There are many times when we listen to what other people say and it isn’t always a positive thing. According to my mum, I need to listen to what she says because of her life experience and the fact she has my best interests at heart. I have to listen to bosses when they highlight an issue or talk to me about some aspect of work. There are also those times when we need to listen to those around us when they warn us of danger or problems ahead, particularly when they have our best interests at heart.
But there are lots of occasions when people who don’t want to help us say things that if we listen to them can cause us problems. They may not even mean it to be unsettling or upsetting for us and yet we still take that information the wrong way. Why do we do it?
Usually we are listening because it is a subject that we have a weakness about. It might be about our personality or appearance or about something that is close to our hearts. Often with these things we lack a sense of perspective and when things happen or comments are made we can’t help but listen. In these cases we let the comments of another affect our approach and they get into our minds leading to self-doubt.
Self-doubt is a very damaging and can leave us stuck in one place unwilling or unable to take appropriate action. When we listen to some people who may not know us, or know our issues we give them space in our heads. They suddenly are given increased credibility that means we create doubt in our minds. We have to be strong if we are going to be able to deal with the comments but remain unaffected by them. Life can be a challenge and so can working out who to listen to and who to keep out of our heads.