A reader asked:
Have you written about ‘people caring or worrying about what others think of them’?
Years ago I used to very arrogantly assert that I didn’t care what others thought of me but then I realized that it did matter to me. Half my anxiety comes from it. And a lot of satisfaction too when I learn they think highly of me. So I don’t outrightly make that statement as often but I do find myself blurting it out when I sense another person is asking me to validate something about them that they themselves aren’t too sure of. I can think and come up with better and helpful ways of responding to them, so that’s not my main concern. It just seems such a mistake to be obsessed about or give too much importance to what others think. I think I am missing something about this issue.
Since this is a topic many people wonder about, are yes and no about, I’d thought I’d ask you if you had already written or would like to write about it.
I’ve written about it a few times since people accuse others of “thinking about something too much,” usually for self-aggrandizing reasons, or arrogance, as the reader wrote in her question. Caring and worrying imply values and emotions that people often gloss over.
Everyone who thinks about what they wear, how they cut their hair, or puts on make up cares what others think of them. Saying otherwise implies they have low self-awareness.
Since this reader has read a lot of my blog, if she didn’t find these posts, I figured sharing them for others would help too.
Here are my three main posts:
- Nobody says “You care too much what other people think” when you care what *they* think
- People who say you think about it too much are telling you they willfully misunderstand you
- People who say “Why do you care what other people think” are hypocritical, insensitive, self-important, and antagonistic
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