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How much should you care what others think of you?

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We all have two faces. One is our true authentic self, known only to you and your inner circle. The other is for the outside world which is the outcome of our worldview. They together form a wholesome balanced individual. Sometimes the balance goes for a toss and that is when the mayhem begins. When the inner and outer worlds are at war we begin to lose sight of our abilities, potential, strengths and everything becomes clouded. We get further and further away from our true self and let others take over our identity and define us as per their own perspectives.

In my twenties, I thought I was making the smartest decisions. I lived and trodded on different paths with reckless abandon. Meh! I will figure it out. I really didn’t care what people thought of me. At one point, there was so much talk behind my back that I reached the pinnacle of giving a damn. I was never the crowd pleaser or tried to be fake – failed miserably even when I tried. I was a silent introvert, observed everyone, choosing my inner circle carefully. Not that people were dying to get in but I cared two hoots what they wanted. I don’t think I didn’t care out of bravery or because I was supremely confident. I just gave up. I blocked them out before they could reject me I rejected them.

People did not have the time to judge me for what kind of a person I was from within. From the outside, they saw an individual who was quiet, arrogant and had a devil may care attitude. Who would want to be friends with someone like that? My vibe shouted – “STAY AWAY”. I acted as if they owed it to me to prove themselves worthy of my friendship. My strategy cost me. I didn’t succeed very much in being well liked socially or winning over people at work.

It took me many years to understand that this is not how the world works. Social skills are tolerating people you don’t like in a tactful way. It means investing something to get the desired response. The way I turned out was a result of a few incidents which occurred in my formative years. I was subject to nasty rumors which haunted me for years to the point of not being able to even leave my house– but who cares about that? Everyone has a story and you can’t expect people to understand that from the get-go.

All my life I wished people knew my story before labeling me but the irony was – I did the exact same thing to others. This got me thinking – “Why are we so addicted to the opinion of others?” I am not saying you shouldn’t care. Yes, you should but only to a certain point. There are certain experiences that only you undergo or a very few select will people understand. Expecting people to understand your story and hating them for not isn’t really fair. A majority of people don’t care or enjoy misunderstanding you.

I almost cringe and it breaks my heart when I hear stories of people staying in abusive unhappy relationships for years, who tirelessly work in a job which sucks the happiness right out of them or being covered head to toe in layers and layers or clothes so that they are not body shamed, not going out and meeting people because they are recently divorced, or hanging out with different men and women openly or may be suffering from an illness quietly out of fear of what others think. I am sure most of us would take different decisions if we didn’t live in the world we do now. We would be more fulfilled and happy in our lives if people didn’t care so much about what we do and we didn’t care much of what they thought of us. 

No matter how much you or I dislike people for being judgemental about these things – it will always exist. The worse aspect of this is – that it will affect you, your life and the people in it. People yearn to believe bad things about others. Have you noticed people believe bad things sooner than the good things? Even if they come to believe the good things they question it silently. Why are people so eager to believe negative aspects about people? Why is it so appealing and entertaining to see the downfall of someone?

It is unfair. I am not a saint and neither are you. We all have been there at some point. Sometimes at the receiving end – sometimes at the giving end. I learned my lesson many years ago and have given it my best shot to not be so judgemental, not believe in idle gossip and to give people a second maybe even a third chance. I realized I need to care what people think only up to a healthy amount. I ask myself if my conscience is clear and let my loved ones serve as a mirror to my behavior and actions. Although beyond a point I honestly do not let it get to me. My world is my family and friends and they know the real me and that’s all that matters. It is almost impossible to win over everyone or expect them to be fair to you. Also, at times people don’t care as much as we think they do. We build our own notions because we have our own insecurities and fears.

All you can do is not be that person. If every person thinks this way then maybe the world will be a less judgemental place. Social media is proof of how much we live off the approval and validation of others. Doesn’t every like or comment make you feel accepted and liked? If only we did even half of that in real life the world will be a better place.

You need to set a boundary for yourself – how much will you care what others think of you? How many of those people are going to spend even a minute helping or standing by you in difficult times? Should you be even giving this much importance to people who judge you based on how little they know the real you? We pressurize ourselves by societal norms so much that we sometimes end up taking unhealthy decisions which have long-term effects. 

