Something fun to start your week
* * HAPPY NEW YEAR! * *
Today’s Monday Motivation is about a pretend survey.
Do you ever worry about what other people are thinking about you? Of course you do! It’s one of the fun parts of being human!
But never fear; you can use my “Pretend Survey” strategy to minimize this worry. Here’s how it works.
Let’s say you accidentally wear a pair of weird slippers to the grocery store. You feel like everyone is staring at you. “This is so embarrassing,” you might think. “I bet everyone thinks I’m lame.”
Now, stop! Time for the pretend survey. Imagine that you create a short survey and hand it out to everyone at the store. For example:
Chances are, almost everyone will answer B or C. Maybe you’ll get a couple Ds.
It’s hard to even imagine someone picking A.
Here are some other examples of surveys:
You can imagine a pretend survey anytime you’re worried about what people are thinking. The key is to include one exaggerated answer, one reasonable answer, and an “I don’t care” answer. Then other answers, too, if you want.
And remind yourself: Most people will choose “I don’t care” or “I didn’t notice.”
Now, the surveys above are for people you don’t really know. But what if you’re worried about someone close to you? In this case, I would say create a survey with TWO options: one outrageous and one normal.
For example, say you can’t attend a big event that your friend is throwing. Here’s a survey you might construct.
Hopefully this will remind you that your friend is reasonable and loves you. Things aren’t as catastrophic as you may think.
In general—especially with people we don’t know—we tend to overestimate how much others notice us or think about us. This phenomenon even has a name: The Spotlight Effect.
But the reality is that people are so concerned with their own lives that they rarely spend much time thinking about ours.
So see if this little “Pretend Survey” exercise can help you turn down the spotlight on yourself, and stop worrying so much about what others might be thinking.
Again, Happy New Year! I hope you have a great week ahead!