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Other People’s Perceptions of Me Trigger Negative Thoughts

May 1, 2023 Laura A. Barton

Do you know that saying that other people’s opinions of you are none of your business? As much as I try to keep that in my head, that’s easier said than followed, and other people's perceptions of me trigger negative thoughts.

Other People's Perceptions: I Don’t Care If People Like Me, But I Also Kind of Do

Let me start by saying I don’t care if people don’t like me. I really don’t. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s fine. 

At the same time, there is still some part of me that wants to be liked, which makes it difficult for me when I learn someone has a negative perception of me. Especially when I don’t think it’s accurate.

I’ve never been the kind of person with a lot of friends. Much of my life has been spent trying to reason out why that is when society says it should be otherwise. When I can’t reason it out, I turn inwards.

It leads me down the path of negative thoughts, such as how there must be something wrong with me and how I must be a bad person. It’s hard to think of anything else when society repeatedly feeds us the idea that we should have wide social circles and swaths of people who love us.

Thus, while I don’t care if people like me, I also kind of do.

Challenging Negative Thoughts Around Other People's Perceptions Is a Part of Recovery

This has been on my mind because I recently learned there are people in a community I’m a part of who see me as arrogant and stuck up. I see myself as anything but, so I was taken aback, and immediately my negative thoughts started churning. What could I have done to cause this perception in other people? What’s wrong with me that this is how they see me?

I eventually circled around to how it could be because I’m a big introvert, quiet, and have social anxiety. While those people probably know none of that, especially the mental illness part, I see it as a logical explanation because it keeps me to myself, which could lead people to see me in that light. The “resting b**** face” I also seem to have probably doesn’t help.

You know what, though? It’s not my fault people see me that way. It’s not my fault people take the face value (no pun intended) and assume that’s the reality without ever having a conversation with me.

With that in mind, it’s a matter of challenging my negative thoughts about other people's perceptions of me (and society’s idea of the human experience) as I continue on my path of mental health recovery. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, but I think it’ll ultimately be a lesson well worth learning. At the very least, I’m willing to give it a try.

APA Reference
Barton, L. (2023, May 1). Other People’s Perceptions of Me Trigger Negative Thoughts, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2023/5/other-peoples-perceptions-of-me-trigger-negative-thoughts



Author: Laura A. Barton

Laura A. Barton is a fiction and non-fiction writer from Ontario, Canada. Follow her writing journey and book love on Instagram, and Goodreads.

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