- Is what you think they're thinking driving you nuts?
By Cinse Bonino
My Mom's friend Janet has to travel a lot for business, often if she wants to eat in a restaurant she has to sit by herself. She refuses. She figures that if people see a woman eating alone they will assume that she has been stood up by a date. It isn't that she doesn't enjoy eating alone, she just feels that people will think that she is a loser if she does. She feels the same way about going to the movies alone.
My mom and dad used to take turns watching my sister when she was an infant. One would go to the early showing of a movie that they wanted to see, and the other one would stay home with Deb. Then the one with Deb would go to the late showing of the same movie. Sure that's fine for new parents, but Janet won't do it - not even if she really wants to see a movie and there is no one around to go with her. Would you go to the movies alone?
When you walk into a room do you feel that everyone is looking at you? Do you imagine what they are thinking about you? What if you are wrong?
What if no one is thinking what you think they are thinking? Chill out girl. Get a grip.
This is not to say that your thoughts are always wrong. Some of you might even be a little psychic.
So what can you do? You don't want to be a phony - if you are worried - you are worried. You also don't want to live life walking on eggshells and feeling that people are always holding up scorecards like the judges at the Olympics.
What's a girl to do?
What's a woman to do?
(Lots of so-called adult women feel this way too.)
Yikes! Does that mean it NEVER goes away?
Fear not, you too can beat that assumption.
My mom says that if I go somewhere and everyone is wearing a dress and I show up in jeans that I should just pretend to myself that I am wearing a dress. She says that everyone will act like I am wearing a dress.
Not exactly. I don't think she actually means that people will be fooled and think that I am wearing a dress when I am really wearing jeans. Rather she means that if I don't feel weird then other people won't treat me like I am.
Also, if I don't judge myself as being not okay then others might not either. They might get to see ME instead of my nervousness or self-consciousness.
Also if I don't feel like there is something wrong with me, then I will be less likely to worry if someone else feels that way. The trick - decide ahead of time how I feel about myself AND don't change what I think based on what others think. Even MORE important - don't change what I think about myself based on what I THINK others are thinking.