How people view me doesn’t change who I am. If they view me favorably and it’s not true, I know it’s a lie. Perhaps I can fool others but how can I fool myself? If they view me unfavorably and it’s not true, I also know it’s a lie. It won’t change who I am and it can never - ever - touch me. So why be concerned with what others think? It’s really beside the point. Why would you believe others more than yourself? Live like that and you will never be offended by anything or anyone.
Same thought with a slightly different angle: If people view me favorably and it’s not true, I know it’s a lie. But if their perception of me is flattering, I might delude myself into thinking it’s true. I’m then living a lie and will constantly need others confirmation of my greatness. I'm using others to create a self-image I’m happy with. If people view me unfavorably and it’s not true, I also know it’s a lie. But likewise I might convince myself that they are right - and I’d be living a lie. I have then used others to create a self-image I’m unhappy with. Know thyself! (and be true to you)
I’m grateful to everyone I meet. Especially the ones that rub me the wrong way. They are my most important teachers. They show me exactly which way I have to go. All I have to do is to be attentive and not to fall into the trap. To be attentive is to know exactly what mechanisms they evoke in me, what the consequences are and how not to fall. The trap is fear, anger, and blame. Then all is lost and nothing gained. But life will give endless chances to try again, and again, until you learn to break the cycle.
And then I added:
This doesn’t mean that you should fake gratefulness and suppress your angry feelings with a smile. It means that you take responsibility for what you feel and really feel it as you try to understand what happens in you. But it also means not to act while you are under the sway of your emotions. If you need to speak your mind, do it afterwards when you are calm and clear.
If you do this consistently and patiently your discoveries will be nothing short of miraculous.