By Lauren Denos: 2/15/2015 (Mindset)

Much of the time we should not give too much thought to what others think or say about us, but there are times listening can help.

Much of the time, what we are told by others regarding what we are doing wrong, how we should act and what they see isn’t entirely accurate. Some of the time, these people are just projecting what they are having issues with or are insecure about onto you. But some times the people you love and respect may be telling you something that they are seeing. When it comes to these people it may be important to pay attention to what they are saying. In doing this, your friends, family or other peers may reveal something that you had not seen about yourself before.

Have you ever been told by a good friend that they are noticing you being depressed or being overly angry? Or maybe they have noticed you really over eating lately?

It could be that you think you are being super healthy. You have, after all, been eating healthy balanced meals 3 times per day. So, you think you are doing well until they mention otherwise that you have been eating sugar every time they see you, and are concerned about that.

Say they notice you are obsessing about something in particular. For instance, constantly weighing yourself every day, obsessing about every pound you do or do not loose and getting on yourself for every little bite of food you take.

Some things to keep in mind

#1 No one is immune to troubles. We will all have different issues coming up for us at different times in our lives. Even my friends will tell me if I have been getting really obsessive about things at times. Maybe it’s that once in a while treat I like that has been occurring much more than I am paying attention to. Again, no one is immune. It can happen to anyone at any time.

#2 You do not have to agree with it all. Sometimes you will have someone who brings something like this to your attention. This does not mean that you have to agree with them. The choice is always yours. But, there are times that it is okay to look at these clues and ask yourself if they really are seeing something that you are not really noticing about yourself. If you are being told something by someone who is typically negative or a rather unfriendly sort, then you can probably just dismiss it. But if you have friends who you respect and trust tell you something, it may be worth taking a look at.

#3 Do not be angry at your friends for being honest with you. If they are intentionally being hurtful then yeah, you have the right to tell them to shove off. But most of the time, your friends will only tell you things like this because they care about you. When you know what is going on, you can continue to improve yourself. On the other hand, if you get offended and snap back at them, then they will probably not step out on that ledge again and that does not help you. Whether you are told about what people are seeing or not, they still see it. It would be better to be told so you can decide if it is, indeed, something you would like to change rather than being left in the dark. Friends like this are rare gems that you should treasure. It may bother you to hear something about yourself like this, but they are showing that they truly care.

So what do you do if you are either getting hints and comments or a friend straight up tells you they are seeing something about you that is not super positive? You can do a couple things. One, you can either change the subject. Especially if you think you are going to get angry and defensive and may not be able to stop yourself from blowing up at them, instead of waiting to think about it later when not around them. Or, two, you can say thank you, and either ask more of what they are seeing or just take what they gave you and think about it and see if it is true. Just because they have your best interests at heart does not mean that their view is not still skewed by their own personal basis. If what they say is true, then think about if this is something you want to change. Regardless of how you handle the criticism when it is given to you, take the time to sit alone and think about it. These moments are blessings they just may not seem like it at the time.

What if you do not have any relationships like this? Then create them! If you have someone you trust and you think has your best interests at heart, then ask them if they would tell you if they see something that you do not. Many people do not want to say anything because they do not want to hurt your feelings. However, just because someone is a good friend does not mean they are going to be willing to do this for you. If you show that you are open to the feedback from friends, you will create relationships of trust where they will feel comfortable talking to you about the things they see. Remember it is never that you are doing horribly when someone tells you something they see. Rather, it is about never ending improvement to always be the best version of ourselves that we can be! So go be your best!



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