Why It Doesn’t Matter What Other People Think of You
No matter how old a person is, a teenager or an adult, caring about what others think of them bothers so many people. A lot of people claim not to care about what others think, but their feelings and behaviors tell a different story.
It’s normal to want to fit it and be accepted by others. But when you put too much value on other peoples opinions, it can damage your own self confidence. It can seem as if you’re “cold” when you really don’t care about what others think. But placing value on other peoples opinions can make you take things personal, which can then feel negative. Here is what I’ve learned about why it really doesn’t matter what other people think of you.
Everyone has their own opinions and preferences. Think of your favorite singer, actor, food, color, etc. Something that you absolutely love. I bet you can also find a lot of people that don’t agree with you and actually hate that singer, actor, food, color, etc.
If you’re placed in a room with 100 people and everyone is asked their opinion on something, a song for example, you’ll have almost 100 different opinions. Everyone has a right to their own opinions and preferences on things. It doesn’t make them right or wrong, it’s just a different opinion than yours. Just like you don’t agree with people on different topics.
I can not find who said this but I remember a quote that said “You can be the most juciest, sweetest pineapple, and there will always be people who don’t like pineapples.”
Everyone sees life from their own point of view. E-v-e-r-y s-i-n-g-l-e person on this planet is an individual. Little kids, your teacher, your boss, your parents, everyone. All of the experiences we go through in life, the things we were taught by our parents and society, the culture we grow up in, so many things shape who we are and how we see the world.
Someone who was abused as a child most likely will grow up thinking that no one can be trusted. They’ll see the world as a scary place.
Someone who had loving, caring affectionate parents may grow up thinking that there are loving and caring people in the world. Yes there are people who do hurtful things, but there are also a lot of good people. Which one is right about the world? That all depends on their point of view.
Maybe the following scenario has happened to you. You are out with a friend when you see a nice looking luxury car. You’re so amazed by the way this car looks that you might say “wow look at that car! I hope to one day be able to drive something like that” while your friend replies with “I don’t like fancy cars. Rich people are so spoiled”
The car driver doesn’t even know you two are talking about them. They’re just driving along minding their own business. But maybe you have big dreams and goals and are happy to see examples of wealth around you. Maybe you have learned that anything is attainable if you set your mind to it. But your friend who struggles financially will see the luxury car as an unattainable thing and basically hate on the car and driver. They most likely grew up with negative teachings about money.
This is just an example but an all too common scenario. Replace the car with any material thing, a romantic relationship, or a body type. The point is, everyone has their own perspective in life that’s shaped by the things they have experienced and learned.
You never know what someone else is going through. Image you’re at the store buying something for a friends birthday. You say hello to the cashier and she ignores you. She then acts very rude towards you. What did you do to her? The answer is absolutely nothing. The fact is that there is something going on within her that is making her be rude. Maybe her kid is sick at home and she’s unable to take off. Or she was in an argument with a co-worker earlier that day. Or maybe she’s just an unhappy person. It doesn’t make it okay for her to be rude. That’s just not professional. But it really does not matter why she’s upset the point is that it had nothing to do with you. It’s not personal.
Next time someone is being rude, ask yourself “I wonder what they’re going through that’s making them act this way” instead of just reacting and possibly making the situation worse.
Here’s another example. You’re driving in your car, listening to music, minding your business, when another car cuts you off almost hitting you. You see the other car driving recklessly. You can get angry and try to chase them to give them the finger. Or you can stop and ask yourself why they may be acting like that. Maybe they’re in a rush to the hospital because a family member had an emergency. Or maybe they are just a terrible driver. The point is, its not personal.
I’m not saying you should allow people to be rude to you. What I’m saying is to take a few seconds to be curious about other people’s behavior. It can help you not take it personal and not react in a negative way, because we never know what other people are going through.
Trying to shift the way you look at things when you hear people talk about you, or disagree with you on something, helps you not take it personal. Be curious about other people’s behaviors. Because it doesn’t matter what other people think about you or what they do with their life. They’re seeing life from a different place than you are.
“Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own mind;they are in a completely different world from the one we live in.” -Don Miguel Ruiz
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About the author.
Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, young adults, and Spanish speaking families in Lehigh Valley, PA.