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Are they stupid or just different?

In working with the quote this week – Are you waiting for someone else to change so you can be happy? – I have noticed a bunch of stuff.

I don’t necessarily think other people should change, but I DO THINK think they are stupid.

Usually because their way is different than MY WAY. It’s been very interesting to see.


For example, a friend of mine was saying he didn’t deserve certain things and I thought that was terrible. How could a person think that way?

But then, when he was stuck in traffic on his way home after coming to see me, I felt bad. A lightbulb went off – I didn’t think I deserved someone having to be in traffic just for coming to see me. Like I wasn’t worth it!!! Like I didn’t deserve someone to be inconvenienced. Wow!!! Who knew?

I guess we all think we deserve some things but not others. Very interesting.

Also, I saw that when people spend money on things that I wouldn’t spend it on, I judge them. And, they probably judge me if I spend differently than them. Also very interesting.

But here’s my question:

Why should I think they are stupid just because they have their own set of values? Why is “stupid” so automatic?

I think growing up we were taught that “right” was a certain way.

  • Don’t waste money

  • Don’t use credit cards

  • Save your money

  • Don’t be extravagant

  • Don’t waste time

  • Don’t drive the speed limit – it’s for idiots

  • Don’t hang around with losers or you’ll end up like one

  • Guys don’t make passes at girls with fat asses

  • Don’t be fat

  • It’s ok to stand up a girlfriend if you get asked out by a guy

I naturally assumed these were “world rules” that everyone followed and if you didn’t you were STUPID.

Until something happened:

I stood up a girlfriend for a guy which, according to my mother was a universal rule for women, and my friend GOT MAD. I was confused and explained my mother’s rule. My friend was horrified. She thought my behavior was RUDE and INCONSIDERATE. OOPSIE!

That’s when I learned that not everyone shared my set of rules. Everyone has their own set.

As a people pleaser, since then I have spent a lot of time trying to learn other people’s rules so I can keep them happy. It’s a lot of work, a thankless job, and not easy to do.

Since I am now 61, I am thinking that I can stop working so hard trying to please everyone else. I could enjoy my life instead and just be interested in what makes other people tick. I can be fascinated in how different we all are. Instead of the good/bad, stupid/smart, right/wrong paradigm that I’ve been living in . It might make for a more enjoyable and inclusive way to live.

What do YOU think?

If you haven’t subscribed to my new newsletter, please let me know and we will get you on. The weekly theme is really fun and thought provoking.

Thanks for listening.

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©2020 by Getting Real With Hilary.