Caring too much about what others think is like someone else trying on clothes for you and judging whether they look good or bad on you. Wherein, in reality, you know your body type best and the others who tried it have different body types of their own, so how could they possibly decide what is best for you?

What is right for you may be completely wrong for others. Things may look good on the outside but what is the point if you are unhappy and broken from within? How is it worth going through all this for people you probably don’t even deeply care about? Your loved ones will always support or encourage you to be happy even though it may be controversial for the outside world. Do what is best for you as you will be stuck with the outcome for the rest of your life – not them. 

We all want to be liked and accepted by the society we live in. The only real way one can do that is actually be a genuinely good person. Trust me people change their opinions as often as they change clothes every day. Putting up a fake front won’t take you far. Being a real, warm, caring and nonjudgmental person will win you true, meaningful and genuine relationships in life. These handful few relationships will be priceless compared to the hundreds or thousands you want to impress superficially. Speak your mind, don’t be afraid to take actions you know will make you happy and don’t base them solely on the approval of others. Rejection hurts but sometimes it is the best thing to happen to us. It propels you into something bigger and better.

The only things you should care about – Your happiness, unconditional support of your loved ones and trying to be a good person. Don’t let others define you. Your life is a collection of decisions you make and let them be only yours.

Chin up,

Keep Smiling,

Love,

Anu

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Does Love Win Over Everything After All?

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This is a story about love! Love winning over everything! Is it true that “LOVE” is all you need in life? I am uncertain of the answer to that question but this couple’s story might give you a different perspective.

This is a story of Andy and Ana. They requested me to not share their real identity as being anonymous would help them be more transparent. It was more important for them to share their story. If you read further on, you will probably get a better idea why they want to remain anonymous. The names are not real – But their story is real! Their pain is real! Their victory is real! Who knows they might give hope to all the lovers out there who are on the verge of giving up!

Andy is actually my high school buddy. I remember him as a shy, intelligent and decent boy. He was mischievous as far as I recollect but always a good boy. He was the kinda guy who would have a silent crush on a girl for years and yet not say a word.  He was a very bright student as well. He would often get punished at the cost of his friends but always took it very light-heartedly. We never spoke after high school up until now but remained friends on Facebook. Continue reading “Does Love Win Over Everything After All?”

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An Ounce of Gratitude is worth a Million Benefits!

GRATITUDE – is the quality of being thankful and appreciating everything we have in life. It is to be kind, selfless and humble and not treat it like a debt which must be returned. It is being just plain thankful for what is and what will be without any expectations.

It takes a ‘Nano-Second’ for us to crib and feel disappointed about unexpected situations and results. How swiftly we forget all the blessings we have in life and immediately focus on what we don’t have. We always find something to complain about and if there is nothing to complain about we complain about that too. Being grateful is not just a behavioral trait but it also has a paramount influence on every area of your life be it your relationships, career, the people you attract and your health. A healthy mind state makes your bodily functions run smoother and more effectively.

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology. And he says that “The practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life,”

“It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep. Gratitude reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, and is a key resiliency factor in the prevention of suicide.” “Gratitude blocks toxic emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret and depression, which can destroy our happiness.” Emmons said.
Continue reading “An Ounce of Gratitude is worth a Million Benefits!”

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Diary of Single Women! Thank You – Not! You Judgmental Bunch !

I think after being a single woman for a while, I am amused, surprised, annoyed, exasperated and very motivated to finally write about this! What am I talking about? I am talking about the way the world perceives us ‘SINGLE WOMEN’. This is not some feminist article or me shouting from the rooftops about equal rights for women. This is about plain practical common sense.

I met a friend of a close relative lately. He must be twice my age. He was being friendly and cracking harmless jokes. He seemed like a decent old guy. I was polite, smiled, answered his questions and that’s all! That truly all it was from my end! I forgot about the entire conversation and moved on with my life.  I think I would have a better memory of an ant crawling on the floor than about the conversation with him. A few days later he started texting and asking me out, commenting on my pictures and automatically assumed I gave him ‘Those Signals’ and that I am attracted to him physically. Whereas I just had a normal respectful conversation with someone who I thought was elder to me. It just blew my mind! What kind of demented antenna did he have to receive such absurd signals?! I wish I could share his picture with you guys so that you could see how bizarre his assumption of just this one conversation was! Continue reading “Diary of Single Women! Thank You – Not! You Judgmental Bunch !”

