Thinking that everything is about us often turns into personalizing what others say and do. Personalizing is one of the classic qualities of someone who is other-dependent, and most of the time we don’t even realize what we are doing.
How would you know if you are personalizing what others say and do? Here’s an example of someone personalizing what others say and do. Let’s say you love to walk on the beach. While walking along the water’s edge, you pass a couple of guys who are laughing and glancing in your direction. You start to feel self-conscious and are sure that they are laughing at you. You are wearing the new bikini you just bought for the first time. You begin to worry about how you look. But, didn’t the sales clerk tell you how fabulous you looked? And you believed her!
Now you are feeling unsure. You have no idea how you really look, but are beginning to think that you must look ridiculous. Otherwise, why would these guys be laughing and glancing in your direction? It never occurs to you that someone told a joke, and it was just a fluke that they were looking in your direction. The truth is that they never really noticed you. They were too caught up in their own conversation to pay you any attention. It never computes for you that you are not the center of their world.
Confused about the difference between self-dependent esteem and other-dependent esteem? The answers are here…
This is a perfect example of other-dependency and the lack of self-dependent esteem
combined with an exaggerated sense of self-importance. You automatically assume the guys you passed on the beach must be laughing at you because they laughed just as you were walking past them. How could you think otherwise? What else would they be laughing about at the exact same time that you are walking by? You are personalizing because you think everything is about you.
What people say about you or how they treat you has little to do with you. It is a reflection of how they think about themselves.
Their opinion of you is usually based upon their opinion of themselves. Therefore, why bother taking their opinion so personally when it has nothing to do with you? It’s all about them and not you.
Besides, when you approve of yourself, you could care less what someone else thinks about you. Very few of us have been taught that it doesn’t matter what others think about us. We aren’t taught that the only thing that really matters is what we think about ourselves.