I Know They Talk about Me
By Warren A. Hodge, Jr.
Is it really that shocking when we find out that people have been talking about us? I wouldn’t think so. To some degree I believe we all have an idea that people talk about us regardless of what is being said or who is saying it. The real question is, “How do we handle what people think and say about us?”
A semi-smile followed by a short chuckle with feelings of joy and satisfaction tend to bombard us when we hear through the grapevine that someone has been saying good things about us or we are caught by the feeling of a pleasing embarrassment. After all, who doesn’t like to be thought of and talked about in a good way? To know that friends esteem you highly and co‑workers think the world of you would bring a smile to anyone’s face, but what about when the thoughts and conversations, with you as the main topic, aren’t too nice – what about reality?
There are people who care a little about what people think and say about them. There are people who care too much what people think and say about them. Then there are people who “say” they don’t care what people think and say about them.
I don’t think it’s possible to absolutely not care at all what people think and say about them; it goes against the grain of how God made us. We are relational beings. We were made to interact with others. A part of interaction with others is acceptance by those we interact with. Plus there are too many people in our lives that we care about to not care what they think or say.
It seems so much easier for some people to brush off other’s feelings, thoughts and words about them. It’s as if they have the skin of an elephant and the feathers of a duck – certain things just don’t penetrate their feelings and things just roll off their minds without soaking in. These types of people are in the minority, in my opinion.
Possibly somewhere along the road of their lives something might have happened to them where their skin became tough and feathery –all at the same time. Nothing necessarily negative, it could have been a responsibility they were thrown into where they had to step up and get the job done in spite of what people thought and said. They may be the ones that others think are callous and cold hearted with no feelings, but actually they have mastered an “art” that helps them to go forward and achieve even in the midst of the naysayer.
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