Fear and Anxiety: How Other People and Entities Shape Our Minds

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Wow, so on this topic, honestly, I think I could write myself into oblivion. It would be never ending. From the beginning of time, we have been curious individuals and we have been out to discover, learn, and change our world. We have been like a magnet and a sponge – would that mean we are SpongeNets? Magnasponges? lol

I mean look at Adam and Eve, how curious and open to diving in, and it spread from the serpent, to Eve, to Adam, and to their children, and……..not just sin here but, influence is what I’m talking about. It only takes one person to start a revolution, an idea, a charge, and it spreads like wildfire. Even the Bible says it does. The tongue is referred to in the Bible as like a wildfire. And it’s unstoppable.

So not only can a person influence us in major ways, but so can groups, and entities – such as the workplace – which is filled not only with a group, and it’s norms, but also many individuals, each of whom have influences of various types.

All that said, there is an entire group of people and age groups I’ve surfed passed here in this writing- teenagers, their peers, their youth groups, their adult associations, dates, boyfriends, best friends, social media, church affiliations, school affiliations, teachers, colleges, social groups, other groups, spouses, etc. And just because the spouse was mentioned last, doesn’t mean it was the least influential. Not by any means.

Without getting myself into trouble here I decided to approach this in general terms so that no one is pinpointed, hurt, or harmed. “No one needs to be harmed in the making of this blog entry”, lol.

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Fears and Anxieties

Many – ahhh – well let’s just say most of them – maybe all of them, are learned. Some I learned on my own caused by actions from others. Some I learned because others were afraid. We often look to others in time of distress or fear and see what others are thinking, how they are reacting, and are they fearful? If they are, the mind tucks this away and has been conditioned or has learned to be fearful in “that situation” from then on. It really only takes someone saying something about a flight or turbulence or a crash, or being around someone that is fearful of flying to become fearful yourself. I learned to be extremely afraid of the following from others:

  • Fear of flying
  • Fear of storms
  • Fear of being stolen from
  • Fear of crime committed against me
  • Fear of driving/riding on the interstate
  • Fear of getting hurt playing sports

There’s many other psychological fears too that probably get pretty complex, about working with, or being around certain people, that I will likely not describe too well this morning after only having a few sips of coffee and needing to run off to a busy day’s schedule. But just know there are these fears also:

  • Fear of certain people
  • Fear of not having enough time
  • Fear of being behind
  • Fear of being overwhelmed
  • Fear of being in trouble

That kinda leads us into this category.

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The Shaping of the Psyche or Mind

Sometimes there are people in your life whose opinions are so strong, or the bond with them is so tight, that their words and opinions can take a great shape in your life. Sometimes it doesn’t even take that at all. Someone might just plant a seed in your brain and a thought has transferred that might take root at some point later on.

There are people in my life that have made me feel like something is wrong with me because I didn’t serve their interest or their cause. Or I didn’t do something the way they thought I should have, and instead of making a gentle request I do or say things differently, have chosen to do a critical debriefing. The result of this is a crushing of the spirit – where a once happy go lucky person, innocent they thought of their behavior, is now brought to a new low.

In reality there’s something wrong with both people at that point – one for doing the delivering and me (or the other person) for believing it.

Here’s where it gets complicated. You get into those realms of “well this is my reality or perception” and “this is your reality or perception”. (Here’s where you can roll your eyes really big – I give you permission, lol). If I have really done something wrong, I deserved to be called out, but likely I would be defensive because I’ve also been judged so many times in my life that my hands are up ready to fight and shield myself. Those learned behaviors and defense mechanisms we can’t help but learn that comes out to protect oneself.

But if someone has just not gotten their way and has a different opinion and has chosen to gas light another into their opinions and ways for their benefit – is a whole n’other thANG!

Sometimes people make you question yourself, based on the above. Sometimes that is a good thing, sometimes not. Where improvement is needed, is one thing, but to influence someone alone for another’s self interest is not good. Especially if it takes advantage of an already bruised or kicked around pysche.

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Work that Changes How We Perceive and Respond to Others

While individuals can do this too, as I described above, a person’s career can also shape them in a very dramatic way. Dealing with “the public” can have a huge impact on your desire to be around others – or not -and have you view people as a generality as being “mostly just bad”. I can remember saying once, after years in HR and dealing with disgruntled and whining individuals “I hate people”. George said “listen to yourself, I don’t like what this is doing to you”.

