“But the other child started it and said xy to me” I hear from one of my boys after a brief afternoon altercation on the playground among the children.

Well, what’s a good piece of advice here? My mentor Wayne Dyer comes to mind spontaneously. He had a clear opinion on this: “What you think about me is okay.” How other people think about you or see you has nothing to do with you. It’s solely their opinion. And in the moment, you get upset about it, what you’re really saying is, “What you think about me is much more important than what I think about myself. That’s why I’m sad/angry/disappointed.” In doing so, you’re handing over all the power over yourself and your mood to the other person.

Children especially often fear that if their friends don’t like them, something is wrong with them. Again – it’s just their opinion. And as soon as I prioritize theirs over my own, I am toast. This brings us to an intriguing question: What do you think about yourself?

Do you know that you’re a great person? Yes, it might be that your behavior was inappropriate. And it has absolutely nothing to do with you as a person. Please also be careful with yourself when you’re “expressing your opinion” to someone. Your statement should always be about their behavior and not their being. But all too often, we attack the person. “You’re ridiculous. That’s not how it’s done. Look at what others are saying now.” And we’ve already triggered the person’s main fear to the maximum. The fear of not being (good) enough, when in fact only the behavior in this situation was not very productive. Use “I” statements. “I noticed that your behavior in this situation, from my perspective, was inappropriate. I know you’re a great person. And in this situation, it seems like you lost your temper. How can you behave differently next time if something like this happens again?”

For many people, how they are seen and perceived is more important than anything else. Wayne’s advice back then was: Move away from appearances (how you want to be seen by others) towards qualities. Ask yourself what the quality of your life is, instead of constantly worrying about pleasing everyone. Of course, I also enjoy it when people applaud enthusiastically after my presentation. But I don’t need it. That’s the difference.

What personally matters to me is the attitude I approached it with. Did I give everything I could in that moment, on that day, in that place, with that mind and body? If I know that, I’m satisfied. Because if I did that, I couldn’t have done “more.” And whether everyone liked it at the end of the day, I can’t influence.

Only as long as you’re dependent on others and their opinion, it’s an unhealthy connection. Instead of following others’ opinions and drawing strength from them, it’s better to continue your path confidently and courageously. Every day, step by step, in the right direction for you. Move further towards more self-love.

The more you build your inner self-love through this, the less you care about what others say about you. Most people just chatter about something they heard and don’t take the time to form their own honest opinion of you by talking to you and getting to know you.