We had new neighbours move in a couple of months ago. Having moved not so long ago myself, and with the pain still relatively fresh in my mind, I decided to be neighbourly and let them know when bin night was, and that they could put anything over flowing in to our bin if they needed to. We couldn’t have got off to a more neighbourly start. Excellent!
We lent them tools, allowed them on to our property so they could work on their house and generally felt we were being neighbourly.
Then things seemed to go mysteriously wrong! My attempts at eye contact and greetings were met begrudgingly, or not at all. If it was at all possible, one of the neighbours decided to take ‘don’t speak unless you are spoken to’ to a whole new level.
I really don’t know what has happened. Had I done something? Said something? Not done or said something? Who knows? And that’s where a mindful way to deal with being blanked comes in.
I can’t know. It might be me, it might not be. I might be imagining things, or creating a large narrative in my mind which is way off base. Whatever it is, I really can’t know. The only way to know is to ask them. And that feels weird, so that won’t be happening.
Somewhere in my travels, I heard someone say ‘what other people think of you is none of your business’. Initially, I thought that was the most ridiculous thing I had heard. But then I thought about it.
I can’t know what someone else is thinking about me. I think I know what they are thinking, but in fact I don’t. We can get carried away with theories and ideas so much that we convince ourselves that something is a reality. In fact, it’s not. So really there is no point worrying about it. If it’s important enough, it will get worked out in the end.
Next time I catch myself theorising, I’ll try to mindfully deal with it by remembering: ‘what other people think of me is none of my business’.