How Other People Experience You is Not Up to You…

Kassandra Vaughn
4 min readDec 2, 2023

It’s one of the hardest life lessons I’ve had to learn… and also one of the most important spiritual classrooms I’ve spent a great deal of time in.

And I was reminded of this lesson while watching a scene from Netflix’s Queen Charlotte. In the scene, two of Queen Charlotte’s children tell her that she wasn’t a good mother… to which she was highly offended and asserted the fact that, indeed, she had been the greatest of mothers… only her children did not agree. They were one family experiencing Charlotte’s motherhood in completely different ways… and it reminded me of the lesson.

You can do everything in your power to shape the way others see you. You can talk a certain way, act a certain way, be overly kind and gracious, and go out of your way to be there for those who only call you when they need something.

You can give your children the sun and the moon… or give them absolutely nothing and treat them as if they don’t exist. You can give up your dreams to take care of an ailing parent or your postpone your career to attempt to save a failing marriage. You can turn yourself inside out, all in the name of pleasing people who, in fact, may never be pleased enough with you no matter what you do.

You can do all of that… and still come to the same stark reality:

No matter what you do to control how other people view and feel about you, at the end of the day, their experience of you will be TOTALLY up to THEM…

And you have no say in what their final assessment of what their experience of you has been… and nowhere is this lesson more hurtful or disappointing than in our roles as parents.

I know so many parents who say they gave up their entire lives for their children… only to have those children grow up and turn their backs on them.

I know so many children who, when asked about why they did that, indicate that their experience of their parents was not at all what they wanted, needed or felt safe in.

While both points of view are valid, the reality is still the same: You can never predict the story someone else will tell about you.

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Kassandra Vaughn

* Mindset Coach | Author | Soon-to-be Therapist * On a mission to help women 30 and above rebuild their self-worth & reclaim their power.