Do you know what other people think about you?
I bet you can tell me exactly what your college math teacher thought of you. Or perhaps your ex-husband. Or your former asshole boss. Or that group of super fit women at the gym who always seem to look at you awkwardly every time you walk in.
But do you really know what other people are thinking about you? I mean, really?
Of COURSE you don't know.
And you can't control what other people think about you either. If you could, everyone you ever met you would think the same thing about you. But some people love you, and some people think your hairstyle resembles that of their bat-shit-crazy ex-girlfriend, and they instantly decide they don't like you.
You are you.
What other people choose to think and feel about you is outside your control, no matter how hard you try.
If the fact drives you crazy, you are not alone. We want to control other people's perceptions about us, and we literally can't. So to sooth the resulting anxiety, our brilliant brain invents stories about what others must be thinking.
The stories we think people are telling about us, is actually what our OWN brain is telling us about us. It is based on our OWN insecurities.
Here are some stories my brain has told me about what other people must be thinking about me:
That woman in the gym giggled when she looked at me; she must think I am too fat to be working out.
My client won't return my email; she must think I'm not qualified to do this job.
My husband doesn't want to have sex tonight; he doesn't think I'm sexy anymore.
Do you see this? This crazy rabbit hole we enter every time we try to figure out what someone else is thinking about us?
HEY BRAIN, STOP. JUST STOP.
No one is thinking anything about you because everyone is too busy thinking about what YOU are thinking about them!
And now let's take this to the next level. You ready? Once you've identified those stories in your head (that you think other people are thinking), stop and examine them.
Because that story does not exist in their head, it exists in YOUR head.
What you think other people are thinking about you, actually is what YOU think about YOU.