Guys, we did it! We made it to episode 100 of the Voices of your Village podcast! I am so grateful to any and all of you who have been listening since we first hit record in February of 2018. It has been one heck of a rollercoaster, y’all as we dove headfirst into a vast array of topics, most of which were directly requested by you, my village! So take a moment here to give yourself a pat on the back, because I couldn’t have gotten to 100 episodes without you! Not only did I get to share my insight on sleep, emotional development, and behavior support for your kiddos, but we also got to tap into the brilliant minds of so many other professionals whose passion and knowledge are geared towards providing support for you and your tiny human. I hung out with parents, experts, and even my own family as we dove into your biggest questions, so there’s only one thing left to say:
Alright, so what are we waiting for? Let’s dive into Episode 100. This episode is a juicy one, today we are talking about Other People’s Opinions. Yikes, I know. We have a lot to unpack in this episode. First, I will start by saying that I believe in this age of social media we are receiving a higher quantity of other people’s opinions than ever before. I often have to police myself and think, “If I would not say this to that person’s face, then I should not type it on a keyboard.” This control takes a lot of self-regulation, it doesn’t always come naturally.
When we talk about other people’s opinions there are a few things we need to remember. First, they exist. Other people have opinions. Second, there is a separation between opinions and judgment. So many of us are people pleasers, so many of us think the “kind thing to do” is to make sure everyone around us feels okay.
You can be a kind, respectful person but it doesn’t have to be at the expense of yourself. This is something I find arises when we talk about empathy. Empathy should not be draining.
There is this desire in society to solve problems. We see others struggling or having a hard time and we think, I should do something about that. As I have shared about my fertility journey, at first it was a picture of a bag of pregnancy tests with a caption “Thank you so much for not giving me advice on what we should be doing.” This was my way of reminding folks that asking for advice was not my reason for sharing my journey, I know that my village loves me and we all care about one another, so I knew that due to all of this love there would be folks who would try to solve this problem for me. I wanted to let you know, you can’t solve this for me.
But, other people are always going to have opinions. My expectation when I share something that is difficult is that there will be some people who try to solve my problem for me. I had to get to a place where I realized it was coming from a place of love. This does not just happen on the internet either. When I first told my mom about my fertility journey and the specifics of my comfort level I made sure to tell her that all I need in the moment is love to stave off any opinion of hers that she might have otherwise given.
I have a list of people whose opinions hold weight in my life. And it’s not everyone’s opinion on everything in my life. For example, I have someone whose partnership I look up to so I value their opinion if I turn to them with a conflict I am navigating with Zach and require an outside opinion. I will respect your opinion on a certain topic if I respect how I know you show up in the world in that way.
I think so often when we are onlookers, we don’t say anything. I would encourage you to say something. A “we’ve all been there, I know it’s hard” to a stressed-out mom in a store can go a long way. Just a personal connection, empathy so they know they are not being judged. Because when the roles are reversed, isn’t that what you’d look for? Some empathetic connection in a time of distress?
In reality, we are all human and other people’s opinions of you do not matter. You still get to choose, “I am doing the best I can today.” And you do the best you can and open your heart to support and feedback when it is something you’re curious about. Being able to identify that you will hear people’s opinions when they are trying to solve your problems because we are all problem solvers. We all try to take away other people’s pain.
As you move through the holidays, I want you to take this with you: You are crushing this. You are enough, you have value and worth in exactly who you are. It is okay that you don’t have all the answers right now. It is nobodies expectation that you are going to do this with perfection, and remember that everyone around you is nervous that you’ll see their imperfections.
Listen to the episode above for the rest of my deep dive into opinions. And thank you again for listening to 100 episodes, I can’t wait to record 100 more!