You Do Care What Other People Think
“I was told when I get older all my fears would shrink
But now I’m insecure and I care what people think.”
(twenty-one pilots, “Stressed Out”)
Can we be honest? I care what you think.
Beware the person who says, boldly, “I don’t care what other people think.” Then why make the pronouncement?
You obviously care that I know you “don’t care what people think,” right?
Only sociopaths care nothing about what others think. The rest of us do care, and without that feedback, society would be impossible.
The truth is we all care what people think, but we struggle to manage that care. We either misplace it, caring too much about what the wrong people think, or mismanage it, caring either too little, or too much, about what anyone thinks.
Try this: As honestly as possible, rank the following in order of how much you actually crave their positive feedback (not all will apply to everyone):
• Your father
• Your mother
• Your siblings
• Your friends/classmates from high school
• Your friends/roommates/social club mates from college
• Your spouse
• Your kids
• Your friends
• Your coworkers
• Your boss
• Your faith community
• Your Facebook friends
• Your online dating prospects
• People wealthier than you
• People poorer than you
• People more attractive than you
• People less attractive than you
Now, the really tough part: Ask someone close to you to rank this list in the same way, but as they observe you in action. Whose positive feedback do they believe you crave the most?
Peace begins with pause,