Others opinion

Why You Shouldn’t Care What Others Think About You


Image courtesy of *Zara

Who’s in control of your life? Who’s pulling your strings?

For the majority of us, it’s other people – society, colleagues, friends, family or our religious community. We learned this way of operating when we were very young, of course. We were brainwashed. We discovered that feeling important and feeling accepted was a nice experience and so we learned to do everything we could to make other people like us. We didn’t want to be singled out by the crowd for being different because this wasn’t such a nice feeling. We learned this way of being so well that, as adults, we continue – mostly through mutual peer pressure – to keep each other in check. Like sheep without any need for a sheepdog, we keep each other in line.

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”  – Oscar Wilde

It works both ways. First, we are afraid of disapproval. Am I dressed right? Will people laugh at my accent? Will I look stupid? Will I make a mistake? When we feel that others think badly of us, it makes us feel bad and so we try to avoid this.

Second, we all want to feel important and so we crave the positive attention of others. This is one of our basic needs, according to Dale Carnegie, author of the multi-million best seller, How to Win Friends and Influence People. And so when people stroke our ego and tell us how wonderful we are, it makes us feel good. We crave this good feeling like a drug – we are addicted to it and seek it out wherever we can.

We are so desperate for the approval of others that we live unhappy and limited lives, denying huge swathes of ourselves and failing to do the things we really want to do because we’re worried about what other people will think. Just as drug addicts and alcoholics live impoverished lives to keep getting their fix, so we impoverish our own existence to get our own constant fix of approval.

The drug is so addictive that most people will not give it up – they will keep looking for approval because the hit is so intense. But, just as with any drug, there is a price to pay. The price of the approval drug is freedom – the freedom to be ourselves. Do you want your drug or do you want to be free? You cannot have both. If you want to pull your own strings, you need to stop giving away your power – you need to genuinely stop caring what other people think about you.

The truth is that it’s all an illusion anyway – you cannot control what other people think. People have their own agenda, they come with their own baggage and, in the end, they’re more interested in themselves than in you; in fact, they’re thinking about themselves ‘morning, noon and after dinner,’ as Carnegie wrote.

If we try to live by the opinions of others, we will build our life on sinking sand. Everyone has a different way of thinking, and people change their opinions all the time. The person who tries to please everyone will only end up getting exhausted and probably pleasing no one in the process.

So how can we take back control? If we are truly ready to give up the drug of approval and importance (which most people are not), I think there’s only one way – make a conscious decision to stop caring what other people think.

This doesn’t mean that you should start to treat people badly, step on them or use them. Why would it? I read somewhere recently that the world would be terrible if nobody cared what other people thought of them. But why so? We all know what’s right and wrong. I have written before about guiding your life by means of a set of values – not values imposed from the outside by others, but innate values which come from within. If we are driven by these values and not by the changing opinions and value systems of others, we will live a more authentic, effective, purposeful and happy life. We will be actualized and successful.

Only one question remains – do you really want to be free?

About the author: You can download Michael Miles’ new book, Thirty Days to Change Your Life, for free, from http://effortlessabundance.com

Got a Self Improvement Question? Click Here!

  • Jorge Pena

    Very true this advice. The freedom to be what we want to be is our greatest strenght. I have a book on my reading list with a title very appropriate:
    “What you think of me is none of my business!”
    http://www.amazon.com/What-You-Think-None-Business/dp/051509479X

  • sarah

    nice article,thx for sharing.

  • http://be4success.net Neil

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. If we stop caring about what others think then we are truly free. If we follow our moral compass we will also live lives that others are envious of.

  • http://www.bicyclefrenzy.com Bradly Fletchall

    Michael, I could not agree more. Great post.

  • http://viasenzanome.wordpress.com Manuel

    Very good and inspiring article! And at the right time ;)

  • S.D.Liu

    There is always a conflict between being urself and caring about others. After all, we are social animals, and we pay something to live in this big society,part of it is our total freedom.

  • http://www.healthmoneysuccess.com/418/product-review-get-applause-now/ Vincent

    If you are not on the driver seat, will you get to where you want to be without asking him/her?

