6 Ways to Avoid Becoming the Manifestation of Other People's Reality

Written by Tonya Sheridan

When I was a young girl I remember watching some pretty scary movies, but the most disturbing movie of all for me was The Stepford Wives. In the movie, Katharine Ross plays Joanna, a photographer who moves to the small town of Stepford, Connecticut with her husband and two children only to discover a sinister truth about the perfect women in the town. The women have bizarre behavior, they act like zombies; cooking, cleaning and keeping their husband's homes perfect, while at the same time being objects of perfect beauty existing solely to service their man's every need – domestic, emotional, sexual – and never have an opinion or thought of their own.

Joanna begins to feel disenchanted with the town and feels isolated, not having anything in common with these women who have no outside interests and who seem perfectly content not having a life of their own. She realizes that after roughly three months of moving to the town the women’s personalities begin to change and she fears her time is almost up. The women had been turned, one by one, into perfect zombie women by the men in the town. The sparkle in their eyes had turned into an eerie lifeless look and they had perfect, frozen smiles.

The scene at the end of the movie, where Katharine Ross turns around and has that cold dead look in her eyes, has stayed permanently impressed in my mind. Unfortunately, Joanna did not escape the town and is turned into a zombie woman. Realizing that this beautiful, intelligent woman, who was so full of life, had been forcefully made into a living zombie by her husband and the fact that he actually preferred her that way really scared me. The husbands of the town had found a way to create, what was in their reality, the perfect wife.

Although this was just a movie, I can look around on any given day and see people who have become like Stepford wives. The sparkle in their eyes has been replaced with a dull, lifeless look and they just go through the motions of their day. Men or women, married or single – they have become a product of other people's reality. They gave up the fight and succumbed to what they felt other people thought they should be or they were gradually whittled away without ever realizing what was happening.

Here are Six Ways to Avoid Becoming the Manifestation of Other People's Reality:

  1. Follow your passion even when others do not support you or understand it.
  2. Know that your opinion matters just as much as anyone else’s.
  3. Avoid controlling and manipulative people, be very selective about who you spend your time with. People can slowly begin whittling away at you without you realizing it.
  4. Honor your own needs and don’t depend on others to fill them for you.
  5. Appreciate yourself and your own accomplishments, don’t look for someone else to do it for you.
  6. Learn to trust your inner voice. You must listen to and stop second guessing your own intuition!

When things don’t seem right or feel right to you, there’s a reason for it. If everyone around you is ok with something, but it doesn’t sit well with you, listen to your gut. It will never steer you wrong.

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