People make conclusions about themselves based on who they are around most of the time. Or at least they measure themselves relative to the most important people in their lives and that’s how they find their ‘place’ in the world.
It is those people most important whose judgments matter the most to us. A negative interaction with an important person can impact your perceptions and emotions dramatically.
What is it about one person that can have this much of an effect on you?
Add-in the fact and knowing that people die and it’s starting to sound as if we are leaving ourselves quite vulnerable to hardship on purpose.
Two thoughts come to mind. First, this all seems counter intuitive by purposely leaving ourselves vulnerable to pain. Second, is that there are billions of other people out there who’s judgments mean nothing to you, or will never have an effect like this one person’s.
So why do we not choose these “important people” more carefully?
The risks you take may or may not be worth it in the end; but you’ll never know that until the end happens. That’s the game of life-
To figure out what deserves your time and effort… and what doesn’t.
Furthermore, a large quantity of people (whom you probably don’t know) can be a good match for an important person. The amount of people that disagree, or have opposing views, can also impact you dramatically.
That being said, if the entire country of Africa hated me, would I care? Maybe, maybe not so much. Perhaps I wouldn’t because the entire country does not affect my day to day life here in Buffalo, NY. I’m not reminded by the hatred of an entire country (for whatever it was). Perhaps, it would be relatively easy to move on from the actions that caused the hatred.
However, if America were to hate me all the same, it would truly impact the way I feel about myself. Everyone I’ve ever known in my life, all of my effort into being a good person to others, would feel like a waste. I would feel like a waste.
To be back on square 1, just a little older. Like the beginning of a fight I had just finished losing.
But why? If the majority of people on Earth don’t even know me, why would a few people’s take on me and on the things I do bother me so much?
It’s because I decide what and who is important to me. The ones I’ve found most important to me are the people closest to me both geographically and emotionally. I choose to weigh their opinions and judgments with a higher value than that of strangers. And I choose how I react to those judgments.
But these things are nothing more than mere choices.