The Voices In My Head, 4 sayings for getting over what others say


“What others say of me matters little; what I myself say and do matters much.”
Elbert Hubbard (Artwork by Cindy DeLuz)

I was in the shower when I remembered my friend saying she has a thing about people’s feet being clean and manicured. Even though I was rushed to get to our lunch date, I spent an extra minute or so on foot care before I dried and dressed.

This is just one humorous story among plenty that aren’t. I have many more stories where I allowed what others said to determine my actions.

Dismissing distracting voices (and standing on our own two pedicured feet) makes it easier to stay our course. But that’s not as simple as it sounds, especially if you tend to trust others’ opinions more than you trust your own, as I often do.

Here are four sayings that help me.

  • Praise and criticism go down the same drain.
“I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame.
I simply follow my own feelings.”
~ Wolfgang Amadeus MozartThis took a while to wrap my head around because while I go out of my way to avoid criticism, I want praise. Putting credence in either one means turning our self-esteem over to someone else and asking, “What do you think of me? Am I okay or not?”

Michael Hyatt shares a link on his blog that illustrates this best – Matt Ragland’s recollection of a story about empty blessings and angry curses.

  • You spot it, you got it.

What we see in others is likely a part of our personality. Psychologists call it projection when we assign our unlikable traits to others, like calling attention to a friend who talks too much; all the while, we’re talking too much. If someone criticizes you, chances are they’re talking about themselves, and vice versa.

  • What others think of you is none of your business.

We’d be better off to mind our own business. If negativity does come our way, it’s best to live by the quote that says something like “Live so people won’t believe it.”

  • Others really aren’t thinking about you. They’re thinking about themselves.

Most of us are self-absorbed, with plenty of problems and projects of our own. Even if we make a gossip column, it’s short-lived.

Whose voice is louder, your own or someone else’s?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – It’s wise to learn from what others say about you and your work. It’s unwise to be distracted by it.

On the side: This post was inspired by Carol Anne Wright Swett’s blog post about Velcro at Confessions of a Fraidy Cat.

Artwork used by permission from Cindy DeLuz @ An Artsy Chick Dares To Dream.


11 responses »

  1. Great blog! So many truths and good advice. I try to teach this wisdom to my kids, also; but if it were learned so easily during youth, we would all have grown up to be well adjusted adults, wouldn’t we?! Yet here we are, continually learning and growing. 🙂 Thank you for reminding us to stay on course and not get distracted.

    • Sometimes I get tired of learning, Anjana, but I know you’re right. I don’t get to graduate. Like another friend recently said, “When I learn it all, my toes will be turned up.” She was talking about being buried. I got a kick out of it. : )

  2. When I was growing up my mother (yes, that one!) would say, “stick and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” She was wrong — words can kill. I can remember saying something to my youngest daughter that still burns in my heart at the look of pain on her face. And while she may (I pray to God she has) forgotten it – I never will. So we need to be careful with our words to one another …. and know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. Great post — thanks Kim for being so honest with us! loveya, pn

    • You’re right, Peggy. Words hurt. I had the same experience with our daughter. I can’t apologize enough to block out the memory of her expression. I’m sort of grateful for those times, though, because they taught me to be gentler. And if I’m not gentler, to be quicker to apologize. It took me a while to tell Kelly I was sorry … even though I knew it hurt, I justified it. Of course that didn’t work because I was wrong.

      Thanks for your encouragement.

      Love you lots,

  3. Finally figured out I had to allow my PC to download your blog site – was just getting the text and not this glorious artwork! Yummy, Kim. I LOVE the “praise and criticism go down the same drain!” Have never heard this before and completely embrace this wisdom (with your explanation). Thank you and sending love your way. Cindy

    • Cindy, so happy to see you commenting here. Glad you figured it out, especially since I’ve recently hooked up with two artists who have graciously agreed to let me share their artwork. I hope to find more who are also willing. If you know anyone, let me know. I love to write and share others’ work at the same time.

      Betty used to say that about praise and criticism. She’s one of the good voices in my head. I think she had more of an impact than I even realize.

      So grateful to have you as a reader.

      Love you bunches,

  4. From Facebook:

    3 people like this.

    Diane Wilson Dale posted I love your writings~~~
    September 30 at 8:32pm · Like · 1

    S. Kim Henson posted Thank you so much, Diane. Such a compliment coming from you. Did you recognize yourself in the story? ♥
    September 30 at 8:42pm · Like

    Diane Wilson Dale posted absolutely!!!!
    September 30 at 8:49pm · Unlike · 1

    Anjana C. Duff posted Great one! I’m sure it will resonate with many people. 🙂
    September 30 at 10:52pm · Unlike · 1

    Christy Young, Independent Scentsy Consultant posted I like it! We were kind of on this subject today in our SS class. Criticizing others magnifies yourself – and often the same traits being criticized. Funny how that works – aware o…See More
    September 30 at 11:31pm · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson posted Thanks, Anjana, for commenting and sharing it.
    October 1 at 12:53am · Like

    S. Kim Henson posted Christy Young, Independent Scentsy Consultant, as often as I’ve heard it’s about us when we’re criticizing others, I can still convince myself it’s not true. Guess that’s called de…See More
    October 1 at 2:16am · Edited · Like

    Linda Saelg Calvanico posted Just realized I read this but never threw in my 2 cents – love it – as always – and it’s always so amazing how you write what I need to hear when I need to hear it – like a little divine intervention !
    20 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 1

    S. Kim Henson posted Ur sweet, Linda, and always my encourager. Happy to read your 2 cents worth … to me, sounds more like a million dollars. : )
    17 hours ago · Like · 1

    Sylvia Jones posted How true. At the end of the day, we are still who we are. We need to be happy w/ourselves because that is all that really matters. Nice piece-made me think and chuckle too!
    15 hours ago · Unlike · 2

    S. Kim Henson posted Thanks so much, Sylvia Jones. You’re so right. We do need to be happy with ourselves. That’s the only thing that will keep us happy.
    a few seconds ago · Like

    • You’re never late, Beth. You got here right on time. I have a friend helping with edits so I’m just dropping by to fix some things over here. Thanks for loving the post. I love your comment. 🙂

  5. Pingback: What in the World Wednesday? « Witty Words

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