I just finished watching Jenny Schatzle’s TEDx talk „Rewiring how you look @ yourself” (heads up, this is a loud one :)).
When towards the middle of the talk Jenny quoted her mom:
“I know it’s what people think about me
so I say it out loud
so they know that I know”
my heart jumped …. because I know exactly what she means .…
For Jenny’s mom it was her weight she thought others were judging.
For me personally, dealing with social anxiety, I often feel ashamed of having acted or said something in a certain way. Then it can also happen that I say out loud what I think the other person is thinking about me (which, to start out with, is simply what I think about myself in that moment!).
Is this type of statement perhaps an attempt to distance oneself from the painful and uncomfortable feeling of shame? For me, I have observed that I may say something like this because I want the other person to understand that
– I am aware of (what I see as) my inferiority,
– feel at the mercy of my subconscious behavioral patterns and helpless,
– wish that the circumstance was different.
Instead of them judging me negatively (on top of myself judging myself negatively), they may feel understanding and compassion, if I reveal to them, that I am aware of it all.
This is all a bit backwards, isn’t it!?
First and foremost, as Jenny continues, her eyes having been opened by her mother’s statement:
“You never know what anyone else is thinking. Ever!
And don’t assume that you do, because you don’t!”
(Something tells me that this could be a great mantra for me 🙂 )
It can be important to step aside for a moment and realize that we are reacting with shame most likely on the basis of past experiences but perhaps the other person never thought anything close to what we assumed!?
I suppose, what we seem to need in that moment is to feel understanding and compassion for ourselves instead of trying to get it from the other person!? Are we placing the responsibility to feel understood and accepted and loved despite or rather with our shortcomings (which others might not even perceive as such) on the other person?
I am curious to hear if anyone else has experienced saying something along the lines of Jenny’s mom statement.
If this is familiar to you? How would you explain the “phenomenon” (do you agree/disagree with my thoughts on this) and have you come up with any tactics to catch yourself and redirect that energy?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!