People May not See You the Way You See Yourself by Bill Storie
I overheard this statement in the grocery store a couple of days ago. Two ladies were at the checkout and were talking about some other person. I wasn’t listening in but couldn’t help overhear their comments. It got me to wonder if there is actually some truth in the words.
I certainly believe that as I have got older I have a fairly good understanding of who I am, what I think and what I like. Maybe in my younger days I had misgivings about many things. And certainly as I look back to those days I know that I could have done things differently if I had the chance to “restart” some things. Would I have studied harder or gone back to school to study different subjects? Would I have moved jobs faster to go and get more money? Who knows.
But it is sometimes confusing to realize that the way I see myself or the thoughts and feelings I have may not be seen the same way that others see in me. Is that a dilemma I wonder?
More to the point, do I care?
Is this something that you care about as you are getting older?
Everyone has an ego, and everyone prefers other people to like them, perhaps even love them. However as we age do we have the same obsessions with how others think about us? In the work world it was always an important factor of employment especially if the other person had some influence on your job – could they fire you for example? If so, then you probably did feel the need to keep them happy and to have them like you.
The fear of a job lost, lost income, no new job to go to were all impacting factors which caused stress and an unsettled feeling perhaps every day you went to work. It was like a weight that you carried around all the time, both at work and at home. It was truly a burden and one which perhaps made you make decisions which otherwise you wouldn’t have made. Selling your soul to keep your job. Millions of people around the world do this every single day of their working life.
But now you’re retired. Does this burden still exist? Well, not in the workplace certainly but have you carried the matter into your new journey, the retirement journey?
Hopefully you don’t even think about pleasing people so much these days. In fact maybe you don’t care about how people judge you these days at all. It’s an age thing they say.
It might be of course, but I do believe that even though the fear of losing a job and the income is behind you, the fear of losing the respect of a friend or a loved one is still high on your list of concerns in retirement. The idea that you would be able to say what you wanted and do what you wanted was a dream you looked forward to when you were approaching retirement, but now in retirement, the reality is that you probably don’t say and do what you want, even now. You are still concerned about how other people think of you.
So even though you think you are a stable and wise Oldster, maybe other people in your life don’t see you that way. Perhaps to them you’re just an old stuck-in-your ways retiree.
So the question is do you care?
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
I’ll let you answer that yourself.
See you next week.
By Bill Storie