Let’s be honest, we care what people think. I know, we try not to. But we really, really care what people think. That’s fine, well it’s not really. But it’s fine in that we are social creatures and we have relied on and do rely on the acceptance of society for survival and for mating purposes. That’s okay.
But we have to acknowledge some things first before we can get to a place that’s “okay”.
People don’t care that much.
About what, you may ask? Well, anything. We are driven by society and social interactions, but it’s equally important to recognize that we are very self-centered creatures…just like all animals. I’m not calling us selfish. I’m calling us self-centered. Meaning that our worlds are centered around our person.
We feed our person. We bathe our person. We work to heal wounds on our person. We examine the thought processes, goals, and dreams of our person. We analyze the clothing choice, music choice, and habits of our person. Our existence is completely about our individual self. There is absolutely no selfless act. Everything we do originates within us.
So, in a situation where you’re worried about how look, if people will judge you, or if you’ll stick out like a sore thumb it is more reasonable to assume that every single other person in that room is experiencing the same fears as you.
You aren’t questioning if the beautiful woman in row 13 is afraid someone will tell her they don’t like her hairdo. You aren’t wondering if the guy sitting behind you is worried he looks fat in his suit. You aren’t worried about the man speaking on stage and his butterflies in his stomach. You’re worried about you. And they are worried about themselves.
It is hard to rewire ourselves into understanding that people don’t care that much for two reasons. One, we are social creatures and that need to have a place in that society is almost instinctual. Not having a place in a society could spell death for you and your bloodline. And two, we are judgmental creatures. We do judge. It’s important to remember that it isn’t just about that though. Every animal judges other animals. How I perceive someone could save my life. But since we are capable of higher thoughts, we can recognize those initial judgments as just that…initial perceptions. We don’t have to do anything else with them.
I can look at a lady who doesn’t smile back at me and think that she looks angry, mean, and like a real witch. I can also choose to think that maybe she’s struggling from depression, had a terrible day, or just been unfortunate enough not to know how to choose joy in her life.
You will always be judged and it’s very important that we realize this. No amount of money, status, or beauty will prevent us from facing some sort of judgement. Absolutely nothing. So long as we live, we will face that.
By recognizing that people will judge whether they know it or not, we are giving ourselves some freedom. To give ourselves more freedom, we can recognize that people don’t often care that much. We give everyone too much credit. They’re just not going to care if your shirt is blue or black or red or yellow, or if hugs your curves or not, or if you wear flats or heels.
People won’t care about your insecurities. They might not even notice them. We recognize in others often what we don’t like about ourselves. So if you have a big nose, you’ll be focused on that but sometimes people will have spent so much time thinking about their thin eyebrows that that’s what they’re judging!
The point here is just offer up what you want to be judged. It’s pointless to try and please someone else in this regard. Either people won’t care or they’ll judge you anyway and if they’re going to do that…wouldn’t you rather them judge you for you, not some false image of yourself?
This brings me to a slightly controversial opinion. If you do not align with your friends, you need new friends. This is an article all on its own but if who you really are does not align with the core values of your friends, you need to find friends that are like you. I’m not saying have only friends that think and act like you, but the values you hold important like tattoos and piercings need to be easily accepted by your friends.
Friends aren’t there to keep you company and prevent loneliness. They’re there to elevate you and them. They’re there to bring out the best, challenge your thinking, but to uphold the same core values as you.
Last bit, society is a big place. If there’s a personal sort of expression, there’s a group of like-minded people there I promise. This wasn’t always the case but with how open a lot of the world is and with how enormous the population has become, these outliers have hundreds and thousands of other outliers now. You can have a community around you that understands you.
Better than that, we have technology that allows us to connect to these like-minded individuals.
If I could give any actual advice on the topic it’s just to let it go. Engage in thoughts that don’t dwell on the opinions and inclusion of others. It doesn’t matter if your mom’s friends like you or not. It matters if you like you. If your husband likes you. It matters if you are a good person.
We have to be able to love ourselves, like ourselves, and sleep well with ourselves. Back to the idea at the beginning of this blog, this is a self-centered existence but we forget that it is. Be a little more truthful with yourself and embrace the self-centered aspect of our lives. If you accept yourself, love yourself, like yourself then what does it even matter if someone else doesn’t approve of you? YOU like you. YOU approve of you.