    By caring too much about what others think is the same as letting them take the driver seat of your life and you will act as the passenger.

    If you want to end up at where you truly want to be, stop caring too much about what others think of you. Great post, Michael.

    Cheers
    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

  • Nathan

    Easier said than done!

  • http://www.varsityblah.com/about Eugene (Editor, Varsity Blah)

    “I am not in this world to live up to other people’s expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.” – Fritz Perls

  • http://www.attractionmindmap.com Evelyn Lim

    So true. Many of us look towards others for approval. But really, these are external. Happiness comes from true self love and acceptance of one’s faults, strengths and all.

    • TruthVybes

       Well put Evelyn. Self-honesty a golden rule to fyndyng beauty wythyn ourselves and thus the world around us vs. fear and slavery of mynd.

  • http://www.punintended.com/blog Bamboo Forest

    Liberating oneself from what others think is one of the greatest spiritual accomplishments one can make in this world.

  • http://www.lifestyleproject.net Chris (from Lifestyle Project)

    This is one of life’s great personal battles. Although we think that what other people think makes a difference, very often it is the internal judgment that we make ourselves that is holding us back, we just dress it up as caring what other people think.

  • http://www.onlinebraingamesblog.com/ Gary D

    Very good point. Definetly something to work on, like everyday. Hopefully worrying about what others think eventually goes away.. won’t it?

  • Quiark

    To stop caring what others think, you need self-confidence first. Or to be more precise, the two things come hand in hand.

  • http://www.freedomeducation.ca Stephen Martile

    Hi Michael,

    This is such an important topic but I feel a great number of people miss the boat. I like what T. Harv Eker, author of the Secrets of the Millionaire Mind suggests,

    “Don’t take anything personal”

    And that applies to situations where you receive criticism or to situations when you receive praise. Realize that if someone is being critical or being praiseworthy, it has more to do with them than it has to do with you :)

    If you take praise personally then you’ll just as easily take criticism personally too. If you don’t take anything personally, then your living true freedom.

  • http://themasterssecretkey.com Secret Key Candace

    You cannot change the way others think about you or what your doing. If you have found personal happiness and have self confidence that is all that matters. As long as you are conducting things in an ethical manner.

  • http://www.zen-moments.com/whose-self-concept-is-it-anyway.html John Rocheleau – Zen-Moments

    Even if you feel that you don’t care what others think about you, their opinions can still hold sway over you.

    People around you form opinions of you and come to expect certain behaviors, and habitual ways of being — and you subconsciously conform to expectations. It’s easy to become snared by this when everyone around you is adding input.

    You can avoid this by changing things up now and then. Be a bit unpredictable. Don’t allow people to define you too easily. Doing this will also help to keep you from defining yourself too rigidly. Your self-concept will be more fluid. That’s a huge bonus :-)

    John

    • Jahmila Rosario

      Great! 

    • Jahmila Rosario

      Great! 

  • http://www.myspace.com/wamylove wamylove

    Women also often need the “boyfriend mirror,” which we use to feel attractive and lovable, whether we even like the guy or not. I am always guilty of this.

  • http://clonespshh.blogspot.com/ Tori

    This is exactly what I needed to read! I think I get social anxiety, I freak out and it gets hard for me to breath when I have to even call someone. This has really helped and I think I’m going to print it out and carry it with me!

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  • sonali

    I’ve been guilty of vacillating between two extremes. Either i worry incessantly about what people are going to think about a particular behaviour. Or I don’t care at all.

    Either way, I think, is not good.

    This article is brilliant. I’ve read and re-read this a hundred times. Even forwarded it to friends who i think need it. Thanks Michael.

  • http://www.colouredfeelingsuniverse.com Andreea

    I think that once you start caring for what other people say or think more that for who you really are, you start to lose your self. Obviously, the society wants you to be in a certain way, but who you are and what you like should make a difference. it would be very nice if we could care less for other’s opinions and more for ourselves. Certainly, we would be happier.

