“What would people think?” It’s almost a mantra for me after hearing it in my head for so many years. I grew up hearing that over and over. All of my actions and conversations were influenced by what “people” would think.
Just who are these “people” anyway? And WHY do I care what they think?
I learned not to stand out in any way. Not to speak up. Not to even be friends with the “wrong” people. My mom was raised the same way.
“Don’t go on the wrong side of the street,” she was told over and over. Only to find out 6 months later that she had been on the wrong side of the street all along.
Even today I hear that voice in my head. The “people” judge me and find me lacking over and over again. I’ve never seen the “people” or heard them speak but I know that I am not good enough for them. I must not be good enough for them because they never include me in whatever it is that I am supposed to be good enough for. Yet I still crave their approval.
Unfortunately, many of my kids seem to hear that voice too. They too are very cautious in their demeanor. Cautious that they never to stand out in a crowd. Very quiet and subdued just like I am.
And then there’s Emily…
Emily does what she can to be noticed by everyone. and I mean EVERYONE! She is not afraid of attention. In fact she craves it. Soo different from me.
Today we were walking to Walmart in the rain (about 3miles) along a very busy street and she acts as if she is the queen of a parade. She smiles and waves regally at each car that passes.
EACH CAR…not a collective wave at them all. Each individual car. She makes “people” feel special. Like she deigned to take notice of them and they are thrilled to receive her attention.
Emily always makes everyone else feel special. It amazes me that so many people recognize her and go out of their way to talk with her.
I don’t know why she never got the message about the “people” and how they judge you. Maybe she just chose to ignore the message. Maybe she is just so busy delivering her own message that it never got a chance to get to her. Whatever it is, I hope that she never hears about how judgemental the “people” are.
I hope that more little girls fail to receive the “What will people think?” message.
I look to Emily in wonder and awe. I want to be like her when I grow up. Then I can say that I don’t care
What will people think?