Hmm, controversial topic this week (it’s really not but I’m writing this at the Gods alone know what time so just go with whatever the hell I say…)
There’s a lot I could write about regarding opinions but I’m going to focus on other people’s opinions of you and how that should/could/does shape you as a person and your actions.
First of all I have to say that I think it’s kind of bullshit to say that other people’s opinions of you don’t matter, cos they do, you can think you’re a great person but if everyone else thinks you’re just a selfish c*nt then it kind of doesn’t count.
Other people’s opinions can reflect who you truly are, not your own rose-tinted perceptions of yourself. That’s why I think they matter (to an extent.)
You can also use how people think about you, this sounds kind of creepy and sneaky but I reckon you’re lying if you say you haven’t capitalised on how someone has viewed you at some point, I quite famously make the most of my ‘innocent girl’ image.
So, opinions are important- but when should we disregard them?
The most obvious one for me is when they make us unhappy, when trying to make people have a certain opinion about you makes you unhappy or causes you grief. This can be from you breaking morals or laws to be seen as cool or hard to denying yourself sex because you’re scared of being labelled a whore (the latter being my situation at the moment.)
I care about what the people I love and respect think about me- I care about what the outside world thinks about me, but I think that I need to take a step back and not let that have such a strong influence over me.
When it comes to being Pagan opinion is something that is important, a lot of different people have a lot of different opinions on Paganism and when you first come into the faith dealing with those opinions and the reactions that your religion can get is daunting.
I have to say that when I first accepted my faith I kept it strictly to myself, I could take being seen as a heretic but being seen as a silly, whimsical little girl who believed in the fairies was exactly the opposite of what I wanted. It was so far removed from the terrifyingly adult things I was having to deal with at that age that I kept my faith to myself to try and seem a little more mature. As I’ve gotten older and people have started to see me as worldly and tough I’ve been a lot more open about my faith and started to realise that confessing that I believe in magick and fairies doesn’t make me seem like a little girl- it adds a strange edge to my otherwise hard and pragmatic personality and therefore makes me more interesting.
But maybe I shouldn’t be so conscious about what people think and have thought- maybe I should have just been honest from the start?
Because I’m now incredibly open about my faith (I’m literally the Pagan poster girl at my school) I kind of fooled myself into thinking that other people’s opinions don’t matter to me- it’s only very recently that I’ve realised that it’s just that other people’s opinions about my faith don’t matter, their opinions about other areas of my life do.
I have no definitive answer to ‘do other *ARGH- MOTH!* people’s opinions of your life matter?’ I just know that it’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.