  • http://www.azeemkayum.com/ Ruth

    Great post and so very true. If we give in to what others think of us there is no way that we can achieve our true potential. This makes me think of Azeem Kayum, author of Wrestling With the Goddess. He has struggled to overcome a lot of physical and mental challenges and if he listened to what everyone had thought of him, he would never have achieved the success that he has.

  • Alex

    hey, its always nice to read a post that reminds you how simple things can be, thanks for the read

  • jj

    So how long have you been a morally corrupt socialpath?

    See, if one were to truly not care what others think, then we would be at the very bottom of the moral abiss. We would take what we want, do as we please, and have no remorse for it. Yep, that would be a socialpath.

    • david andrew:)

      well thats like saying the only thing thats keeping me from killing you right now (besides the fact you are probably thousands of miles away from where i am) is that i care about what people think, like the article says it doesnt mean you should treat everyone like crap. but dont live by everyone elses standards, set your own bar of morals.
      I just recently thought that there is a distinct fork in a path between trying to please everyone and fitting in with a group, and trying to make your own path making a couple of really good friends (that relate to you) but also risking living completly alone.

  • Lerato Mmutle

    Yeah… I’m battling between not caring what people say and caring about other people. The difference is slight.

  • http://www.believerscommunity.ning.com/ Jen

    Hi! I just want to express my sincerest gratitude for posting your remarkable and inspiring article and thoughts. May I know who is the author behind all these post? Thanks for sharing.. It was precisely a great help!

  • http://www.apurvajshah.tumblr.com Apurva J. Shah

    This has got to be my favorite PicktheBrain post of all time. Simply awesome.

  • http://www.apurvajshah.tumblr.com Apurva J. Shah

    This has got to be my favorite PicktheBrain post of all time. Absolutely incredible & so very true. Mirrors the philosophy of Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead), which relays that “the human ego is the fountainhead of human progress.”

  • http://google sarah kim

    this topic makes me think that so many things in the world are contradictory.
    Then why love, and why live?.. when one should not care about others? Are we living just to leave a mark in the world or some contributions? Nothing makes sense then…

    I think what we want here is a balance… which is so f ing hard to achieve.

    And “not care about what others think” is type of saying where you just get the logic, but cannot put it into action in real life. I try to just not involve with people too different from me… but sometimes it does not work. For example, my fraternal twin brother is so different from me, and I bet half of the people around me thinks I am a biggest loser hearing things from him. And I still get bothered by what he says about me to the others..ever since I was a middle schooler!

  • david andrew:)

    Very good post! This really did make me say “F” i dont care what anyone thinks anymore”

  • Edward

    Inspiring! :)

  • Adam K

    I would like to thank you for writing this article! It’s awesome and It made me realize that I should really love who I am and not give a rats ass about what people think. If they don’t care for you, don’t care for them back! I would recommend anyone that has self-esteem issues to read this because it made me feel so much better inside!

    thanks! :)

  • Cath

    This sounds amazing, but I’ve tried, I’ve tried to think I don’t care. I’ve made the decision, yet it’s so hard to do it. When the time comes to act only based on what I want, it’s too difficult. Sometimes I succeed, but sometimes I just act based on social pressure, even without thinking about it.

  • saddha

    I think that once you start caring for what other people say or think more that for who you really are, you start to lose your self. it would be very nice if we could care less for other’s opinions/about others and more for ourselves. Certainly, we would be happier,also we are free of everything

    Great post and so very true. If we give in to what others think of us there is no way that we can achieve our true potential
    Thanks michel for publishing this

  • saddha

    thanks again

  • kev

    dam thats powerful words

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  • http://www.outsidemycomfortzone.com Helena Ritchie

    Great article! This is something I’ve been dealing with and working on for ages. It really takes a lot of stepping outside your own comfort zone to be able to be yourself and not worry about what others think of you.

  • happygirl12

    Wow awesome!

  • Au rora

    I’m smitten by what you’ve written. It has so much energy and boost!.. keep “thinking”!

