You *Should* Care What *Someone* Thinks About You

Countless self-help books, quotes and gurus tell us that we shouldn’t care what other people think. That you should just do you. I believe I’ve even provided this advice to some degree in my books and blogs.

But after some thought I have come to realize that this isn’t entirely the best advice. I believe that you shouldn’t care about what everyone else thinks about you but you should care about what someone thinks about you.

Without boundaries, which are often set and established by the people we love and trust, our lives can quickly devolve into a chaotic mess. If you don’t have anyone in this world whose opinion you care about, there are no checks and balances. Sometimes we need the opinion of another person to stay grounded and headed in the right direction.

Take the case of young girls who fall victim to drug abuse, violent relationships and/or sex work. They often grow up without boundaries and pretty much put up a middle finger to everyone in the world. They don’t respect or care about the opinions of their parents, their friends, mentors, teachers or anyone else who might help them live a better life. Not caring about anyone’s opinion often leads them down the path of destruction.

Another thought. Currently in the US, we have a few leaders who think that they can do whatever they want, no matter who it hurts or affects. As much as they might not care about what anyone thinks about their deeds, that mentality will backfire. The opinions of their fellow citizens do matter.

Here’s one more example. I recently watched the Amazon series Z. It’s the story of Zelda Fitzgerald and her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald. They fell in love at first sight and had a whirlwind romance that quickly lead to marriage. But Zelda was unaware of her husband’s wild and lascivious lifestyle. He had no boundaries and neither did his friends. They lived life on their own terms, not caring what anyone thought of them (or so they said). Before she knew it, Zelda was swept up by it all and living that life as well. She died fairly young in a mental hospital.

To reiterate, I don’t think that you should go through life caring about what everyone around you thinks. It’s oppressive to be constantly self-conscious and insecure. But I do think that there is value in having someone in this world whose opinion matters to you, whether it’s a parent, a friend, a mentor or God.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is an author and blogger. Her new book You Matter encourages women to know and understand their worth. She is also the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Boxing Yourself In (Fortress Building) Is Not Empowering #LoveLynn

There’s a chapter in Robert Greene’s famous book The 48 Laws of Power that says the following:

“Do not build fortresses to protect yourself – isolation is dangerous.” (Law #18)

His main point was that putting a fortress around yourself limits your access to information, knowledge and new experiences. We’ve been taught from a young age that information is power. Experience is the best teacher.

Yet in this day in age (2015 is the year I’m writing this post) many of us choose to box ourselves in and separate ourselves from the rest of the world.

I believe that our wide access to the internet, social media and countless ways to watch tv (Netflix, cable, Hulu, Youtube) has made it much easier to build these personal “fortresses” and refuse to let others in. All you have to do is get under the covers, turn on a movie and get lost in someone else’s world until you fall asleep. The urge to get out and have contact with others diminishes more and more over time.

Shielding Yourself from Being Hurt Again
I know all about how easy it is to start boxing yourself in. It often comes from a deep seeded need to shield yourself from being hurt after being hurt SO many times in your life. So many people have offended, disappointed and betrayed you that you begin to believe the whole world is out to get you.

And that’s not a healthy place to be if you want to thrive in life. You can’t be empowered when you’re in complete isolation.

Human beings have an innate desire for purpose. Deep down we all want to be useful, necessary and important in this world. And it’s hard to do that when you choose to separate yourself from others.

You need contact with other souls in order to be healthy, wealthy and wise. How can you learn and grow if your only contact with other people is the fake, manufactured personas that you see on television or the internet? How will you ever have a chance to come in contact with a soul mate if you cut the world off and box yourself in forever?

Offenses Will Come
Like someone wise once said, there will always be offenses to contend with in life. There will always be that someone who gets on your nerves. There will be that girl at the department store who tosses you an attitude, or a family member who brings up something hurtful to try to bring you down.

But that’s a part of life, and more importantly it’s not what happens to you in life, it’s how you choose to react to it. That’s what makes all the difference when dealing with others.

When you get back out there into the world and someone offends you, you have to think about the proper reaction in order to stay empowered.

When the girl at the department store gives you an attitude, just smile or laugh and tell her to have a good day anyway. When your family member comes to you with that same old story, this time laugh and make light of it. They only bring it up because they know it irks you, and they crave that negative reaction from you.

When others offend you, don’t join them in their misery.

Getting Back Out There
Here are some ideas to help you start coming down from your ivory tower:

– Go to Meetup.com, choose a group and randomly go to an event near you. You can go alone (make sure it’s a safe, public location). Go with a positive attitude and smile a lot.

– Join a cooking or painting class. Look for an “intimate” class of about 10 people where you’re almost guaranteed to have to speak to someone.

– Go to an adult learning class that will pique your interest, such as starting a business or managing your money. Ask plenty of questions and become the teacher’s “pet.”

– Wave hello to a friendly neighbor once in a while and smile at people you see when in town. 8 times out of 10 they will smile back. There’s a powerful energy exchange going on there–soak it in as much as possible.

Start with these ideas and use them to fuel more inspirations for how to rejoin the world. In exploring your interests (known and new) you will start to feel yourself coming out of that box and back into a place of power.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Guidance vs Pushing Opinions on Others

I recently watched the Lifetime biopic Whitney, about the life of one of my favorite entertainers of all time — Whitney Houston. It centered around the romantic relationship she had with her ex-husband Bobby Brown.

