Thursday, September 29, 2011

Your Opinion Isn't My Business

“Your opinion of me is none of my business.” –Randy Pausch, “The Last Lecture”

This post really should've been done many months ago, in my series on Boundaries. I suppose that we can each use a refresher in regards to boundaries on a regular basis, so this will serve as that refresher for each of you. If you started reading this blog after I did the series on Boundaries, please go back and read the posts. The concept of boundaries is one that is often overlooked, but is essential for maintaining a healthy life, and more importantly, healthy relationships. There is little chance of having healthy relationships if you cannot maintain boundaries with those people. 

A quick reminder: Boundaries "define what is me and what is not me" (Cloud & Townsend). This means that I need to know "what is me", and therefore what I am responsible for and what I can control in life. This means that I am responsible for my own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I am not responsible for the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of others, and I cannot try to get others to take responsibility for MY thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. 

How does that, then, apply to the quote above? Why do we try to take on the things another thinks and make them our business, when having healthy boundaries clearly states that those things are outside our realm of control?

How much time, stress, energy, and anger do we invest on making another's opinion our business? Furthermore- how often do we change who we are because another doesn't like something about us? We try to fit in, or become a version of someone else instead of ourselves. It's a shame to lose who we are because we take on the opinions of others. 

Now it's your turn:
What do you try to make your business that is actually none of your business? What's happened when you take someone's opinion of you on as your business? 


  1. I love your opening quote: “Your opinion of me is none of my business.”

    I find that when I'm criticized for something that I have high self esteem about, I can laugh it off. I'm easily slighted in areas where I am less secure.

    So now, when someone else's opinion stings, I realize that they've done me a favor by pointing out an area where I need to nurture my self esteem more.

    Nice post! Great food for thought.

    I found you via #commenthour, by the way! :)


  2. "I find that when I'm criticized for something that I have high self esteem about, I can laugh it off. I'm easily slighted in areas where I am less secure."

    This is very accurate for me, too! There are areas of my life and my work that I do not feel as confident about and find that I am much more sensitive to the way others react to that.

    I love the initial post; Tui, your comment is very insightful as well, and I will take your words to heart!

  3. What about when people who you thought were your friends vilify you because you have a mental breakdown. This happened to me. I did nothing other then end up in hospital after a breakdown. I have suffered depression for many years and this year have spent 50% of it in and out of hospital. I am now too afraid to walk my kids into school because I might see these two girls. They have shattered the very little self confidence I did have and I have no idea how to deal with this.