I’m not a big fan of plastic surgery, but there is one operation everyone should to get: It’s a tricky operation but well worth the price.
What is it?
Surgical removal of a part of the brain.
When should it be done?
In one’s early twenties. Definitely in one’s thirties. Maybe into one’s forties, if symptoms continue to call for it.
What part of the brain?
That part that worries what other people think of you.
You know. Think about it for a moment or two. Then read on.
Many of us spend way too much of our time fretting over what people think of us.
Consider an example.
I spent a lot of time alone when I was younger. That meant when I went out to dinner, I was dining alone.
For a long time, I worried that people would think I was some pathetic social misfit. I felt uncomfortable sitting at a table among families and couples, even if I were on a business trip. I wanted to circulate among patrons of the restaurant to assure them that I wasn’t a hopeless misanthrope. I did have friends. People cared about me.
Of course, I didn’t go to that extreme.
For years, I was also concerned about what people thought about my mental faculties. I subconsciously worried that friends and people I met would not think I was smart or knowledgeable. I read voraciously to fill my head with information, and when I interacted with others I worked hard to impress them with my vast knowledge and intelligence, citing facts and figures and interesting ideas I had stuffed into my gray matter. I worked hard to win all “arguments,” too, so people would know I knew my stuff. (I was probably an insufferable know-it-all! Sorry friends.)
I’ve killed this desire and the underlying cause: concern over what others think of me. But I do frequently encounter others who are suffering from the same malady. Over the years, for instance, I’ve encountered friends and colleagues who could not admit when they made a mistake. They typically hide their mistakes or gloss over them, perhaps because they think that I’ll think they are not who they are.Little do they know, or poorly do they appreciate the fact, that we all make mistakes. The axiom is thread bear but still true, to err is human. (To really foul things up takes a computer.)
Admit your mistakes, and move on. Few people worth their weight in salt will give your failing a second thought. People will recognize your value without beating them over the head with it.
You probably know of people who worry about what others think about them…or perhaps you worry about what others think of you. It’s common, and draining. When it manifests itself as a know-it-all personality, it’s annoying as hell.
My advice to all who suffer from this unnerving condition, which has helped me become more comfortable in my own skin, is to be the best you can be and also never stop trying to improve. If I fall short, well, at least I’m trying. I’m doing the best I can…. You really can’t ask any more of a person, can you?
Stop worrying about what others think and focus on what you think about yourself. Devote your energy to being the best you can be and be content with that. Ease up. If you like yourself, then let that be enough. You will find yourself becoming much more comfortable with yourself and losing the worry over what others think will provide a sense of happiness, even security, that others will sense. And guess what?
They’ll probably like you even more!
Contributing editor Dan Chiras is a renewable energy and green homes expert who has spent a lifetime learning life’s lessons, which he shares in his popular blog, Dan Chiras on Loving Life. He’s the founder and director of The Evergreen Institute and president of Sustainable Systems Design. Contact him by visiting his website or finding him on Google+.