Monday, May 13, 2013

Q&A with Amy!

Q:     Ok, so I always feel like I need people to like me. And so I often get anxious about saying things because I’m concerned with what people will think of me.  I know you hate the word, but is this “normal”?

A:  First, as you already know, you cannot control what other people think.  There are always going to be some people out there who don't understand you, who don't take the time to get to know you, and who decide not to like you.  You may be genuinely kind, polite, generous, and helpful -- but if someone decides, for whatever strange reason, not to respond positively to you -- it's their reason, their problem, and probably more a reflection of them and not you.  In essence, while it's great to be liked and to feel accepted by others, you can't be, and you don't need to be liked by everyone. 

Is this anxiety more about how others view your intelligence?  That you somehow lack validity?  Remember, anxiety results from "what if" thinking, visualizing the future and assuming something unpleasant will happen: "What if they don't like what I have to say?" "What if they don't think I'm smart?" "What if I'm rejected?"  You run less of a risk of rejection if you offer others your true, unembellished self.  They can take it or leave it. 

I'd also like to remind you that you can't read minds (if you can, please fill me in on that trick!).  If you want to know what someone is feeling or thinking, it is best to directly ask them.  Remember, it’s ok to express your needs, wants, and desires –they’re worth being heard.

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