In working with the quote this week – Are you waiting for someone else to change so you can be happy? – I have noticed a bunch of stuff.
I don’t necessarily think other people should change, but I DO THINK think they are stupid.
Usually because their way is different than MY WAY. It’s been very interesting to see.
For example, a friend of mine was saying he didn’t deserve certain things and I thought that was terrible. How could a person think that way?
But then, when he was stuck in traffic on his way home after coming to see me, I felt bad. A lightbulb went off – I didn’t think I deserved someone having to be in traffic just for coming to see me. Like I wasn’t worth it!!! Like I didn’t deserve someone to be inconvenienced. Wow!!! Who knew?
I guess we all think we deserve some things but not others. Very interesting.
Also, I saw that when people spend money on things that I wouldn’t spend it on, I judge them. And, they probably judge me if I spend differently than them. Also very interesting.
But here’s my question:
Why should I think they are stupid just because they have their own set of values? Why is “stupid” so automatic?
I think growing up we were taught that “right” was a certain way.
- Don’t waste money
- Don’t use credit cards
- Save your money
- Don’t be extravagant
- Don’t waste time
- Don’t drive the speed limit – it’s for idiots
- Don’t hang around with losers or you’ll end up like one
- Guys don’t make passes at girls with fat asses
- Don’t be fat
- It’s ok to stand up a girlfriend if you get asked out by a guy
I naturally assumed these were “world rules” that everyone followed and if you didn’t you were STUPID.
Until something happened:
I stood up a girlfriend for a guy which, according to my mother was a universal rule for women, and my friend GOT MAD. I was confused and explained my mother’s rule. My friend was horrified. She thought my behavior was RUDE and INCONSIDERATE. OOPSIE!
That’s when I learned that not everyone shared my set of rules. Everyone has their own set.
As a people pleaser, since then I have spent a lot of time trying to learn other people’s rules so I can keep them happy. It’s a lot of work, a thankless job, and not easy to do.
Since I am now 61, I am thinking that I can stop working so hard trying to please everyone else. I could enjoy my life instead and just be interested in what makes other people tick. I can be fascinated in how different we all are. Instead of the good/bad, stupid/smart, right/wrong paradigm that I’ve been living in . It might make for a more enjoyable and inclusive way to live.
What do YOU think?
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Thanks for listening.