I must have checked my hair three times before I left my house this morning. I am not sure what my issue is. In my head I think to myself, “when people look at you they are going to focus on your face and hair – if you can make your hair look nice then you won’t have to worry about what people may be thinking about you.”
When I stopped and thought about it I realized it’s really silly. Think about it, most people are probably preoccupied with how they look/appear to really spend time thinking about me. Case and point, a couple of weeks ago I went to work without a belt. In all the hoopla of the morning I forgot to put a belt on and when I arrived at work I realized my blunder. I quickly closed my door and assessed the situation – will my pants fall down? No. Do I look bad? No. Can you tell I am not wearing a belt? Yes. Hrmmm – do I have a problem here? As I began to apologize to people throughout the day I was told that no one would have realized if I hadn’t mentioned it.
But, something interesting happened. Just as people finished saying they didn’t even notice about my belt they began to tell me about what they felt was off about them: mismatched socks, bad hair, un-ironed pants, broken glasses, botched make-up, etc. Did I notice any of these “blunders”? No.
I began to ask myself, “do people really spend much time thinking about me?”
So, my quest began. My boss probably doesn’t think about me as long as I do my job. My friends will always be there to support me and hang out, but they probably don’t spend much time thinking about me unless I give them a reason to. Loved ones probably think about me more than I realize, but most of the time they probably assume I am doing okay unless I indicate otherwise. Even the family pet probably doesn’t stop think about me as long as I continue to feed them and take them out to “do their business.”
We’ve all heard it before “we are often our toughest critics.” I was beginning to give up on searching for times when other people really worry about how you conduct your life when I heard a car honking behind me. The driver pulled up beside me, waved their arms around in the air, and sped up ahead of me on the road. What had I done? I wasn’t exactly sure what I did to upset this driver, but one thing was certain – I felt noticed!
When we drive on the road we often pick and prod everyone. We get upset when people drive slow, change lanes at the wrong time, when they don’t engage the intersection, when they don’t signal, or when they signal for no reason at all. We honk, we yell, we wave our arms, and we wonder where other drivers got their licenses.
On the road – we are always critiquing other drivers. It’s our cathartic release. We can never guess what will set someone else off, but, in a weird way, at least we are being acknowledged. So, the next time someone honks and waves at you - embrace their acknowledgement - smile and wave right back.