“Stop caring what people think!”
“Just be yourself!”
“Stop seeking validation from others!”
We hear these messages all the time — on social media, from friends, on cheesy posters in school hallways — but actually listening to them seems impossible in today’s world.
Lately, I’ve found myself questioning if I even agree with these messages. Should I really be constantly unbothered? Should I not care at all what other people think?
It’s part of human nature to think about other people’s opinions. A lot of us thrive on validation from our peers, our parents, or pretty much anyone else. As someone who is a huge people pleaser, I really struggle with this. I often only think I’m doing a good job if someone else tells me so.
I’ve often thought that this is something about myself that I need to change. Maybe if I just stopped caring about what other people think, then I’d be happier with myself. I’ve spent a long time thinking that I won’t be truly happy until I can conquer this “flaw” of mine.
But, lately I’ve been considering that this may not actually be the case. I don’t think it’s realistic to completely get rid of my people-pleasing tendencies, especially in such a short time, and maybe that’s okay.
I do really care about what others think, but knowing that about myself, what I do with this knowledge is more important than trying to change that fact.
I can care what others think about me, while still actively deciding that their opinions are less important than mine. If I put more strength in my own beliefs, those opinions other people have of me matter far less.
It’s impossible to believe we can be completely unbothered, but we can decide how much the things that bother us influence our lives.