“What will people think?”
Suddenly I feel like I am bumping into this issue all over my life.
From the television shows and movies I watch to the magazine articles I read….to family disputes and conversations with friends….
To be honest, some days I wonder if this concern – even more than the drive to earn or the desire to connect – literally runs our world.
People kill, steal, yell, hide, run, lie, choose a profession, choose a mate, choose a home or a car, dress a certain way, adopt particular hobbies, make decisions, and even literally change everything about their lives and themselves in an effort to control what other people think.
One area where this crops up frequently for me personally is with recovery matters. In running MentorCONNECT, the eating disorders mentoring nonprofit I founded in 2009, I still read through hundreds of membership applications each year.
Many applicants cite concerns about privacy and confidentiality – citing as their reason a concern about being judged by family, friends, or peers for having an eating disorder or needing recovery support.
Some applicants even apply under a pseudonym because of this concern – “what will people think?”
Another area where this issue of what people might think crops up is with faith and spirituality. Luckily, in my family, we were raised to be open-minded, respectful towards, and accepting of other faiths and other belief systems.
But not everyone opts for this approach.
Continue reading… »