“I can live for two months on a good compliment” – Mark Twain
Some of us live in constant worry about people’s opinions about us. These opinions could date as far back to our childhood, things our parents told us, things our friends or even relatives told us. Some could be in our present-day; a critic of a business idea we have going on or a compliment from a friend or admirer. These opinions, be it negative or positive have an impact on us. Subsequently, “we find out that what we strive for and the models we adopt in our approach towards life are directly or indirectly linked to our inherited perception”.
But why should it really matter, right?
Well, it does matter because people do matter.
People are not gods that should be worshipped, neither are they ants that should be looked down on. Everyone has a voice and is entitled to an opinion and when that opinion is not in our favour, it could hurt but how we react is what really matters.
Some people deal with this by becoming people-pleasers, doing what others say just to belong, and in the process, lose their voice. Others take a more extreme approach by looking down on all humans as worthless and mediocre whose opinions mean nothing.
Some of us may just alternate between both.
However, a good way to manage these negative opinions that could weigh on you is by coming to terms with the fact that what a person says or thinks about is not necessarily about you. You may just be an object of sentiment (check out our post on ‘Nostalgia – A Trigger for Stability and Wellbeing) that triggers memories of a bad experience a person had and his/her reaction towards you would be based on just that; his/her past and not you.
Do not dismiss a person’s opinion as insignificant but approach it with empathy. It could simply be by showing concern and addressing the root cause or just giving the person space.
Ukandi Atsu, photographer and visual storyteller tells us about his inspiration behind these artistic images. The tape signifying “what we have been told or shown and how that has had an impact on us. What we strive for and the models we adopt may be directly or indirectly linked to our inherited perception”. He went further to relate it to past memories, people’s opinions and societal influence, deaths due to the COVID 19 pandemic, pain, and how this could influence our thought process which in turn affects our attitude and approach towards life in general.
Despite the negativity around us, there is always hope that things can change for the better and this change is hugely influenced by our attitude towards life. Yellow on the other hand signifies hope, happiness, and sunshine.
We can’t afford to let people and their opinions shape the way we see ourselves, think, feel, do business, and live.
Words: Ebri Inah
Muse: Sandra Ekpe
Photography: Ukandi Atsu
Studio: The Space, Calabar