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On Caring What People Think of You

woman with many bagsI have a Google alert set up to fetch every new page on the Internet that contains my book title, Constructive Wallowing.

Usually the automated search will find me quoted in an article that cites the book, which is what I’d expect.

But sometimes it comes up with pages I never dreamed existed.

I recently got a hit on a nonsensical article that resembles something put together by a robot, or maybe a baboon. A robot would have better grammar.

Check out this excerpt:

Each feeling her words spoke to, cut right this world whole read that maybe. In the problem if you want to make informed rounded decisions. Just reminding you remove the cold, by learning to promote.

At the top, in big letters, it says By Tina Gilbertson.

I cringed when I saw it, as you can imagine. But then I thought, ‘What are the chances someone’s going to read that and say, Wow, that Tina Gilbertson is a terrible writer!?’

I figure chances are slim, which is why the article (and I’m using that term loosely) doesn’t bother me even though it’s attributed to me.

It’s not that I don’t care what others think; it’s that I believe they’ll give me the benefit of the doubt.

By the way, I wanted to post the link so you could see the whole mess for yourself, but the article has been replaced by a giant red “Download” button with no further information. I didn’t want to put anyone in harm’s way.

Another example of bad press that’s actually quite funny came to my attention this week.

You might think I’d be horrified for Constructive Wallowing to make the list of the 23 Least Helpful Self-Help Books to Ever Grace a Bookshelf.

Au contraire! The piece is a vehicle for the writer’s clever repartee, not a serious review of any of the books.

Don’t I care what other people might think when they see Constructive Wallowing on such a list?

Of course I do. It’s just that I trust people to make up their own minds.

Personally, I found that some of the books on the list look interesting, no matter what the compiler had to say about them. Maybe someone will see Constructive Wallowing and think the same thing.

You know what they say: There’s no such thing as bad publicity.

Clients in therapy sometimes tell me they wish they didn’t care so much what other people think.

I tell them, “If you didn’t care, you’d be a sociopath.”

It’s not the caring that hurts, it’s the assumption that people are judging one harshly.

Rather than trying not to care what other people think of you, try trusting people more.

Not everyone has the same critical opinion of us that we often have of ourselves.

Photo courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Tina Gilbertson

Tina Gilbertson is a psychotherapist, speaker and author based in Denver, Colorado. She specializes in supporting parents of estranged adult children through therapy, consulting and other resources, and offers assertiveness training and executive coaching for organizations. The author of "Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them" and the "Guide for Parents of Estranged Adult Children," Tina is often featured in the media as an expert on communication and relationships. Her blog on PsychologyToday.com is called "Constructive Wallowing."
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0 Responses to "On Caring What People Think of You"

  • Cheryl Peddie
    January 10, 2015 - 9:24 am Reply

    Ooh. Great topic for me today. I worry myself sick over what people think of me. All the therapy and books I’ve read have helped some, but I fear I’ll be stuck with this issue for the rest of my life.

    • Tina Gilbertson
      January 11, 2015 - 11:53 am Reply

      If you’re stuck with this issue for the rest of your life, Cheryl, I for one will still like you.

      • Cheryl
        January 11, 2015 - 12:08 pm Reply

        Lol!!! You get the award for very best answer imaginable, to question I didn’t even realize was a question. Now I imagine the trick is still liking myself if I’m stuck with this for the rest of my life. Thanks again Tina, you’re awesome. 🙂

  • starfish6193
    January 15, 2015 - 1:59 pm Reply

    Tina, I am wondering if this whole thing might be a misunderstanding. The tone of the writing sounds to me like it might be by someone Asian who does not know English very well. Here is my possible translation for you:

    “Her words spoke to each feeling. Edited correctly (according to this person’s opinion) the whole world might read it. The problem is if you want to make an informed and rounded decision. Just reminding you (not to be) cold by learning to promote.”

    I think that perhaps this writing was meant to be a comment, and that perhaps the title was intended to be a citation from the source?

    • Tina Gilbertson
      January 15, 2015 - 4:41 pm Reply

      Thank you, Starfish6193, for taking the time to work out a translation. You did a fabulous job of making some sense out of those words. Kudos!

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