Author Topic: Need Advice; being so affected by peoples opinion about me  (Read 188 times)

Whoami

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Need Advice; being so affected by peoples opinion about me
« on: September 30, 2020, 10:29:11 AM »
Hello everyone!

In my mind, i have come quite a long way in terms of perceiving reality in the Big picture. I experience myself as just a consciousness, nothing else; and pretty much see the whole universe as a game/show. This is entertaining and give me a sense of freedom, all thanks to meditation, BUT, and here is my big problem that i cant seem to handle. And i dont know why, so maybe some of you guys can give me some insight to this...

I get so affected by what people think of ”me”. As soon as i get signals from someone that they do not like me or that i create a negative emotion inside of them, i get anxiety. And i cant get my head around it.

For example:

Im active in the dating world,
when i get rejected and no woman wants to talk to me, i feel hopeless and prepare for a lonely life.
But when i get attention, i feel happy and outgoing, having a different outlook on life, one where im not lonely.

Same thing at work, if i do something that makes someone uncomfortable, i get so affected.


I dont know how to deal with this, ive had this problem pretty much my whole life (ive had social anxiety for most of my life).

I wish i was not affected so much by this. Ofcourse meditation helps but after a while im back, functioning the same way as before.

Do someone of you have any insights about this? Tips? Comments? Living like this is a damn roller coaster.

raushan

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    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: Need Advice; being so affected by peoples opinion about me
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2020, 01:15:08 PM »
Hi Whoami,


I will start with this quote.

When you’re 20, you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60, you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place - Winston churchill.

I have been in your situation. My problem may not exactly apply to you but take whatever is applicable to you.

First, I would say I was a natural introvert. I am automatically inclined to choose activities that can be done alone. I love reading books. I love surfing the internet. I automatically fell in love with the idea of meditation. Doing it isn't a big deal for me. Many extrovert people have difficulty doing that. But I started to doubt myself. I started to compare myself with my extrovert friends. Some even tried to criticize me I don't know why may be out of jealousy or just to make fun. This got me anxious about why I am not like that. The more I tried to become like them the more anxious I became.

So you have to be aware yourself that you aren't comparing yourself with others. You should act according to your natural personality trait.

Second,

Girls may reject you for the various reason. It may not be personal. May be there is something else going on in their life that's why they are rejecting you. May be you are so afraid that she is going to reject you that you act underconfident.

"when i get rejected and no woman wants to talk to me, i feel hopeless and prepare for a lonely life."

When you think like that it means you might be having low self esteem and you are trying to get validation from others. You aren't comfortable with yourself so you judge others action towards you.

I would say work on yourself. Have a purpose/goal in your life. Be more attached to that rather than people validation. If you are working on youself honestly/daily you don't need other people validation to feel good. Once when you will project confidence people will automatically drawn towards you. If not then also fine.

"Same thing at work, if i do something that makes someone uncomfortable, i get so affected."

The thing is everyone makes mistake. Most of the people I have met won't tell you their mistake. They will act like everything they are doing correctly. You aren't responsible to make someone uncomfortable. You are judging yourself too harshly.
If someone is getting uncomfortable then it's their problem.

Or maybe you need to change the type of people you hang out with. When we are insecure about ourselves we make toxic friends.

Lastly, Keep meditating. May be meditate for two hours.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 01:42:54 PM by raushan »

yonski3

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Re: Need Advice; being so affected by peoples opinion about me
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2020, 12:01:00 PM »
This issue here is rejection and fear of rejection and I think it's important to understand where it is coming from as all fears have meaning and a reason for them.

While we live in a modern world with advance science and culture, our brains are not much different from humans that lived on this earth 200,000 years ago.

On those days getting rejected by your tribe would mean death sentence as you will be outcast and likely won't be able to survive by yourself.

So this fear was forcing us to be really good at social interaction and avoid taking social risks that could create serious problems for us.

This days that we no longer live in tribes this fear is no longer really needed. got rejected by a girl? so what, you just move on and try another one, some person does not like you? no big deal there are lots of other people who would, etc etc.