  • sticky

    Well you shouldn’t care what other people think because they can think what they like and so can you. Everyone can have an opinion on whatever you say and they may or may not like it.But the thing is to get a good open based view on things and not let others opinions change your feelings on how you are going to write, you want to be unbiased and and not have anyones opinions change who you are.

  • Sandra

    Great post :D
    And in a great time too.
    You speak the truth! People always are making fun of me because i do some werid stuff…but i dont really care!

  • Nej

    Thank you for this article. I really feel I’m suffering from the need to be approved and needed and important. But I feel I little confused. Where is the balance between not caring what people think and of not caring about them at all. There surely are moments when it some peoples opinion is important in our lives, especially in the family space. I understood the part when it is bad to become dependent on what other people think. But I end up being absolutely lonely when I don’t care what people think. How to deal with the social pressure? And how to know who you are, when you don’t…
    Please help me with this.

  • Laura perkins

    Thx fer the advice it’s so true but what does it mean when people stare at you but you never hear of anyone talking about you they just look at you. Is it because I’m different n choose to not follow the crowds. Like when I’m not paying attention to anyone I’ll look over n atleast one person would be looking at me. It gets annoying. Like I’m really quiet and when I talk people get quiet and listen like it’s a miracle. And their nice when I speak to them and stuff .. Idk ppl are confusing sometimes!

    • LadyP

      Totally relate to this. I never used to be quiet but a couple of very bad experiences took its toll on me … took me a while to start feeling better again but ever since I have been told i’m quiet, shy, etc.. annoying because I don’t think I am ..it’s just a result of what’s happened to me .. I feel ok talking to people now but certain ones still think I’m really quiet so when I am talking to someone people go quiet and listen like its a miracle (using your words), similarly if I’m seen standing and walking/talking with someone, certain people may see and open their eyes in amazement like they can’t believe I’m actually talking to someone.. I find it really patronising. Most girls in my class at uni are really bitchy.. whenever they walk past me they burst out laughing.. That I really don’t get because I don’t dress stupidly or anything … not exacty hideous looking or anything like that.. and most other people compliment me on my high heels, dress, hair.  Other girls stare at me.. look me up an down when I walk in, make comments and snigger at me. It really gets on my nerves at times because its so persistent. Random people in the street sometime stare and start laughing when I walk past I don’t understand that either. People in my class have been gettin to me the most tho lately.. I was walkin out the classroom once, and 1 girl said to this other 1… “She’s SO unsociable”….. arrgggghhh!!! There’s alot behind what certain other people see than me just being quiet… and I’m definately not unsociable… I like talking to NICE PEOPLE!

  • Danny

    Great article! It is a natural ambition to strive for greatness/success and a lot of the “in our face” success(actors,singers, kardashians, athletes.. etc)is based on popularity and what we think, so why would we lead our lives otherwise? What we need to remember is greatness is completely contextual and limited by cultural and personal perceptions. Maybe who you are is somebody who cares indefinitely for others or maybe you are just independently driven. Accept your capabilities and what you have to offer, nevermind what you don’t have or can’t offer and it won’t matter what people say. Most likely, people who are so interested in others to research and talk about them, feel an emptiness inside and fill it with judgments of others and should be reading this article anyway. Your brain, your body, your life…live it! most importantly love it!!

  • its me

    so how do you know what you want in life appose to society brain washing your hopes and dreams?

  • ray

    You can still ignore what other people think about you and still be a great human being – that is, if your nature involves being ethical and considerate (just don’t be too trustworthy of everybody – most people only care about themselves). If you are a good person, let yourself flourish; good things will then come to you. Great article.

  • Justhereforamoment

    Man everybody talks about someone else because they are empty themeselves.
    Im having trouble personally myself not to listen to what others think about me. Thats human nature I think. Until the civilisation ends or something it won’t change! Dale Carnegie book on human relations & worry is a great book to read. It helps with everyday life situations & how to deal with it! To those who worry too much what others think; I am the same person as you are!
    we can slowly change ourselves!
    You can decide!Be evil & wicked & talk nasty to other people, u can be mortal about 100years max!
    Be nice, stay strong inside, be humble! You are immortal! God will help you!
    It doesnt matter what religion you believe as long as you stay focused on your belief. Live YOUR life! do not harm other people!
    We are all equal & every single one of us is precious! No money value can be placed on ourselves! Would you sell your head, leg, arms ,eyes for 100 million dollars?