In one scene, Whitney announces to her family that she is getting married to Bobby and her family flips their collective lids! In the movie, her mother warns her that he will bring her down, but she defiantly stayed by his side. In the end, her mother was right and they eventually divorced. He seemed to love her, but the energy that he shared with Whitney did ultimately contribute to her fall from "grace" in the public eye, as her mother advised.

What is the difference between giving someone guidance and forcing your will on them? I think there can be a fine line.

On one hand, you can’t tell someone how to live her life. She is ultimately the person who will decide the direction it will take.

On the other hand, if you know something that another person doesn’t know, isn’t it irresponsible not to try to warn them?

Sometimes I feel that some segments of our culture have been on the decline because so many people are insistent on living a totally "free" life where they just go where the wind blows. They don’t want to hear the opinions of others because they find it too "oppressive." But how can you learn and grow in a productive way if you refuse to accept well-intentioned guidance from others? Values, mores and standards help keep us all level-headed.

I think that the difference between guidance and forcing your will on others is the source. If people trust you and value your opinion, your advice is more likely to be considered valuable guidance. If you are considered a "messy" and judgmental person who doesn’t practice what you preach, your opinion is more likely to be considered an oppression or intrusion — even if it does hold some value.

A Little Guidance on Accepting Guidance 🙂
Live your life the way that you want to live it AND also be open to positive guidance from others from time to time. An opinion from another person is not always meant to be judgment or oppression — sometimes it is a blessing. You never know if one small piece of advice from someone can save you from unnecessary, long-term stress and strife.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOUand an upcoming book of life advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me?

How Can I Be a Mentor if I Don’t Even Have My OWN Life Together Yet?

In my early twenties I signed up for Big Brothers Big Sisters and quickly became a mentor of a young shy 11 year old girl.

As time went on in the mentoring process, I started to second guess myself.

What could I possibly teach this girl? What do I have to offer her?

At the time I was starting off in my career as a freelance writer and designer so money came here and there. It was a struggle to pay my bills. I was still driving the same car that I bought in college–it shook and quivered with age and I felt embarrassed picking her up in it. I could barely afford to buy my young mentee a slice of pizza when we hung out together. I was struggling. I felt like such a failure.

Every time I thought to call my mentee for a visit this question nagged at me: why would she want to grow up and be anything like me?

So eventually my visits with my mentee lessened. When she reached the age of 14 her family decided to move away, so the BBBS relationship expired. I have to admit that while I was sad that I’d probably never see her again I was a little relieved that I no longer had to fight with myself over my significance and impact on her young life.

Years later, I look back and feel a little foolish for allowing those self-defeating thoughts to affect my mentoring relationship. I did have a chance to see her again recently and found that she turned out to be a beautiful, confident and ambitious teenager. She is on her way to great things, and I like to think I played a small role in that.

I am speaking to anyone who is thinking about becoming a mentor or is currently a mentor who doubts your ability to positively influence your mentee. It’s not so much about getting her to admire you or to be just like you. It’s about the attention and love you’re giving the child which she may not be getting enough of at home.

Much like adults, kids just want to feel special, listened to, attended to and understood. If you can give them that, you have done your job as a mentor.

So just because you don’t quite have life figured out yet doesn’t mean that you arent a good candidate for mentorship. Some young person out there needs exactly what you have to offer. Just give her the attention, love and positive guidance that YOU wish you had received more of as a child.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive?and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Women, If You Could Have 2 Questions Answered About Life…

I am in the process of writing a new book on the questions that we women torture ourselves with throughout our lives.

My question to you: if you could have 2 questions answered about your life (as a woman) what would those 2 questions be?

Submit your response below — your question may be featured in the book!

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful response.
Love Lynn

The Power of Touch

I watched a few episodes of the show My Cat From Hell a couple of weeks ago. I was amazed (and a bit amused) by the behavior of the cats on the show. They hissed and scratched at every human that dared come near them. I couldn’t believe that the owners managed to coexist in the same household with these angry and aggressive cats for so long!

But while the knee jerk reaction was to blame the cat for being “evil” the real problem was the owners. They were cold and lacked understanding of what the cats needed. The suggested solution in many of these cases was to simply touch the cat and show him love. It worked 100% of the time. My own cats are very mild-mannered and loving toward me and guests because I pay them a lot of attention with touch and affirmation.

Love Energy
A simple touch from someone can be so powerful. It can be even more powerful than words, which sometimes don’t come out quite right at crucial moments.

When a person is grieving, a mere grip of the shoulder can mean so much. It gives them the release they need.

If someone you love is going through a trial or difficult situation, sometimes simply touching or holding his or her hand is the perfect reaction. It’s soothing and meaningful.

When a child is frustrated or confused, a hug can make all of her cares go away, if only for the moment. It’s a bonding moment. It’s like an exchange of love energy.

Sometimes all you need is to be present and near another person to be effective. For instance, if someone you love is laying in their bed depressed, just sit near them or with them for a while. No need to tell them anything, no need to judge them for how they feel or advise them on what they should do.

So if you’re having a strained relationship with someone or you don’t know how to help someone you know who is in need, try a loving touch instead of words from time to time. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

 

This is one of the books that you want on your shelf if you are serious about self-development and personal growth.

The most useful advice I received from this book:

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

 

 

Love Lynn


Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive?and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.