We grow up hearing others say quite often that we shouldn’t ever give a darn what anyone thinks of us– That we should just be ourselves and that’s all that matters. Though I like the idea of self-assurance and love projected in those thoughts, I don’t agree 100 percent. I feel like it depends hugely on the source. Who is this person? Do they care about me? Do they have my best interest at heart? Where are their words stemming from? Are they feeling envy or concern? Good will or hate? Bitterness or justified anger? If a friend who had known and loved me for 10 years walked up to me and told me I was an asshole, (This hasn’t happened yet, knock on wood.) I would definitely take it more seriously than I would if a fifth removed cousin with a bad reputation told me the same thing. (This also hasn’t happened, and I don’t even know if I have a fith removed cousin.) At the same time, I would take advice from a well-meaning stranger before I would a frenemy with a history of insecurity. What I’m getting at is, I’ve learned now to to take criticism from those with good intentions with an open heart, and to dismiss those who don’t fall into that same category. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just turn away from anyone who had anything honest to say about me, but then how would I ever become a better person? How would I ever improve? How can I ever truly like the person that I am if I won’t ever admit to my shortcomings? Constantly playing the victim stops the growing process and hurts even the best of friendships. Learning to take the good with the bad is at times painful, but is also an extremely rewarding process that helps relationships grow stronger and true acceptance of self become easier.
Another reason why it’s sometimes important to listen to what other people think of me? For the most part, it’s heartwarming and smile-inducing. Somehow, I have been blessed with so many people in my life who seem to constantly see more good in me than bad. For example, this past week my best friend left a comment on my blog, 8 Reasons I Love Talking To Strangers. She entitled it “8 Reasons I Love Christina Cirotto Boudreaux.” It was so sweet and thorough and put the biggest smile on my face. This girl knows pretty much better than anyone all of my annoyances and faults, and still chooses to see all the good stuff about me. That, to me, is the definition of best friendship. Her list is just too adorable not to share:
“8 Reason I Love Christina Cirotto Boudreaux
1. She is the biggest individual I have ever met! I mean this figuratively haha. She is not a follower and so eccentric hot I can’t contain myself. She marches to the beat of her own drummer.
2. She is my best friend in the world. Ten years and counting she has been there for me through thick and thin, even when I haven’t been the best friend I could be.
3. Every time I see her I find myself saying “I can’t remember the last time I laughed this hard”
4. She can’t drive. (also on the list of reasons Christina Cirotto Boudreaux drives me crazy…it’s less than 8 bullets no worries)
5. She is always trying to be a better version of herself. That takes a strong person.
6. She takes the initiative. I never really worry about her succeeding.
7. She is open minded. So much so she is open minded to close minded people–I need to work on that.
8. She’s really good at loving. Loving life, her husband, her friends, her family, her school, strangers, her job, rain, sun..and probably a lot of stuff not many more people love.“
Well, shucks. I have to end this by saying she doesn’t give herself enough credit for #2. In our ten years of friendship, she’s oftentimes been a way better friend than I have, and is by far the most caring and honest girl I know. Also, anyone who has ever driven with me and LOVES me for my inability to properly work a vehicle, is an amazing person indeed.