    Im just a uni student learning my life now. am still learning thou.

    “You are unique!”

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  • sl

    I think the true art is to truly care about others while not caring about what they, or anyone else, thinks of you.

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  • Blair

    Thank you for such great wisdom I’ve always had this deep fear of holding myself back because of what others may possibly say. Love who you are be free, be healthy, be happy, and be proud to be a unique individual.

    Like Lady gaga says “I was born this way” :)

  • Blair

    Thank you for such great advice. Growing up I’ve always wanted to be someone different someone unique but out of fear I continued to hold myself back because of what others may possibly say about me. You can’t continue to worry what other people will say just stay true to you and everything will work out fine “free yourself”.
    Like lady gaga says “I was born this way” :)

  • http://hola jose

    furtevintora

  • http://www.motivation101blog.blogspot.com Andre

    Great blog. This one hit home for me!

  • No

    @ Blair:

    It’s funny you give lady gaga as an example when she is one of the least authentic people; she is a huge poser.

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  • http://www.doigetmyexback.com Igor again

    It is true that I feel free when I do not give into the burden of what others want us to do. But it is not always easy.

    I need to surround myself with people who think alike, read posts like this and everything else I can think of to help balance the natural workings of the word which say you should care of others opinion.

    Thanks for the post :)

  • shivakumar

    Thanks for a great article.I too left some of my ideas,thoughts just by thinikng that what others may think if i do a particular job or speak about a new idea,today i learnt a lesson that never think of what others think of you just go on n keep moving with your heart..

  • Chrisg011006

    Does this apply to family?  Or is that an entirely different can of beans!

    • Diznarell

      No, this applies to family as well. If they bring negativity into your life, move on and out grow them. Your life is your own.

  • Sasume Gx

    But wouldn’t not caring at all make life kinda empty? I think that to love and understand are important parts in life. How can you understand if you don’t listen to other people? Well then of course, there are the ignorant fools who will try and bring you down with the lowest techniques just because. I hate how they’re so deep-set in that…it would be so much easier if people kept their outright rude comments to themselves!

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  • Danilocguimaraes

     You should do what people want you to do until a certain extend, with a limit. You need to draw that limit. Say you will dress yourself as best as you can, stay in a happy mood and be courteous. After you’ve done that (what you could,your limit ) you shouldn’t worry, and stay in peace as you’ve done your bit within your humane limits. as you will never have control over people. 

     Cheers. 
     (:

  • Danilocguimaraes

     You should do what people want you to do until a certain extend, with a limit. You need to draw that limit. Say you will dress yourself as best as you can, stay in a happy mood and be courteous. After you’ve done that (what you could,your limit ) you shouldn’t worry, and stay in peace as you’ve done your bit within your humane limits. as you will never have control over people. 

     Cheers. 
     (:

  • Define urself

    thank you so very much….you dont know ho much that helped….

  • Jeff

    Unfortunately it is pretty much hard wired into are psyche . You can try but the only way is to cut yourself off from people.  It is that way to keep everyone  in line for the most part.  Drugs can be used to squelch it though!

  • JacklovesFreedom

    If more and more people can feel free to be themselves then others will notice and may feel more liberated to be themselves.  Only then can we begin to stop being sheeple.  Look where the follower mentality has gotten us…nowhere.  Deep down inside we know what is right and wrong for us as individuals and this may differ from what others want to impose on us.  Freedom is for the brave, the leaders, the innovators…Now let’s all think for ourselves.  Great article.

  • http://jjcorner.com jimmy johanes

    keep up the good work :)

  • borderline sociopath?

    I find that my problem is that I don’t care what people think… or what they think about me.  at times I feel self concious that I have little to no empathy.  I’m not saying that I’m a bad person and I constantly screw people over.  On the contrary I’m very loyal to my close friends.  I just find that I rarely think about how my choices will effect other people.

