Nothing in life has meaning other than the meaning YOU assign to it..
How does that work?
Something happens – let’s say someone looks at you in a ‘funny’ way.
Then you assign a meaning to it:
'Did you SEE the way they looked at me!' 'They think I’m stupid' 'They think they are better than me' 'I know what they are thinking' 'They are judging me' 'They hate me' 'They are going to hurt me'
And depending on what meaning you assign to it, that shapes your experience of it.
So that could be.. you get up and leave the room, you yell ‘what are you looking at’!!, (which escalates badly), YOU allow yourself to feel intimidated, embarrassed, ashamed etc.. it’s awful for you and you have a terrible day, and possibly ruminate on the event for days, complain about it to others, and/or recall it months later when you’re feeling down or your subconscious mind wants to remind you that you really are unworthy, unlovable, stupid, *insert your limiting belief here..
Someone else has the EXACT same thing happen..
And they assign a completely different meaning to it.
'Oh that guys looks like he’s miles away in his mind' 'She looks tired' 'I wonder if he is OK' 'How nice is her jumper'..
So they have a COMPLETELY different experience of it.
They might smile at the person, and receive a smile back. They may simply look away and not think anything more of it. They may strike up a friendly conversation, who knows. Then they go about their day unaffected by the event, and probably never think of it again.
How can a thought (the meaning you chose in your head) have so much power over your physical and psychological experience of an event?
Because YOU decide what something means, you get to suffer, or enjoy, your experience of that..
Powerful stuff hey.
With communication only being 7% the spoken word, there's a LOT of room for us to mistakenly make up meanings and get all offended, angry or hurt.
Next time something happens where you'd usually attach a negative meaning to it, try having fun and making up something silly about what it means instead. Unless you actually speak with the person you'll never really know what they were thinking, let alone if they were actually thinking about you or what they were having for dinner!