Why You Should Care What People Think About You
You guys, a rainy day calls for a post about something that I've been stewing on for a little while. When it rains I think we stew a little bit more than usual, but since I have you guys to share thoughts with I can do just that, share my thoughts. Okay lets get on with this!
You know what I get so tired of hearing?
"Don't care what anyone thinks about you!"
In the very general sense of the statement without any context or specifics to go along with it. I think statements like this or quotes like these can be dangerous to our mentality without further explanation.
Quotes like these should not be the end all be all of advice. Because here is the thing, I think you should care what people think about you. To a certain extent. Like all things, you need balance. Let me explain.
Examples of things to not care what people think about //
You following a dream.
You taking a different path in life.
You feeling strongly about doing something others don't "get" so they tear you down.
How you look.
(But even some of these could go overboard if taken too far!)
Examples of things to care what people think about you (to a certain extent) //
What you say.
How you act.
How you treat people.
It can be so easy when someone treats you a certain way (based on your actions) or tells you something you don't like (in reaction to something you've said maybe) to just say, "well it doesn't matter because I don't care what people think". But you should.
You see if the words you are saying are hurting someone. If the things you do leave bad impressions on people, shouldn't you care? Or better yet, give me a reason why you shouldn't care?
If you are on this Earth and care about making it a place where people feel loved and accepted regardless of things you may disagree on, then shouldn't you care to know how you are affecting people? Where that phrase "don't care what people think of you" comes from is a place where the person saying it is feeling like they can't be themselves around people so they have to tell themselves to not care about them.
And I get that.
I totally get that.
Like I think most of us would. But when it becomes "I don't care what people think, so I'm going to do what I want no matter how it affects others" is when we get in trouble. You may think that that is the extreme and people don't view it like that but I've seen it.
I've seen people say some really hurtful things disguised as "just being honest" and when questioned or called rude for their actions put up the "well I don't care what you think" wall. But shouldn't you?
I'm asking myself and you guys too. I think you should. I think that part of being here is finding your plan and purpose for your life. Finding your talents and gifts and using them for the glory of God but also to help people. Whether that is comedy and to make them laugh, writing and to help them through something, or music to bring them joy.
I think that if someone is standing in our way of doing that then by all means you should not let their opinions affect that plan.
But if along the way of your plan you are hurting others or just affecting people in negative ways to get by, you shouldn't just shrug your shoulders saying, "I am who I am so I don't care what you think!"
If that's you. If you just want to run around not caring, doing whatever you want, making rude comments and veiling it as honesty, well I can't stop you. You will be able to do that because you are free in this country and no one is going to put that much effort into trying to stop you.
But be ready to live those consequences.
I can tell you that, you won't have as many friends, and the friends you do have won't be the best because they are accustomed to you not caring about their feelings and they'll treat you the same.
Remember your character is as much of what you make it as it is what others take it as. If you make a joke about someone and they don't think it is funny, is it still a joke? If you think your character is great but someone else is telling you that maybe you have a pride issue, is your character still great? Or do you have a pride issue? People's opinions do matter, because they are who you are affecting.
Now I'm not saying you take everything someone else says to you and run with it. But I wouldn't completely throw it out either. It's like the idea of "If everywhere you go there is a problem, you are probably the problem." How many people did you know in high school or even now complaining about drama all the time when really they were the ones creating the drama but they just didn't realize.
Be self aware and be aware of how yourself is perceived too, with others and with God. Your impact on this earth should be making it better not worse.
You should care about that.
Want to learn more about how to be your best self? Check out these other posts I’ve written on the topic.