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  • jet

    There are too many opinions and feelings to consider when you care about what other’s think. Just realize that, like looking at our face in the mirror, not all reflections are alike. Different mirrors have different faces. We do not see what people see because of different lighting and angles in a mirror. 

    Now think of the eye (the brain) as a mirror too. There are many reflections of the world but not all are the same. Some will have dirtier mirror, other’s cracked, spotless and their reflections all different from yours. Why bother with how they see things?

  • http://www.socialworkprograms.org Dee-Socialworkprograms.org

    Good article. If you also build your worth from another’s approval, there is a terrible dependency. Often people aren’t even sure if they are liked for themselves, since we end up trying to be what people like so it’s not even us.

  • Damir Butkovic

    Hey,

    Worrying about what others think is a waste of time since it is out of our control. It brings nothing but misery.

    Cheers

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  • Silver Crow

    Oh yeahh, you just wrote about what i have been thinking for some time now, I was telling something like this to my friends and they thought i had a loose screw and was angry at society or something :P, thanks for putting into clear words!!

    Cheers!! mate

  • http://www.facebook.com/darmon.smalls Darmon C. Smalls

    That’s why I don’t give two shits about what other people think.  As long as I’m not perceived as a bad or disgusting person.  

  • Sanspriya84

    I read this article several times..  ReallyExcellent article… This is really an eye opener. Great

    • Wizardyfool

      good article,though freedom is an illusion, it is just a word, a word that has pre conceptions and meanings within it. Because of this freedom itself has an aim or a goal ” i am free”! in this context the mear existence of the word means you can not be free. You are trapped within the boundaries of your own mind. To me freedom might be doing something that a want to do. How do you know it is what you want to do and not just what is put there by an out side influence such as tv, friends, etc. freedom is a goal which once gained results in delusional behaviour such as contentment and peace. who knows though! just spit balling!

  • Jeefa_s

    I didn’t read the comments because I don’t care what everyone else thinks, is that a step in the right direction?

  • Cadillac_hits

    This is so true!! I always believed that when you start livin your life for others, you’re not livin YOUR Life at all!! You lose all control!! Love yourself before anyone will love you!! If they don’t like you for who you are, then fuck them!!

  • Reisinger0313

    I’ve been emotionally abused (bullied) to near defeat. My step sisters were brutal! But, I saw the reason why on my last breathe. Jealousy, Yes they were jealous that my father, so they thought, loved me more than them! Their hating hearts are so brutal! I have to let go of them in order to make it. Enough is Enough! It hurts to let go but it hurts more to continue in their bully battle. Please LORD forgive me, but I need to stand alone! I will not hate, but I will not let any more pain in either. My soul is FREE!  Great to talk to all who have listened! Be Strong!

  • mememe

    “I read somewhere recently that the world would be terrible if nobody
    cared what other people thought of them. But why so? We all know what’s
    right and wrong.”

    Not true. Some people don’t think the same things are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. This is where society comes in. Collective society serves to show what’s ‘right’ and prevent the ‘wrong’, since the ‘wrong’ is not good as a whole. It also helps to keep people from being self-centered, an idea that kills societies.

  • Serik Baldwin

    I myself don’t care what people tell me if they judge me or not. But I still worry if I should pay attention or not to what they are ssaying in a regular conversation. I also tell myslef its not importan because i wont have to memorize what my friends say at all. I”m myself most of they and when Im not, Im tired and lazy or stressed.

  • Benita Jonquil

    THANK YOU! I’m making some rare decisions right now and my closest friend keeps telling me to forget what everyone else is saying, but it’s so hard and making me second guess myself. I needed to read this. 

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, but it’s against human nature to completely disregard what others think and to never bend to social mores… and that is because morality is a biological function inherent in social species like homo sapiens sapiens (as well as most other primates), for the simple reason that we have evolved that way. Humans thrive best, are healthiest, and safest in complex societies. And to function in a society, you have to care what others think and to be considerate of people other than yourself.

