aspirations, but what if what we aspired to was to be better than great and less than perfect? I think we could manage that.”

She lists three sweet spots to focus on while striving for imperfection, here they are:

  1. Say no to the ‘having it all’ culture – this doesn’t help you focus on the now. When you focus on the ‘having it now’ aspect of life, it forces you to dismiss the achievements of today and yesterday and leaves you feeling never enough or satisfied. Let’s collectively agree to knock this behavior off!
  2. It’s okay to fail – all I have to say about this one is if you never fail how are you supposed to learn? Growth comes from standing up after falling and learning from your mistakes. Let’s all agree to fail a little harder!
  3. Done is better than perfect mentality – I suck at this one, it was even hard to write, but I can acknowledge what it’s trying to convey. If you get tied up in all the little details nothing will ever move forward. This isn’t promoting laziness, it’s promoting to take a breath in the middle of that big project and acknowledge the fact it’s not going to be perfect no matter how hard you strive for it (project, relationship, the dream) to be. Focus on completing it, not all the little tiny ways it’s going to be a shitshow.

Hopefully, this helps you in the same way it helped me peel back the foggy layer that was suffocating my brain yesterday. Gotch ended the episode by asking her listeners to ditch perfectionism and do ‘all of the things you’re waiting to be perfect, to do.” Challenge accepted, and I hope you join me.

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude about seeing my brother-in-law tonight and having a cookout! What are you feeling gratitude towards? Let me know in the comment section, below. 

Cultivate it.

play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my quest for true belonging. 

 

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True Life: I Know a Couple Narcissists

True Life: I know A Couple Narcissists and you probably do, too. No need to panic though, you’ll find out soon enough who you need to start distancing yourself from by the end of this blog.

I read this article the other day about 20 diversion tactics highly manipulative narcissists use to silence you. It caught my attention for two reasons, the first major reason being curiosity. What do narcissists do to be labeled as narcissists?

And the second reason can be broken up into two separate questions.

  1. Do I do any of these diversion tactics; OH NO, AM I A NARCISSIST?
  2. Do I know anyone who fits the description?
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Photo by Sam Manns

After reading the article I realized, a narcissist probably wouldn’t be interested in reading an article about narcissists because he/she IS a narcissist. How many time can I say narcissist?! 

So good news guys, I’m most likely NOT a narcissist and neither are you, but I bet you know one, or two.

The first diversion tactic the article listed was Gaslighting, and never realized this act of distortion had a name.

Gaslighting is best described using these three phrases, “That didn’t happen,” “Are you crazy,” or “You imagined it.” It works because it makes you shift your focus inward and question your own reality. A manipulative person will spend time convincing you your memory is false due to some type of disfunction on your end and that their version is un-doubtfully the truth. 

Have you made it past round one yet? I didn’t and immediately could peg someone who uses this tactic. But, I could’t jump to conclusions. This was published on the Internet and it’s only tactic number one, so I continued.

Projection: consistently avoiding realization about own personal shortcomings and doing everything possible to not be held accountable for those shortcomings and negative traits. 

Wait a second, my list just went from 1 to 20 in a matter of minutes, this can’t be right.

While we all engage in projection to some extent, according to Narcissistic Personality clinical expert Dr. Martinez-Lewi, the projections of a narcissist are often psychologically abusive. Rather than acknowledge their own flaws, imperfections and wrongdoings, malignant narcissists and sociopaths opt to dump their own traits on their unsuspecting suspects in a way that is painful and excessively cruel. Instead of admitting that self-improvement may be in order, they would prefer that their victims take responsibility for their behavior and feel ashamed of themselves. This is a way for a narcissist to project any toxic shame they have about themselves onto another.

Bingo.

And just like that we’re back down to one, but growing to a possible two.

Projection is best explained as a cheating spouse accusing the other spouse of lying because of their own guilty conscious.

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3. Nonsensical conversations from hell. I absolutely appreciate the way Thought Catalog described this phenomenon because it’s to the tee. When trying to engage in thoughtful and mindful conversation with a sociopath, be prepared for an epic mind-fuck.

Crap, my list has definitely grown to two people.

Manipulative people will throw out a bunch of jumbled and random nonsense at you during conversation they don’t agree with. You get so wound up with all the random bomb droppings that you waste energy rebutting their distractions and forget about the real reason you started the conversation, which was probably confrontational in the manipulative person’s eyes.

GUYS I’VE CHECKED OFF THE FIRST THREE TACTICS, I DON’T THINK I CAN GO ON…

Just kidding, I did go on, and those two people I had in mind are most defiantly bordering on sociopath/narcissist levels, with a definite manipulative gene. So if you have someone in your life, continue to read the article on Thought Catalog.

How do you deal with someone who is narcissistic/ sociopathic or highly manipulative?

Don’t engage, or engage once and then be silent.

If the manipulative person in your life is unavoidable, than keep the ‘one and done’ rule in mind. You don’t have to justify every nitty gritty detail they have twisted.

If this person can’t be escaped, then rebut on your own terms. Say it well, once, and then let it go, even if they continue to dig at you for more response. Don’t engage. It’s what they want and remember:

You can’t have a rational conversation with an irrational person

 

Believe me, I’ve had practice and the one and done rule works.

There used to be a time I would waste energy battling out every detail and defending the truth (my truth). Then, I realized how much energy I was wasting on people who had no control over my life as a whole.

Their opinion doesn’t matter, so why fight it? Their belief’s don’t dictate my day to day.

Toxic people’s perceptions don’t dictate your reality. Don’t let their high ph levels ruin your good time.

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