I was really taken aback earlier this week when I saw a comment on my Facebook page from a woman I didn’t know. She left a cryptic message referencing a librarian. I was pretty sure she was slamming me, criticizing my photo - my “look.” It was such an odd message, I checked with a few friends and colleagues to see what they thought. And they all agreed – it was a slam. Evidently she has a pretty negative, stereotypical image of librarians, thought I matched it, and felt compelled to tell me.
At first, I started down an ugly self-conscious path, with lots of negative self-talk and defensiveness. I’m not photogenic. I’m not stylish enough. Why didn’t I put up a professional photo? Blah. Blah. Blah.
I stopped a moment, took a deep breath, listened to the chatter in my head and smiled. I was letting a complete stranger who doesn’t even know me, make me feel bad about myself. So Ridiculous.
I recalled a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
So I chose to no longer give consent. It was a great choice to make - so freeing!
Do you find yourself second-guessing, self-criticizing or feeling anxious because of others’ unsolicited opinions? When it happens, ask yourself if the opinion adds any value to your life. If it does, learn from it and grow. If it doesn’t, CHOOSE to ignore it and get on with your life.
Remember, only you can make you feel bad about yourself.
So I was still left wondering what to do about Ms. Mean. Do I respond? Do I ignore her? Do I delete the comment? My friends and colleagues had some hilarious thoughts on how I could respond. But in the end, I decided her comment served no value to anyone, and certainly not to me, so I deleted it and I Moved On.
And besides, one of my closest friends is a librarian and she’s stunningly beautiful – outside and in.
Wishing you only good thoughts about yourself,