    The reality is that people who are the most “free” to do what they want with the fewest social roadblocks are NOT the ones who never give a damn what others think… rather, those who are most free are those with sophisticated emotional intelligence, skilled at gauging what others are thinking and feeling, and able to evaluate their wants vs your wants in a manner that is as advantageous as possible. And if it is advantageous for BOTH of you, you are likely to continue to have positive interactions with that person that benefit you. If you have many positive interactions with many people, your life will be much more pleasant than someone who cuts themselves off from others and refuses to observe basic social niceties.

    In other words, paying attention to what others are thinking and feeling is the easiest way to get what you want out of people and out of life. The OTHER way to do that is to be either extremely rich or someone that everyone else is afraid of. Or both. But there can only be so many billionaires and dictators in the world, so the rest of us are wisest to find the balance between seeing to our own needs and having consideration of the needs of others. As the saying goes, “No man is an island.” 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q5UTQVUVHDEOSCDLTBLOXL7S3Q N765

       I believe you misinterpreted what the article is saying.  The article is saying ‘you shouldn’t care what others think about you’.  It does not say do not care about others or cut yourself off from the world.  The irony is that when you do not care so much about what others think about you you become more social and develop much more as a person than someone who is too insecure and self conscious; i.e., someone who withdraws from socializing because they are worried about what others will think.

      As you say in your comment:

      “The reality is that people who are the most “free” to do what they want
      with the fewest social roadblocks are NOT the ones who never give a damn
      what others think… rather, those who are most free are those with
      sophisticated emotional intelligence, skilled at gauging what others are
      thinking and feeling, and able to evaluate their wants vs your wants in
      a manner that is as advantageous as possible.”

      Based on your statement, you fail to realize that your life is not determined by external events (although they may provide a trigger for your responses), ultimately your mind (map of reality) creates your life.  The way you focus your mind determines the people and situations you attract into your life.  If you place your focus on helping others, getting to know them, making friends, etc rather than on focusing on yourself and becoming insecure (caring much about what others think about you) than you will stunt your social development and skills. 

      Paying attention to what others are thinking and feeling IS NOT the same as caring what others are thinking about YOU.

      In regards to your example, the most successful people; in a social context, are those who are detached from others opinions and are able to read others as to help other people become confident and thus develop their own confidence.  Your “example” is too narrow and simply pinpoints your ‘black & white’ view on the world; which I might say is quite limiting. 

  • Jacqueline Socque

    what your walking in the office your in a store what to do if someone give you a very bad look what to do
     

  • jclayton

    When you turn 45ish you genuienly dont care what people think of you. It is awesome. At this moment I have spinach stuck in my teeth. Guess what? …. I dont care¡

  • Mrandmrssmith32006

    This is very well put.  I went through periods in my life where I would try to please others.   It simply does not work if you are looking for peace and fulfillment.  I particularily like the way the article states that not caring what people think means you should be unkind.  That is taking it too far the other extreme and allowing bad forces and energy to dictate how you feel.  I feel that as long as you are not selling yourself short and you feel good inside, you should “pull your own strings.”  There will always be someone that has an issue. 

  • Lemon

    cool

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EZKL6HONTKMVHDUJ6TWM6ZJBAA mosi

    It’s so easy to say, but nearly impossible to do :(

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EZKL6HONTKMVHDUJ6TWM6ZJBAA mosi

    It’s so easy to say, but nearly impossible to do :(

  • anon

    My mum keeps condemning me. That’s why I came to this page. 

    • Jahmila Rosario

      I hear yah. I hear it. I went to college for film and my parents fought me to do Marketing, but guess what.. I didn’t want to. Glad i made my own path. Now, I am on my path to be a Fashion Stylist and it feels great to have found my passion. Follow your own way!

  • Jahmilarosario

    powerful. my fav part is when you say that people say that the world would be a horrible place if we didn’t care what people thought. I agree that is bullshit. That only proves further that we aren’t living for ourselves, but to be apart of something, fit some module that PEOPLE created. smh..bullshit. haha. excuse my french. I will say I loved when you made it clear that it is values that we live by that make the world a better place. We do know what is right and wrong. Others opinions have NOTHING to do with that. 

