Ages and ages and ages ago I had a conversation with a friend in which she got pretty annoyed with me for an affliction common to adolescent girls: thinking that everybody is looking at them. And she called me on it. Told me straight up that people had better things to do than look at me and think about me and their world did not revolve around me.
Her words rang in my head, a harsh truth that has been a blessing to me for many years now.
Whenever I start thinking that so-and-so must think I’m an idiot or that everyone must hate me or that someone noticed that silly thing I did and I should be so embarrassed, I remember that people have bigger concerns than my silly mistakes. And that, generally speaking, if they do notice, they’re probably willing to cut me some slack because they have some understanding of human nature and have likely been in a similar position.
This realization has saved me much embarrassment and freed me to be much more comfortable being myself. I’m so grateful to this friend for being a true friend. She did not wallow with me in the mud puddles of adolescent misery, but instead pulled me from those depths so I could get a better perspective on the world.