I'm a teenage girl and I have a very lovely family but the problem is that they are very negative. For example, I want to change my personality, I want to be a smart student and at the same time I'm trying my best to change the students around me, but the way my family look at me and the way my sister laughs at me it just bothers me. I don't really care for their negative opinion but there is something in my heart, something that wants me to face them and talk to them.
There is something else too, I want to do some sport to lose weight but I'm 100% sure they will laugh at me and they will tell my grandmother, grandfather and even guests about the fact that I'm doing some sport and I'll be humiliated then I'll never be able to face them again. So please can anybody help me??
The main thing I feel to say is to leave them alone. What they think is not your concern. It is not your business. It is out of your control. So if they laugh at you or think less of you, then what? What is so bad? The feeling of shame or embarrassment? Well invite that feeling, let it be there. Let yourself feel judged in the worst or most humiliating way possible. Don’t resist it. If you invite all of this, if you imagine the family judging you in some negative way, and you don’t fight against it, then what happens? What happens to you?
At first it may feel uncomfortable, it may feel as if you are getting smaller, shrinking in pain, but if that is allowed as well, then what?
What happens if we let others judge us however they want to, if we give them that freedom to form pictures and conclusions in their own minds?
All of this may feel as if it is important, like what they or anyone thinks of you really matters. But actually, it doesn’t. It is just an energy in you that pretends as if it is all very important, that you have to maintain an image of yourself to others and keep it constant and protect it from being destroyed.
But don’t worry about what happens to the self-image, the idea you have about yourself. It is not you, it is just an image that appears inside your awareness.
Whatever you do or don’t do, people will judge you. People will judge you for doing something, and then also judge you for not taking action. It is not something that can be escaped, so relax the need to control or manipulate what others think of you, see that no matter what opinions they have about you, it doesn’t change who you are. You are still here, you are the same, whether someone likes you or not. You are not actually made less by a negative opinion, and you are not made bigger by approval. You will see this for yourself if you allow the judgement of others, if you allow your own resistances and contractions. No matter what happens, you are the same.
The fact that at a young age your family is not always “all approving” means you have the chance to break free from the concern over all of it. Those who always get the approval of the parents can begin to rely on it, to trust it, to use the approval of others as a way to guide their life. Perhaps you are lucky, in that you are being forced to go within yourself, and no longer be a slave to the possible transient thoughts of others.
Another thing you may have already noticed, is that what people think of you is extremely unstable. It can change by the day, by the hour, by the week or month. It is absolutely not worthy of trust to gain or lose anything from approval or disapproval. It is so unstable that you can not rest on it. So go and do sport if that’s what you want to do, and leave the burden of judgement and drama to your family. You can put it down, and be free while they waste their energy.
And as a final note, if you still feel the fear, the concern, the worry, then let it be there, don’t try to fight or argue against it. You mentioned you feel to face them and talk to them. Nothing wrong with that, if that’s what you feel to do. You can just say how you feel, how it makes you feel when they behave a certain way. They may understand, they may see what is happening, or they may close up and become defensive to protect their own self worth. Both are fine.
Special thanks and credit for the picture goes to Tom Hall on Flickr