Interesting question, I think …..maybe you disagree!
Is some of it to do with status? In psychology circles there are some debates about whether status is the fundamental motivation for all human beings. Do you think this is true? For all species living in social groups of any kind, it’s likely that thousands (perhaps millions) of years ago, the most able and strongest males lived longer, coupled up with the most desirable females and ate better than weaker, less able men. But what about now? Is status still important and a key to happiness? It’s not dependent upon how we see men any longer (not for most of us anyway!) so what is it about?
In our modern society, those with perceived status do seem to have more influence and power. However, what I’m asking in this blog is – do you care what others think of you, considering that status seems to make a difference to a lot of people?
To help you decide, here’s a little exercise for you. Try to answer the questions below on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being strongly disagree and 7 being strongly agree:
- I’m not interested in trying to impress people.
- When I achieve something, I tend to keep quiet about it
- It really doesn’t matter how you compare to others
- It doesn’t matter to me where I stand in the social order.
- I don’t spend much time thinking about whether I’m good enough compared to others.
- If other people don’t see me as something special, it’s no big deal.
- I like telling people when something good happens to me
- I don’t need to go telling everyone when something good happens to me.
The maximum score is 56 although I think that it’s pretty unlikely that many of us would attain that score. As you’ve probably worked out, if you have a much lower score, it often indicates a higher concern about status.
If you’re not comfortable with that, it’s a good idea to reflect on why it’s important and what your self-esteem is like. If you’re happy with yourself, you won’t care so much about what other people think about you. Here are a few tips to start feeling better about yourself, caring less what others think of you and worrying less about status and keeping up with other people including friends and maybe family members:
- Be patient, kind and understanding with yourself. Take time to feel pleased when you achieve something good. Don’t blame yourself out of all proportion if something doesn’t go as you’d planned.
- Set achievable goals and work to accomplish them. This is important as, if we set goals that are too high at this stage, we will almost certainly feel disappointment if we don’t achieve them. It is easier to work up to goals than to work down from them and gives us more of a sense of accomplishment.
- Do not accept put-downs. Be assertive and let people know that you don’t like negative criticism.
- Accept compliments. Just say ‘thank you’ and smile.
- Act the person you want to be. Play the new role long enough and you will become that person
- Visualise change. Imagine the person you want to become six months down the road. Imagination is stronger than the will.
- Look after yourself – look at your diet and try cutting down on sugary processed snacks, walk as much as possible and generally review your lifestyle and how it affects you.
- Think of yourself as a loveable and capable person. You came into this world that way and that potential never changes.
- Try to mix with positive people who don’t drag you down in any way but help reinforce good feelings about yourself and the world.
Keep practising and you’ll find that you feel better about yourself, even if you don’t live in a big house, drive a fast car (if you have a car) and earn loads of money.
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