Repeat after me, someone else’s perception is not your reality. Now say this over and over until you actually believe it.

Here’s the thing about the statement, people will say things about you based on their viewpoints or life experiences that aren’t necessarily true. They may form an opinion of you based on erroneous or partial information, believe rumors about you that are untrue or say mean things about you for different reasons such as jealousy, insecurity, selfishness or having a hidden agenda.

Whatever it is, what somebody thinks about you is not your reality. You must have strong self-confidence and values so that you do not let others opinions negatively affect you. You certainly can listen to constructive criticism from those who care about you, and if there are shreds of truth in it, take it for what it’s worth and use it to make yourself a better person. But do not take what other people say about you at face value and base opinions about yourself on it especially if you disagree with what they say or it’s mean spirited in nature. You know yourself better than anyone else, and you shouldn’t be swayed by what others think about you from their vantage point, especially if they’re not coming at it from a place of good. 

I had an upsetting experience last year where my significant other and two close friends ganged up on me with a litany of lies and complaints that didn’t align with my core values.

Because they came at me at once and I was in a compromised position emotionally, and I felt attacked. They accused me of things I didn’t do, made disparaging remarks to me and dissected pretty much everything about me. Of course I’m not perfect, but their skewed opinion of me based on erroneous information and through their lenses does not define me. It is shrouded in their own life experiences and fit their agendas. I believe the (ex)friends were motivated by jealousy, competitiveness and insecurity.  My ex wanted to end our relationship and had begun to replace me but didn’t know how to tell me. It’s easy to make somebody public enemy number one, believe convenient lies and find fault with them when you want someone out of your life. I’m disappointed in myself that I didn’t listen to my intuition and red flags about these people. There is no excuse for adults to gang up on someone else in a friend group under any circumstance. I have zero tolerance for cruel mean girl/guy behavior.

You must have boundaries against what people say about you and instead listen to the most important person, which is yourself. People will try to knock you down personally and professionally especially if you are successful, and it’s up to you to silence that noise.

What other people say or think about you does not define you. Period. I do not need “fixing” and I am not a bad partner just because my ex said so. His opinion of me does not matter.

After all of this drama, everyone went back to their own lives. The average person filters their world through their ego, meaning that they think about most things in terms of “me” or “my.” This means that unless who you are or what you have done directly affects another person or their life, they are unlikely to spend much time thinking about you at all. This is especially true when you’re dealing with narcissistic individuals as I often have.

It is human nature to want to be liked and accepted. However, this often leads to many of us worrying too much about what others think about us. Don’t let it prevent you from living your life or being you.

People are entitled to think whatever they want, just as you are entitled to think what you want. What people think of you shouldn’t  change who you are or what you think about yourself, unless you allow it to.

When it comes to our partners and friends, each of us deserves to be with people who appreciate us for who we are, good and bad, faults and all, and do not try to change us. Do what you want, be who you are. My ex said and did things throughout our relationship that made it clear he did not appreciate who I was and that we had very different values. I knew that he was the wrong person for me, and I am very lucky I got out when I did.

At the end of the day, life is short and anyone who judges you doesn’t really matter. You don’t want them in your life.

Those who truly love and support you will never talk negatively behind your back or try to change you. They will always cut you slack. These are the people who are important. My real friends are like family to me. They know I sometimes say things that are off the cuff and that I think without speaking but that I have a huge heart and that I am an incredibly quirky, loving, fun and giving person. For them, the good about me always outweighs the bad. And trust me, no one is perfect.

One final thing to keep in mind. It’s human nature to judge and gossip about others, so stop yourself if you catch yourself doing it as well. Let’s all focus on being the best versions of ourselves and let others do their own thing. Let kindness and empathy guide you every day.