Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 28
We cannot manipulate other people into loving us.
Sounds pretty brutal, doesn't it? I am sure anyone who just heard that and thought "I don't manipulate people to love me" and just heard me saying that and thought "That's not me. I don't do that kind of thing!" And let's just have a little rummage around the outskirts of this thought.
Because I don't know about you, but I'm only speaking from my own personal experience, I know that there are so many occasions where I have thought, if I just do this thing for someone, they might think more of me. They might respect me more, they might treat me more kindly. They might think I'm a kind person if I give all of these things away. They might think that I am not generous or have loads of resources, but that I just have a really good heart and therefore I am a person that they would want to hang out with a person who is worthy of their time. And secretly, underneath all of that and it's rarely conscious, is the thought. And therefore, I will be safe. I will be loved here.
How many times have you caught yourself or noticed or acknowledged yourself paying for things in a restaurant when frankly, you couldn't afford it? How many times have you gone out of your way to make an arrangement for somebody else when you wouldn't do the same thing for you?
I'm very guilty myself. I caught myself at a train station the other day and standing with my mobility aid, very, really struggling to stand up, and someone was sat in the disabled area blocking it and they did not need their space. They just had a big bag and wanted the extra room. And someone came along who had their leg in plaster, and so I asked them very loudly, sort of above the person, "would you like to sit down?" When I had been stood there already myself for 15 minutes and I hadn't done the same thing for myself, I'd just been standing there thinking how dreadful people were.
I could have just asked. I could have just sat down.
The reason that we sometimes overlook our own needs or try and do these extra things for other people, is a chance that people firstly might like us. And secondly, that it can cover for this secret feeling that we have, that there is fundamentally something dreadful about us.
It might not come out that strongly, and sometimes it might come out a lot more strongly than that. But there is this sort of deep, dark seed inside us that we haven't quite managed the being a good human bit.
And if we take enough action, then we won't be able to disguise this part of us that we don't want anyone to see or these thoughts that we might have or this thing about us that makes us fundamentally broken and unworthy. And what I would like to offer you with this little bite-size podcast this week is that maybe you don't need to do anything to become worthy. Maybe you're worthy just for the sake of being born. Maybe we all are worthy of love, safety, respect, kindness. Just because humanity needs more of that, we deserve more of that. And that's the kind of world that I want to see. And that's the kind of world that I'm willing to work for.
And if it's the kind of world that you want to work for as well, and if it's your core values that people are worthy and people do deserve love, respect, and kindness, then you have to include yourself in that picture and if you think that there are particular things that you need to do or not do which make you worthy or less worthy of love, you're undermining your own value system.
Because fundamentally, I believe, that the world would be a lot kinder, safer space for all of us if everyone felt they were safe, loved, and respected.
I'm going to go out of my way continually to create more opportunities for more people to think that. And in order for that to happen, I have to include myself in that picture.
I hope you can see some parallels of where this might be relevant to you and your story.
And this week, you could spend some time just noticing where you could show yourself a little bit more kindness and respect. Hopefully, this is the way that we will move towards creating more kindness in the world.
I look forward to seeing you next week.