Does It Really Matter What People Think?
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It seems to be a popular attitude to have these days to ‘not care what people think’ about you. Sure, it is freeing, but I have seen people go about this the wrong way countless times.
Does it really matter what people think?
Of course it does.
It matters what your friends think of you. They’re your friends because they like you (hopefully). If they thought negatively of you, you’d lose them.
It matters what your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife thinks of you. How they see you is the whole reason they’re with you.
It matters what your co-workers think of you. Do you hold a position that requires teamwork? A position where someone has the authority to replace you if they wish? A position that requires you to obtain, or keep, clients?
If you injected an “I don’t care what you think” attitude into any of the above situations, my guess is your thoughts would change very quickly.
On the other hand – It doesn’t matter what people think, either.
It doesn’t matter if someone thinks you can’t accomplish something.
It doesn’t matter if someone thinks you shouldn’t pursue your dreams.
It doesn’t matter if someone thinks your rights should be oppressed because of what they believe.
It doesn’t matter if someone thinks you’re not good enough.
It doesn’t matter if someone thinks that girl or guy is out of your league.
And it doesn’t matter if some random stranger on the internet makes you feel bad about yourself.
We have to be selective in where we apply this attitude. I hate the phrase “I’m doin’ me” because for one it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s generally unattractive.
Secondly, it makes people around you feel unwanted and unimportant. Like you are just focusing on yourself and don’t care what anyone thinks or how they feel.
When it comes to those important in your life, if you don’t care what they think of your personality and act accordingly, you could lose a friend, a loved one, or an income.
However, when it comes to your abilities. Your goals. Your dreams. Your passions. Never let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. If you have anyone around you that makes you feel like you can’t have anything you want – you need to cut them out of your life.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. – Mark Twain
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Nice article James, I am glad you speak of these things. I think this one has it’s dimensions to it.
I have always been of the mind that there is always a social aspect to your life, and when you interact with people around you, you want them to feel better for that interaction. Maybe it’s not so much caring what people think as much as caring about how you present yourself… it’s possibly a fine line and maybe to some there is no difference between the two, but that’s the angle I like.
I know what I like, I know what my aspirations are and I know I am a good person. If anybody thinks differently about me, that’s cool, but it’s not something that I will let affect me. What’s the saying… “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep”.
There is an element of popular feedback, and if the general consensus from those around me is fairly negative, I might take that as cue to examine how I am presenting myself, but that’s all it is.
Of course I care what the people around me think… and when I say the “people around me”, I mean those that I have chose or accepted to be my friends. I value their opinions and their feedback, this is one reason I have kept them as friends. These people are not out to hurt me, quite the opposite in fact, they are supportive and help when I need it… and of course I am always there for them.
Thanks for the article James, I think we see eye-to-eye on a lot of subjects 😉