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I viewed it as, people are constrained by others who always tell them bs like “ha yeah right you could never do it.” or “you know, people who do that have to be good at ____ and know ____ and have _____, so you can’t do that.”
If you go into an exam feeling confident as hell and then as you sit down, you hear people saying stuff like “I hear this is the hardest exam of the semester, almost everyone fails it.” – won’t you start doubting yourself? If you hadn’t heard everyone else, you’d have been better off.
If you like a guy/girl, and someone close to him/her tells you, “I hear (s)he says no to everyone, (s)he’s so stuck up and gives no one a shot. Best not to even try.” will you really have the confidence to do it still? If that someone had not told you that, you’d have been better off.
So basically I see it as, when we hear things that will hurt our confidence in whatever action we will take, we start doubting ourselves. Negative comments can and do affect us, and people are sometimes better off not hearing that something is impossible or extremely difficult. And there’s the argument that if they wanted it badly enough, they would ignore the comments, but imo the comments shouldn’t be there in the first place.