How we have been treated by others at work or in the public, has left either a positive or negative taste in our mouths. I had been in HR for 33 years when I said “enough is enough”. Before that I had been in retail for several years. Not only was the work itself explosive and in so many directions and in detail across so many facets of the company but just the negative impact it had on my life, my time, my psyche. The fact that my resilient nature, left me to continue to keep trying to whip it, was pitiful. It has taken me a long time to get to where I have a compassionate bone in my body for anyone. Having been away from HR and the general public since 2019, I’m beginning to peek out of my turtle shell I had built. And I’m whittling away at my set of shark fins and teeth. The Lord is working on me with that. But I have a very hard time. There are just many things that have happened that kinda scarred me a bit.

It doesn’t have to be negativity that can impact you though. It can also be in positive ways. All I can say is that the negative really impacted me and it wasn’t something I could easily just say “sorry you are not going to control me”. It’s not that easy. Once someone is rude or ugly or judgmental or misunderstanding you or ghosting you – over periods of time repeatedly, it’s hard to just let that pass. And thank the Lord for the very few individuals that have left a positive impact on my life.

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Group Think

Sometimes people just want to be a part of something they feel is special. Especially if it’s a camp of people onto a new idea. Back to that old curiosity again. But the truth of the matter is, people are easily brainwashed. Matter of fact, most people are brainwashed and are leaning for far-out-there answers instead of leaning in to the truth. And that is on just about any subject.

So overall, through the years, there have been many people that influenced my life either positively or negatively all through each and every experience. I’ve even been brainwashed a time or two or three. These shape our minds, our hearts, our fears, our anxieties – and so much more. On the flip side we have to realize that EVERYTHING we say to another human being impacts them in some lasting way.

So be kind. Don’t yell at one another. Don’t be the one that leaves a scar in someone’s side. Don’t be the one that causes another person to feel bad about themselves or leave them with a damaged psyche.

Guess what was the topic of our Sunday school class today? The tongue and how it is a wildfire.

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Personal Update

Well we have had a busy week. I guess the most interesting thing was getting Mom’s 4th toaster oven. She decided she didn’t like the 3rd one so we went out and got the 4th one – an Emeril Legasse, with French doors. It bakes, air fries, and rotisseries, and washes your dishes, cleans your floors, and gives you a massage, LOL LOL LOL. She only wanted it for the toaster oven part. And paid $299 for it.

I took her to the doc last week and we have to go back and get bloodwork done again. She had a high white cell count. She had recently had a cold. Possibly the “c” word, but was not bad enough to go to the doc – like a bad cold — so was not tested. So we go back this Thursday for a retest in blood work to see if there is something else going on.

Mom and I also get our toes done tomorrow. We went to church today and went to Ruby Tuesday’s for a fine lunch afterward. It’s almost just getting too expensive to even eat out but she doesn’t get out much. We went to Aldi and then Walgreens b/c Aldi didn’t have some of the over the counter items she needed. George and I took two separate cars and he has offered to help so we each have more time every other Sunday when we don’t have life group. So at least one of us can get home and do things instead of both being out and burning a Sunday. So today was his day to come home and work in the yard while I took care of Mom’s needs. Next week is Easter, and I think I get the Sunday after that. Divide and conquer is the name of the game to get some stuff done here and to get to personal projects we can never get to.

I then, went to get my nails done so she doesn’t have to wait an hour and a half for that tomorrow when we get our toes done.

Ok so it’s taken two ends of the day to get this blog entry done. I’ll see you in a couple of days. It’s month-end/quarter end now. I need to be working some time over this week but I’ll be in deficit mode this week with taking off part of a day to get Mom her blood test. There are so many things I’m having to leave and go do. But I will try to get in an extra half hour on most days if not an hour to get things done.

Everyone have a fantastic week.

2 responses to “Fear and Anxiety: How Other People and Entities Shape Our Minds”

  1. “So be kind. Don’t yell at one another. Don’t be the one that leaves a scar in someone’s side.” – Excellent advice – it’s funny how our words can have such a long term impact.

  2. Morning Sonya, I had never realised how I was so lucky to have been surrounded …mostly…by positivity in my life. I had a wonderful Mother who was a very wise woman, again I never realized that as a child, it is only when I read your blog this morning that it struck me. ..One day in the hairdressers a lady was trying to think who I was and after a few questions she suddenly lit up and said. Oh you’re ……..girl, yes I said, oh your Mother is lovely, you know she was known as the peace maker at school . Of course I had never heard that ( nor had Mum !) but although that must have been over 60 years ago it stuck with me and I’ve tried to follow her example …I so agree with you about how one can be influenced by words good and bad….another time I overheard someone say I was a…poor wee lassie ….?? I went home and asked Mum if I was….her wise words were…of course not, there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s just some people think differently from others…..I shrugged and went back out to play ! And so I suppose I learnt to accept that people ( adults) do see things differently and they are not always right….Hope you’ve enjoyed searching your upbringing and noticing where things have gone wrong.. Hope Mums next blood tests come back with no problems showing. Enjoy your pedicure tonight xx

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