Letting Go of What Others Think: Stop Trying to Control the Narrative

Image Credit: Jakob Owens on Unsplash


We need to stop trying to control the narrative that other people have of us, because we are each the villain in somebody's story.

All of us - to some extent - care what others think of us.

And the extent to which we care is the size of the cage we put ourselves in; the more we care, the more inhibited we are, and the more prone we are to take our cues on what to do/say/be from the world around us.

The less we care, the smaller the cage, the freer we become.

Image Credit: Fuu J on Unsplash

It's challenging not to care what others think, and I'm not trying to suggest this as a goal; I think that would be impossible unless you're someone who lacks self-awareness to the extreme - a.k.a. a toddler or a psychopath.

But we can learn to care less, and one of the ways we can do that is by accepting the fact that we are each the villain in somebody's story.

Image Credit: Pawel Janiak on Unsplash

It doesn't matter if - upon hearing the narrative that someone has of us - we feel that it's entirely wrong. From their perspective, this is the truth of how they see us and there's nothing we can do to change their opinions, because we have no control over someone else's mind.

Allowing other people to have to have their own faulty perceptions of us is liberating.

We don't have a right to control another's narrative; no one has access over our minds. Viktor Frankl illustrated this beautifully in his book 'Man's Search for Meaning' about his experience as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, where he proved through his experience of survival that no one has jurisdiction over our thoughts.

You are entitled to think what you want, just the way others are entitled to think what they want.

The need to have others see us in a particular light is what causes us to be inauthentic; to twist, to bend, to edit our true expression of ourselves. 

We can't help it, and we all do it to a certain extent. But being aware of it can be helpful in the quest to becoming more authentic.

"With this action, am I trying to control someone else's narrative of me?"

Us trying to control the narrative is what keeps us stuck trying to impress people who don't matter.

The key to authenticity is making peace with other people's faulty perceptions of us.

It also allows us the space to ask a more important question: "What do I think of me?"

I have no right to control how you see me, so I accept your faulty perception of me.
What you think of me cannot matter, because what I think of myself matters most.

Image Credit: Photo by Sivani Bandaru on Unsplash


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