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Heard a rumor about yourself which made your blood boil? Find out how to deal with Rumors!!

If you have ever been subject to nasty rumors, you would know that they are more than just a juicy piece of gossip. There is a huge difference between rumors and gossip. Rumors can be extremely damaging to a person’s mental and emotional well-being. Gossip is just entertaining news, often not intended to cause serious harm. I was subjected to very nasty rumors all throughout high school. It started off as idle gossip which snowballed into a major web of lies, with exaggerated details, gory descriptions of imaginary situations which just turned into an ugly mess.

I was way too young and immature to even understand what hit me. I have never spoken about this before except to my near and dear ones. After a point, it just became impossible for me to go and clarify it to everyone. It just spread like wildfire. It altered my personality and haunted me for the longest time. It affected my confidence and I kept my interaction limited to a very few people. Whoever I spoke to or wherever I went, I felt they all knew about the lies spread about me and are judging me away to glory even though they probably weren’t even thinking about it. I could not enter a room with my head held high without the fear of being scrutinized. Fortunately, I found rock solid support in my family and friends and that pulled me through. Continue reading “Heard a rumor about yourself which made your blood boil? Find out how to deal with Rumors!!”

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Love-Hate Relationship with Valentine’s Day? Do something different this year!


Do you have a Love-Hate Relationship with Valentine’s Day? Maybe you are happy or miserably single. Maybe you are blissfully committed or in a dead relationship which has lost it’s spark. Perhaps you are in a ‘no strings attached’ relationship. Whatever is your story there is so much pressure and hype around Valentine’s Day, right?

For ‘Committed Folks’ – to make it an unforgettable romantic experience. For ‘Singles’ to find a Date and be ready for all the love, cuddles, PDA and mushiness to be rubbed right in your face! Social media, friends, malls, TV, movies, songs, food and possibly everywhere you look is a constant reminder of what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Your relationship status sticks out like a sore thumb. The poor ‘Singles’ are forced to feel lonelier than any other day of the year. For some reason, it seems like everyone is compensating for the things they didn’t do in the last 364 days.

I have to confess whether single or committed I have always been PRO-Valentine’s! I mean why not?! A special day to express love – I can’t see anything wrong with it. We all know we can’t treat all days as Valentine’s day and be lovey dovey all the time- that just wouldn’t work. We would probably feel smothered and not value it enough.

A lot of people dislike Valentine’s Day especially the ‘Singles’ and I don’t blame them. The most Cliché advice for Singles on V-Day is – pamper yourself, go shopping, eat your favorite ice cream and what not. I think that’s too much ME ME ME! When you do these things all by yourself (specially on V-Day) you probably feel the lack of a special someone a bit more than usual. 

 It’s all in the way you look at it. Why not reinvent Valentine’s this year?! Maybe this ‘One Day’ you don’t think about what you want, how you feel, blame people for disappointing you and have any kind of expectations. For a change, you make this day all about the people you love. It could be anyone – your mom, your best friend, your pet or just a kind selfless act for a stranger who least expects it from you. Ah! that twinkle in their eye – will be the best reward!

If you are single -Yes, you will feel lonely, you will want someone to pamper you, love you, care for you. I know that V-Day is right in your face, breathing on your neck and churning your stomach. You are OD’ing on Valentine’s Love which reminds you of everything you don’t have right now. Trust me it is so much better than being with someone who is half there, who technically qualifies as your better half but makes you feel miserable. It is also so much better to wait for the right person and be alone now than to waste your time being sad. Feel what you have to feel but dust it off! The sun always rises after a dark night. Instead of wasting your energy in feeling sorry for yourself why not invest it into making someone happy?

You know what happens when you constantly stare at one spot, right? The background is blurred. Similarly, when you focus only on the kind of love you do not have – the abundant love that you do have in your life is blurred too. 