Problem is that we can not really reason with the patterns of our mind  on the surface level by just understanding this concept and he will keep reacting as he been condition to react for millions of years.

Luckily for you I assume you practice vipassana? which is probably the most effective way to liberate your mind from all those knots and conditioning and live a life of tranquility and happiness.

So my suggestion is keep on your daily practice and this issue will solve itself out,

With metta
« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 12:04:06 PM by yonski3 »

Alex

  • Member
Re: Need Advice; being so affected by peoples opinion about me
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2020, 11:46:44 AM »
Hi Whoami

Yes, it can feel like a rollercoaster sometimes, finding the middle ;)

What I read in your post is that experiences of rejection or critique activate old pain and conditioned responses (thinking, behavior). Actually, it’s more of a circular thing: the conditioning also means that you interpret events in terms of rejection and appreciation. And your conditioned reactions might create certain type of experiences. Can we then really separate the interpretation from the response? The conditioning includes the past experiences, the altered perception and the conditioned responses.
An other thing I read is that you wish you were not so much affected. I recently heard the phrase don’t let suffering go to waste... Off course we don't want to create suffering, but when it's there, don't waste it... learn from it! And learning works best when accepting where you are right now, wherever that is.

As yonski points out, this conditioning is enabled by a psychobiology that is adaptive from an evolutionary perspective. There is a lot to learn about this, about nervous system, attachement processes, etc. But the theoretical knowledge is much less important than the experiential, embodied knowledge of how this works and feels for you, which is what you need to dive in, learn and eventually free yourself.

Vipassana is a powerful tool to investigate this conditioning, both on and off the cushion. But vipassana is not about transcending this conditioning as just consciousness, you also want to dive in... seeing, feeling, tasting the conditioning as it manifests in body, emotion, thinking, behavior. Deeply familiarizing yourself with it.
Often other embodied practices are helpful, using different gates to access and work with this conditioning, in your case especially practices with a social component (group setting) will offer a safe space to explore these interpersonal issues while they happen. (Body-)therapeutic work is also an option.
There’s the Embodiment Conference in a few weeks if you would like some inspiration. It’s finding a local provider that’s will be the difficult part.

Kindly
Alex

Dhamma

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Re: Need Advice; being so affected by peoples opinion about me
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2020, 06:31:42 PM »
I deal with very, very bad social anxiety.  You are not alone.

With certain people, I feel like I have to please them like a god. I get so comfortable that I just want to run.

I'm not a shy person, but with certain people, I shut down on them (anxiety attacks around them but they didn't know why I was unable to talk, etc.).   Interestingly, with some people, I am quite happy and content in their presence. I'm way worse with people in the region I grew up in. I don't know why. When I travel to other locations, particularly overseas, my social anxiety is 60-70% better.

With me, though, it's not about fear of rejection; it's just total awkward feelings that I experience around certain personality types, etc. It's like I have to please them like a god, or just run away from them.

I have improved slightly over the past year or two, but I still am far from having gotten past this.

I tell myself: you aren't responsible for other people's happiness, even though I wish it for others; if my intentions are good in my interactions with others,  I'm responsible for nothing in how the other person feels.

It feels like torture at times, so my social circle is quite small.   

Only be friends with like-minded people who share your values. Idle socialization doesn't have much of a place in Buddhism, in the first place.

The Buddhist teachings on this: just be with the awkward and uncomfortable thoughts (you are not your thoughts; they are just something you feel by seeing things with delusion); keep distance from toxic people; you are not alone; no one is better than you, and you are not better than them (we're all human with great delusions).

People-pleasing is mental illness. All delusions are mental illness, friend  But don't feel bad about it - work on it day after day in meditation with the wisdom from the Holy Dhamma.  You cannot control your mind; you can only learn to be with it in a non-reactive it. Over time, things will get much better if you practice, practice, practice.

I have learned to see things with more equanimity, which helps quiet the obsessive people-pleasing thoughts and ruminations. Things are always better when I avoid people I just don't need to be around.