  • Annie

    I love this article! thank you for the great insight :)
    please read my blog and give me input as a beginning blogger : http://money-is-root-of-all-evil.blogspot.com/

  • Annie

    I love this article! thank you for the great insight :)
    please read my blog and give me input as a beginning blogger : http://money-is-root-of-all-evil.blogspot.com/

  • guest

    thanks. I’ve been struggling with this thinking that my coach doesn’t like me when i didn’t do anything wrong. thanks a ton!

  • Smarti1957

    What other people think about you is none of your business. 

  • Mohamed0562

    thanks very much love you all who shared it and make me understand more about how others think

  • Cj062692

    Nice article !

  • Cj062692

    Nice article !

  • Dave

    Unfortunately unless you completely isolate yourself from society and live in a cave by yourself,  virtually everything in life (from getting a job, promotion, date, married ect.)  is dependent on what others think. Not only does it matter what others think at a practical level but we are all hard coded to care what others think. Based on my experience and those of my old friends, if you spend your life in denial that you care what others think your going to live a tormented life.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q5UTQVUVHDEOSCDLTBLOXL7S3Q N765

      I think you missed the whole point of this article.  Your statement below is an example of a ‘Limiting Belief’:

      “Unfortunately unless you completely isolate yourself from society and
      live in a cave by yourself,  virtually everything in life (from getting a
      job, promotion, date, married ect.)  is dependent on what others think. ”

  • A .pannduleni

    i jst lve ths artcle n it gves me courage,,

  • John Clad

    that’s it, we should not care what other think, just live the life the way we know.
    http://howiw.com/How_to_Not_Care_What_People_Think 

  • cz

    I think this advice is best taken with a grain of salt… Yes, being “addicted” to the opinion and praise of others is not a good thing, but does that mean we should do whatever the heck we want, to hell with the repercussions? Certainly not.

    Take, for instance, children of today. The attitude and behaviors of children – and even teens and adults – reflect their “individualism,” their “we can do whatever the hell we want” beliefs. Even if this is not something you personally condone, the lack of respect for the elderly, parents, and authority figures (especially teachers!) is astonishing. I am a college student and the way I see students behave shocks me. I’ll admit that I have badmouthed teachers behind their back, but I would never even THINK of straight up cussing at a professor when he/she reprimands him/her for not completing a required assignment.

    People talk about “Freedom” as if it’s something we do not experience every single day. This article itself is a representation of the freedom we have. Yet I also hope to see more people address these issues I’ve mentioned. I agree we need to be more reliant on ourselves, but I also feel that we need to look at both sides of this new-founded independence and “screw the world” mentality. Once again, I am NOT in any way, shape, or form attacking this article. (:

    “Generation Me” by Jean Twenge, Ph.D. is a good reading, I highly recommend it!

  • Vishalrathaure

    great advice! i willtry my best to follow this!

  • Anonymous

    very good article, you can take your best friends, family opinions but even those important people do not have all the influence in your life, it’s your life, any decision will lead to the consequences that you have to deal with by yourself. Sadly, not everyone can ignore other people opinions and only take it into consideration and when a good person tells them not to care about strangers or those who are not important and havent done anything to you, they don’t listen. When they fail, it’s to late because we can’t turn back time.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ameera2000 Princess Ameera

    amazing i strongly agree with whats written here ! people should be good for their-selves and for their God not for others , they should be good from inside , they shouldnt “act” good to just get a good reputation , and they should treat others the way they want to be treated , they should be them-selves not just a copier of others (copy cat) !!!

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  • Zeba Azeez

    I used to be myself but lately ive changed and started acting different and i care about what people, and even more recently ive been thinking – i have to change and go back to being myself(who i was before),(to tell you the truth, i had a pretty cool attitude then and i now regret it for losing it),so ive been thinking and thinking on how to go back and im literally going crazy just thinking abt it! My mind is thinking wierdly now and i get irritated, but now my goal is to be who i was and thats who ill be!
    So just be who you naturally are!
    Thank you so much for the article!
    (Finally got to express my views and feelings of my life)