I saw an aged lady sitting outside her church with a lot of people going and coming around her, so I said “Good afternoon ,mama” and she replied with a dry laugh “How are you? Finally, someone is greeting poor me today. I have been sitting here for a while but people just pass me by without a word and I am one of the first people who started this place” she went ahead complaining and comparing herself with another older lady that people greet more often than her. She explained that the disparity was because the other woman was richer than her. I was familiar with these lines… a lot of people complain and conclude that things are happening to them because they are poorer than the Jones, next door. I smiled at her and went down the road, the sun was angry and the sweat was sultry on my skin. This was to buy ice-cold bottles of coke for her in a nearby kiosk, I also bought for myself. I brought it to her and respectfully offered her saying “mama, I thought it was hot out here, so I got you chilled coke “and she pointed at the far end of the wooden bench she was sitting on, Mama said with an unimpressed flat tone “Thank you, put it there”. I gently placed it there and stood not knowing what to say again .I wanted to sit for some time with her and maybe, just may be convince her that she wasn’t ignored and even if she was ignored, she should try and not compare herself with others, it may make her down, but I wasn’t sure if she will take it in well, maybe next time. But things came up to save me from the Dilemma and I quickly left to do the chores I came to do around the place.
Feeling insignificant is the side effect of thinking nobody likes you.
This morning, I woke up thinking of how convinced we can be about people’s opinion of us. How and why people treat us in a particular way. How deep-rooted our problems could be, so rooted that we may be seeing other folks’ culpabilities .We may just be pulling ourselves out of the Equation. I thought of how comparison may deal with us and make us miserable.
The stuffs we go through and the folks who talk to us about these things may make us conclude on things that are just in our heads. It’s possible that this was just a- flash -of –the- moment Thought for the old lady above ,maybe she was down and needed to air her opinions to somebody, even someone who was a stranger to her, it could be lonely sometimes . Who knows maybe no one really cared around her, but that route is not worth brooding on.
I learned about “Fundamental Attribution Error” and I am trying to apply it here by not having a single story here that defines her but it seems the few times I had encountered her including my friends, they had something painful to part with despite their being nice to her, most times we may think that people are being nasty to us but it may be simply us, giving out hurtful words and hurtful moves. This may keep people away from you out of fear of being hurt by you. Your insults speak even when you aren’t there, and then the other part of it is that people tend to seek validation from certain others and if it doesn’t come from those set of people, it isn’t validation.
Toxic shame, low self-esteem may be the root cause of feeling insignificant. There is so much another can love you, the vacuum should be you loving you and your God. The desire to be loved is healthy but when it’s like you live for other’s approval then it becomes unhealthy.
Someone once told me , Mimi “Teach others how to love you ,don’t wait for them to set the standard on how far they can love you ,love you so well , they will learn from you”. The Tiv tribes of central Nigeria often say this, “It’s how you stand that the camera will shoot you, if you stand anyhow; the picture will come out anyhow, if you pose beautifully, the photo will give you a beautiful pose”.
• Love yourself so well, do you, buy yourself gifts, celebrate yourself, show yourself some good respect
• I also learned that being assertive is healthy, politely telling when it’s not cool for you any longer healthy.
• Pursue your dreams, those things you really do wanted, do them already or be found doing them or having them in perspective in all your daily activities, let it reflect in your daily and weekly goals ,as you head for the yearly goals. Do what’s important for you.
• Eat well and dress the body God gave you well, you will never be someone else.
• Learn new skills from time to time.
• Invest in yourself; you should be solving a problem not being a problem.
• Love someone, it’s good feeling. Do more of it daily.
There is a place for a human’s love and there’s a place for God’s love, if you put all your expectation on the human or switch places, you will be disappointed. There’s a limit, there’s how far a human can go.
If no one likes you, like you instead.
Lastly, I once came across a small piece of advice, it says, “If you want to be liked, forget about it ,just start practicing to like others”.
I will appreciate if you share this to many out there.
Thank you so kindly ,
Mimes