Listening to other people’s opinions

One thing I continue to struggle with is reconciling how I see myself with how others see me. I’m making progress in not seeing myself as a steaming pile of crap. I still fall into the old patterns fairly easily, but I’m trying to look for counter examples that show I’m not an idiot.

But every once in a while, something that someone says will send me back over that edge. I start thinking “How can he/she say something like that” and “Don’t they really know what kind of a person I am?” repeatedly.

Case and point. About a month ago, I sent an email to someone reflecting on the last two years. I also included a personal message thanking this person for the emails we had exchanged. This person has helped me start learning that not everyone in the world is as untrustworthy as my parent. But the response I got from this person…

Getting back to you: you are REALLY SMART, and I’m not just saying that to be nice.
You’re starting to become aware of your potential, right?
Don’t stop there; keep going, set some goals, go for it.

I just don’t know.  I think I know this person well enough to believe the part about not saying things to be nice.

I know that I should listen to what this person writes.  I know that I should file it away and pull it out when I start to feel bad about myself.

3 thoughts on “Listening to other people’s opinions

  1. I think that starting a file and placing all the uplifting online communications you receive it it is a marvelous idea. And rather than just squirelling it away to consult during bad times I think it’s a better idea to review it weekly. That way you increase the odds of reading something good about yourself before you are tempted to get down on yourself, if you know what I mean.

    I admire and respect you for all the work you have done and are doing to become a compassionate person who views her “self” in a loving way.

  2. kprsjohn says:

    we too are trying to overcome those lapses into “the zone” and rereading old emails and comments does help because when get back in that old zone or way of thinking we forget all of the good people say and continually focus on the bad. right now we are recovering from a bout of the we are crap syndrome so we understand and hope you do see how others feel about you, a kind and caring person who is in recovery with a whole bunch of us out here.

    peace and blessings always and happy Korean thanksgiving(we forgot the name for it!)



  3. Learning to trust is one of the hardest parts of recovery. It doesn’t start with trusting other people. It has to start with trusting yourself and that is really difficult when we couldn’t trust ourselves to protect us when we were kids. Let me say that again, “We were kids.” Of course, we couldn’t protect ourselves as much as we wanted to. The adults were the big people, the people in authority, the people who we depended upon for our very survival. Since we couldn’t trust them, we had no one that we could trust. That does not have to be true for us as adults. There are people that we shouldn’t trust and your heart will tell you who they are. There are other people that we can learn to trust.

    My heart goes out to you. I do know where you have been. I have been there too. If you are interested, I have started writing some articles about my journey as an incest survivor on my blog. Writing has been my best tool for healthy growing though the life of an incest survivor and beyond.

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