For the Committed Folks – renew your love for each other. Appreciate and be grateful for this wonderful person in your life. This Valentine’s Day try to focus on everything they did you for you rather than what they didn’t. Even if it isn’t your fault, make the first move – do something nice for your better half and don’t expect anything in return.

For a change, don’t make V-Day about yourself. Make it only about people you love. Won’t you have the biggest smile on your face if someone did something for you? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

If nothing, then just resolve to become a more loveable person and for that, you must get rid of any kind negativity and doubt. Forgive your exes and let go of any grudge you have towards them. Determine to have compassion for even those people who are a pain in your neck. Express and appreciate people who deserve it but you never got around saying it out loud to them. Try to focus on the good in people and less on the bad and most importantly – to love yourself a little more.

I am not going to tell you to buy chocolates for yourself or go to the spa or shopping! You know why? Because as much as Valentines is about love – it makes you feel that much more unloved. So why not spend it with people who love you unconditionally? So if you are single or unhappily committed – It’s ok Darling! It’s just another day! Why concentrate on finding only romantic love – look around –there is happiness and love everywhere, just open your mind to it. If you still can’t feel it – give me a shoutout! I will remind you of how lovable you are!

Don’t be that person who covers up his/her own bitterness and loneliness by pretending to be strong and belittles this day. The truth is you would LOVE for someone to do something ridiculously cheesy and romantic for you, whether you admit or not.

I know you are not a Saint but give it a go! It’s just one day! Trust me it’s much more rewarding than feeling sorry for yourself.

To Do List this Valentine’s Day 2017:

  • DON’T WALLOW IN SELF-PITY
  • DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYONE JUST BECAUSE IT’S V-DAY
  • BE SELFLESS AND MAKE AT LEAST ONE OTHER PERSON HAPPY
  • LOVE YOURSELF 

Happy Valentine’s Day You Sexy Bunch! Keep Smiling!

Chin up,

Love,

Anu

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How is Growing Up working for you? 15 things you experience when Growing Up!

“Grow Up !!” If I had a penny for every time someone said that to me, I’d be fairly rich! I always wondered what does it even mean? I will grow up with every passing day anyway – Duh! Why in such a hurry? Why do people keep saying that? I thought to myself I was so sorted in my head, they were the one’s who are stupid. I felt they were like annoying flies buzzing in my ear, forever critical and then they would say the 2 most annoying words “GROW UP”

All through my adolescence, it felt like a Warzone, a phase which I couldn’t wait to get out of! I prayed to God to make me an independent adult soon so that I am not answerable to so many people.  I already had a million obstacles to overcome like constant peer pressure, academics, extra-curricular activities, issues with friends, crushing on boys, family stuff and my own body going through so many changes. I am sure you can relate to the fact that every problem in your teenage years seems as complicated as running an entire nation! Continue reading “How is Growing Up working for you? 15 things you experience when Growing Up!”

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Dating Troubles?? Then read this right now!!

In today’s time and age finding the right partner is extremely challenging. We all get thoughts that maybe we will turn into skeletons waiting for our so-called ‘THE ONE’

The whole universe of you liking someone and they liking you back is a well-played game and yeah it’s a twisted one. Hope this helps everyone out there because I learnt it the hard way by over complicating things, dating some not so mentionable people and losing sleep ..OH my precious sleep !! So not worth it!

Continue reading “Dating Troubles?? Then read this right now!!”

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In Love with the Right One?

 

We resolve a million times to stay away from toxic people, situations and relationships and yet slowly find ourselves getting weaker and crawling back into same mess time and again. Sound familiar?

This goes out to all of you who have based your worth over the approval/validation of others and may not even realize it. Mind you, there is no magic formula. These are things which helped me fall in love with the ‘RIGHT ONE‘ and you know who that is? IT’S ME! I know right! There she goes again about the same beaten to death cliché of loving yourself. It is a ‘CLICHÉ’ because it is a tried and tested success formula to be able to give yourself much more than you deserve.

But the question is HOW DO YOU LOVE YOURSELF? Especially when someone just made you feel unwanted, rejected, less of yourself and unworthy of what you are asking. The hardest thing is to stand up for yourself when no one else does.  Continue reading “In Love with the Right One?”

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