Why do others’ opinions shape how we feel?

I know that I haven’t written in a while… but I didn’t really know what to write about. I over think it. Always. I don’t want to make my blog too personal, nor do I want to bombard you with a generic ‘what I got up to in the summer’ posts. I felt like I couldn’t write, simply because I didn’t yet establish a theme for this blog. It’s literally a mix of everything, my thoughts, my portfolio; and an attempt to write about travelling… I desperately want to write about travelling, but how can I do so, if I’m stuck in Nottingham, and it’s surrounding areas? (As a side note, I’ve been trying to write another post about Morocco, but I am struggling to put into words how amazing the trip was).

Recently I’ve been thinking about how strange it is, that our lives are mostly based about what others think about us. It shapes how we feel. How we act. It affects me definitely. Others? Clearly. I sit there, half observing, half drawing conclusions. Seeing people act different from person to person. Everyone is different from one another, of course. But are we, ourselves, different from our own selves?

Why do we struggle to be ourselves, and voice our opinions, just because we get intimidated. I recently had a lecture on freedom of speech. It has really made me think about whether we actually are free to say what we are. In theory, yes. We are. We can say what we want and think – I do it, almost, all the time. Almost. There are times at which I feel completely unable to voice my own opinion; depending on who the people that surround me are. I know that I’m ‘strong headed’. I like it. I like knowing what I think, what I want and how I want things.

The question ‘when was the last time that you felt like could express your own opinion’, was quite easy to answer – I could easily put my hand up, if I wanted to, and gave a clear example of when was the last time that I felt like I could express my feelings or opinions. But when asked ‘when was the last time that you felt unable to express your own opinion’, nobody put their hands up. Coincidence? I think not. I had a million and ten examples in my mind – and I am almost sure that others did too. The room was silent.

We may have the right to freedom of speech and expressing our own opinion; but it has to be a somewhat accepted opinion. If, in that lecture, I did put my hand up and explained the situation that I felt uneasy in expressing my own opinion; I would be lying, because I would be able to express it in front of the whole course. I, however, remained quiet.

Now, going back the the idea of people’s opinions of us, shaping how we feel.

When we express ourselves, or don’t find something funny, that almost everyone else finds hilarious, we will be marginalised. So we pretend. We give in and act like we fit in. Find the same things funny. Interesting and even entertaining.

Why? That, I haven’t yet figured out myself.

Pattie x


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