HOW TO STOP GIVING A DAMN WHAT PEOPLE THINK Author: Sean Kim
We accept the status quo for what it is because everyone around us does. We tip toe our way through life by doing things in order to please others, not because it’s what we believe in.
Eventually our actions, appearances, and lives become molded by how we think other people perceive us. How are these pants going to make me look? What will my colleagues think if I spoke out? Are those people talking shit behind my back? If I take this job, what will my friends and family think of me?
Just writing that paragraph alone gave me a headache. It’s exhausting. It’s dreadful. It has to stop. Living a life that follows the ideal notions of what other people think is a terrible way to live. It makes you become the spineless spectator who waits for other people to take action first. It makes you become a follower. Worst of all, it makes you become someone who doesn’t take a stand for anything.
Today is the last day we live a life dictated by others. Today, we’re going to get to the bottom of the truth. Today is the day we stop giving a F@$%.
No One Really Cares
Believe it or not, we’re not that special. We go through our days thinking about how other people might be judging us. But the truth is—those people are thinking the exact same thing. No one in today’s “smartphone-crazed” society has time in their schedule to think more than a brief second about us. The fact of the matter is, when we do have time get our thoughts straight, we’re too busy thinking about ourselves and our own shortcomings—not others.
A study done by the National Science Foundation claims that people have, on average, 50,000 plus thoughts a day. This means that even if someone thought about us ten times in one day, it’s only 0.02% of their overall daily thoughts. It is a sad but simple truth that the average person filters their world through their ego, meaning that they think of most things relating to “me” or “my.” This means that unless you have done something that directly affects another person or their life, they are not going to spend much time thinking about you at all.
I’ve always enjoyed watching performers trying to hustle for some change at New York City train stations. These guys simply don’t give a F@$%. But the more interesting observation I made is how the spectators react. Rather than watching the actual performers, most people are looking around to see how other people are reacting. If people were laughing, they would start laughing too. But if people weren’t paying attention, they would also pay no mind.
Even when provided with the blatantly obvious opportunity to judge someone, people are still thinking about how others may perceive them. Once you understand that this is how people’s minds works, it’s a big step towards freedom.
You Can’t Please Everyone
It’s impossible to live up to everyone’s expectations. There will always be people—no matter what we say or how we treat them—that will judge us. Whether you’re at the gym, at work, taking the train, or even online playing Call of Duty. Even now it’s happening. You will never be able to stop people from judging you, but you can stop it from affecting you.
Think about the worst thing that could possibly happen when someone is judging you or what you’re doing. I guarantee that chances are—nothing will happen. Absolutely nothing. No one is going to go out of their busy lives to confront us, or even react for that matter. Because as I mentioned before, no one actually cares. What will happen is that these people will actually respect you for claiming your ground. They may disagree with you, but they’ll respect you.
Start standing up for what you believe in—causes, opinions, anything. You’re going to have people that disagree with you anyways, so why not express how you truly feel? I’ve learned that it’s better to be loved by a few people you care about, than to be liked by everyone. These are family, friends, your spouse—the people who love you for who you are, and the people who will be there for you during your worst times. Focus on these people. They’re the only people that matter.