Who is talking about you?

Posted by Tola Adeniyi | 19 October 2015 | 2,831 times

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Delusion. Insecurity. Exaggerated Opinion of one’s importance. Pathological suspicion. And much more. These are some of the words and phrases to describe the state of mind of the people who always believe that some other people are talking about them. Those of them who by chance are holding public office are forever engaged with thoughts that others, their town’s people, their old mates and contemporaries in school, members of their church, mosque or Iledi have no other preoccupation than making them the unending subject of gossips and talks.

It is a very serious and worrisome psychological disposition on the part of individuals who are consumed by thoughts that it is they and they alone other people are talking about. They believe that they have achieved so much in life that their self proclaimed celebrity status has made them not only the cynosure of all eyes, but the issue on the minds of the entire world of their imagination.

A University professor, a Managing director of successful bank, a High Court judge of repute, a distinguished journalist, a celebrated actor, a renowned musician, a famous lady televangelist, a world class footballer and many figures in that popularity bracket always assume in their minds that every where they go, they instantly become the subject of discussion. And funny enough, they also assume that even in their absence their names dominate conversations at dining tables.

Unfortunately for people who nurse this feeling of self importance, the contrary is the case. The stark reality is that society does not actually dwell on any person for long. The longest time a scandal is talked about is the period between the outbreak of one scandal and another. And that is even a negative thing and I am not dismissing or diminishing the impact public opinion has on our lives. The point being made is that no one should continue to indulge in the thought that people are talking about them.

People spurred by vanity and emptiness erect out-of-this-world mansions in the misplaced hope that what they have will be the talk of the town, the talk of their environment, the talk of their local government, and perhaps the talk of the whole country in perpetuity. It does not work that way!

Readers should cast their minds back to several of the people they knew while growing up, people who their local communities considered to be next to gods, and ask themselves if such ‘great’ achievers are remembered at all now, talk less of people engaging in endless reference to their exploits.

This piece is more of an address to majority of mankind than to specific individuals. It can be safely said that more than three quarters of all of mankind are susceptible to this human failing. And it is an affliction suffered by all classes and categories of people including top level clerics of all religions, highly educated people, very poor and disadvantaged people who have refused to accept their Creator’s placement, and even struggling artistes who believe that they are the best thing to have happened on planet earth!

We may begin to shed off the toga of self delusion and come to terms with the fact of life that people are more preoccupied with their own individual challenges to bother about what you the egocentric think you are, or are doing or have done or achieved.

We must begin to embrace the fact that nobody is really talking about us. A simple test is to answer the question about how many times you remember even your own father or mother, two people supposedly closest to every normal human being. How often do you talk about your father or mother? How often do you talk about your wife or husband?

The feeling of being the object or subject of other people’s gossips or talks is not only with successful people or people wrapped up in vanity. It also applies to people who are made shy by their own assumption that wherever they go, or whenever they appear in a gathering the whole congregation must be talking about them. Such people worry about what others are likely to say about their dress, their shoes, their hair style, and their gait, while in fact nobody is noticing them or cares a hoot about how they, the shy characters appear!

Wives in polygamous setting also do suffer from this complex; a feeling of inadequacy brought about by the wrong assumption that others are talking about them or evaluating them in comparison to other wives in the same compound.

People should just learn to be themselves and avoid thinking that one is being talked about or that one is the issue for other people. The thought that the whole world is talking about you either in your immediate vicinity, or behind you because you are the greatest success or the greatest failure is simply not true or real. It is all in one’s imagination. And as said earlier in this conversation, even if people make passing remarks about you, such remarks are merely passing remarks. Do not dwell on such remarks to the extent that those making the remarks will hold on to you for longer than a few minutes. And if they return to their homes and want to tell your story to their home audiences, it will be for a very brief spell. You are not the centre of their lives. And they have other things to talk about. They have their own lives.

Believe it or not, nobody is talking about you! Stop your suspicions. Stop your delusion and drop the exaggerated opinion you hold of yourself. Banish shyness and low self esteem, the other side of the ‘people –are-talking-about-me’ coin and stop submitting your happiness to the whims and caprices of others.

Even if you jump down from 200 feet high storey building because you want to enter the Guinness Book of records, people will only talk about you for a few days. Hardly does anybody remember the name of the guy who walked on a thin thread of rope across the whole length of Niagara Falls; just about two years ago. A scary feat, but the whole excitement disappeared with the breath-taking minutes it lasted for!

I challenge all of us to check up the very long list of world class achievers and famous men and women, their monumental landmarks, their mansions, their stupendous wealth, how many of them if any, does anybody talk about even in their villages and home towns?

And whenever you enter any gathering, do not think any one pays you undue notice. Believe me, nobody is talking about you. The thought is only conjured by your own imagination. You really are the one talking about yourself…..in a loud silent conversation!

•Chief Tola Adeniyi (shown in photo) is a former Managing Director of Daily Times of Nigeria. He can be reached via can be reached via adetolaadeniyi@hotmail.com

Source: News Express

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