Much love in Dhamma
« Last Edit: October 03, 2020, 08:22:07 PM by Dhamma »
You are already Buddha

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Need Advice; being so affected by peoples opinion about me
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2020, 11:20:54 AM »
Hello everyone!

In my mind, i have come quite a long way in terms of perceiving reality in the Big picture. I experience myself as just a consciousness, nothing else; and pretty much see the whole universe as a game/show. This is entertaining and give me a sense of freedom, all thanks to meditation, BUT, and here is my big problem that i cant seem to handle. And i dont know why, so maybe some of you guys can give me some insight to this...

I get so affected by what people think of ”me”. As soon as i get signals from someone that they do not like me or that i create a negative emotion inside of them, i get anxiety. And i cant get my head around it.

For example:

Im active in the dating world,
when i get rejected and no woman wants to talk to me, i feel hopeless and prepare for a lonely life.
But when i get attention, i feel happy and outgoing, having a different outlook on life, one where im not lonely.

Same thing at work, if i do something that makes someone uncomfortable, i get so affected.


I dont know how to deal with this, ive had this problem pretty much my whole life (ive had social anxiety for most of my life).

I wish i was not affected so much by this. Ofcourse meditation helps but after a while im back, functioning the same way as before.

Do someone of you have any insights about this? Tips? Comments? Living like this is a damn roller coaster.
For me, I spent a lot of my early life observing and learning. I have cultivated a skill which is increasingly rare, and thankfully still in demand. I have a way that I operate and treat people which is as respectful and consistent as possible.

By doing those things, I do not have to worry about what people think of me, if I can put food on the table then I'm doing good enough.

dharma bum

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Re: Need Advice; being so affected by peoples opinion about me
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2020, 05:18:55 PM »
First of all, it is normal for rejection to hurt, especially when you're young. But when you meditate, you realize that you yourself like or dislike people for very flimsy reasons. Often everything is inside our own heads. Most things we like people for are just imagined. If we are in a good mood, then we like people. If we are not, then we don't. So we realize that all this means nothing. To be popular is also a burden because we have to keep doing things that make us popular. I feel very sorry for people who have a lot of followers in social media or those that get a lot of Likes. Sometimes some people seem like performing monkeys who keep having to do stuff to be popular.

I find that if I think of people as human and I like them for being just like me, I find that I don't worry about these things.
Mostly ignorant

Dhamma

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  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • I take from all Buddhist schools + some yogic schools
Re: Need Advice; being so affected by peoples opinion about me
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2020, 05:56:59 PM »
First of all, it is normal for rejection to hurt, especially when you're young. But when you meditate, you realize that you yourself like or dislike people for very flimsy reasons. Often everything is inside our own heads. Most things we like people for are just imagined. If we are in a good mood, then we like people. If we are not, then we don't. So we realize that all this means nothing. To be popular is also a burden because we have to keep doing things that make us popular. I feel very sorry for people who have a lot of followers in social media or those that get a lot of Likes. Sometimes some people seem like performing monkeys who keep having to do stuff to be popular.

I find that if I think of people as human and I like them for being just like me, I find that I don't worry about these things.

That's all true, what you say. That helps me a lot. I particularly like the word "flimsy" in how you describe our interpersonal relationships. It really brings across the Buddhist concept of emptiness in all things.

Not all wisdom comes from meditation alone: we must know the dhamma and its holy teachings deep in our bones.  Then, we bring this into meditation. It's meditation + dhamma wisdom.

Understanding emptiness helps me so much (ties in with the word "flimsy"), even though I still struggle daily with social anxiety. It helps me to keep sane of mind when the awkward feelings arise.  There is no inherent existence in feelings of relationships. How can two people think so differently on the same person? One person can be so loved by some, yet so despised by others? Yes. So everything is dependent on causes and conditions, even on how we feel towards others. What I am saying is, is that there is no solidity in liking or disliking someone. No feelings for another is ever inherently existing. It is all "flimsy", as you say, depending sometimes on really silly causes and conditions. That adjective is super helpful to me.

Much love in the Dhamma

You are already Buddha

 

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