10 Reasons To Ignore What Other People Think Of You
What other people think about us can often adversely impact the choices we make and the things that we do. Human beings are social creatures. We’ve been taught from the moment we were able to crawl that we have to fit in and win the approval of others to claim our social status. This desire to conform to the wishes of others can seriously conflict with our ability to lead independent and rich lives; so here are 10 solid reasons to ignore what other people think of you.
Your Life is Your Life and Not Their Life
That statement sounds incredible selfish doesn’t it? Yet, Melissa Deuter, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Center, San Antonio says; “Selfish is an ugly word but it can mean two different things. One connotation is that you’re unkind and inconsiderate of others. The other is that you take responsibility for getting your personal, emotional and physical needs met, and that’s an important part of becoming an adult.”
It’s important to remember that being selfish isn’t always bad. In fact, selflessness without sensible limits can mean that you will never have your own needs met. That’s definitely not a good thing.
So set some boundaries and remember that it’s your life and you are allowed to make decisions that are in the interests of your life even when others don’t approve.
It’s Good for Your Health
There is strong evidence that people who put themselves first more often than not are people who tend to take better care of meeting their own needs. Find a high flying executive and more often than not – you’ll find someone who is in peak health. They know that they need exercise and good food to perform at their best and they take the time to ensure that happens – even when other people aren’t so happy about that.
You’ll Never Please Everyone
It is impossible to please everyone and by “everyone” we mean the people who matter to you in any given situation. Every parent knows this for truth instinctively as they watch their children battle each other over what to do on a day out, for example.
Expending a lot of effort on trying to make everyone around you happy all the time – is wasted effort. It’s reaching for an impossible goal. If you realize that it’s impossible to please all the people, all of the time; you can start to make better decisions about when you will please yourself and when you will focus on pleasing someone else.
It’s Good for Your Career
There’s a ton of proof to show that people who climb the management and leadership ladders at work are more self-serving than those who languish at the bottom of the career ladder. When someone puts their own needs first; they are more likely to set goals and to strive to meet those goals. They’re also less likely to be apologetic about their drive and in turn they are much more likely to seek promotion and to ask for a raise.
They know that while leaders and managers have to take care of the people around them (or they could never succeed) that they also have to take care of themselves and if you can’t take care of yourself – it’s unlikely you’ll be very good at taking care of others.
Other People Don’t Always Know What They Want
Why do marriages and relationships fail? Why do people get promoted and then get fired? It’s all too often because while people are willing to support us in our drive to be better people; deep down they really don’t want us to change. As soon as we deliver on our promises; they perceive us to have changed and then – they’re no longer happy with us.
Worrying about what other people think can lead you in to the trap of doing everything somebody wants to find out, at the end of the process, that they no longer like or respect you.
Your Relationships Will Improve
If you can put yourself first in more situations; you’ll have a much stronger base to explain what you will and won’t do in relationships. The ability to set boundaries effectively will give you the ability to say; “No, I won’t do that.” and mean it. Instead of taking on every request and either burning yourself out or failing to deliver on the insane amount of promises you have made; you’ll only do the things that make you happy and that will give you more energy and a better reputation for being reliable. Those things will make your relationships with other people much healthier in the long run.
People Aren’t As Wrapped Up In You as You Might Think
If you’ve ever looked at a piece of clothing and thought; “I like that but I think other people might hate it.” You’re not alone. However, it’s a silly thing to think. In the main, most people don’t really care very much what you wear. Sure, they might pass comment (positively or negatively) the first time they see you in something new but a little while later – it won’t enter their mind ever again.
We can tend to assume that other people care about something much more than they do; sometimes because of what they say and other times just because we’re too wrapped in worry. If you can realize that people aren’t as bothered by most of what we do as we think they are; you can start to ignore their input.
People Change and They Do It Often
We all have an internal story and it influences how we treat other people and what we think at any given moment. The only trouble is that this story changes constantly. It depends on the weather, the mood we’re in, the situation around us, the people we’ve just spoken to, the people we’re thinking about, and just about any factor you can think of.
When people tell you what they think of you; they have their current story playing in their head. Five minutes later that story is completely different and if they came back to you and told you what they thought again – they might tell you the exact opposite thing.
This change in people’s stories means that trying to please people all the time is foolish; you’re trying to please a version of a person that no longer exists much of the time. That’s a sure recipe for misery.
It Will Make You Happier
When you focus on your own needs; you’re going to spend more of your time doing things that make you happy. That self-awareness that allows you to demark your time and give you space to have fun will make you a more rounded individual. This in turn will actually improve the way that people perceive you. That will also make you happier.
So, not caring what people think and doing what pleases you, will make people think better of you. A virtuous circle if ever there was one.
Other People Aren’t Walking in Your Shoes
It is you who faces the consequences (both good and bad) of the things you do. To put that responsibility into the hands of others is dangerous. Those people aren’t standing where you stand; they haven’t travelled your journey through life and they don’t know enough to make an informed decision on your behalf.
You don’t need someone’s approval to make your own decisions; you particularly don’t need approval from someone who doesn’t understand your situation.
We’re not advocating 100% all the time total selfishness. What we are saying is that you don’t always have to put other people first. You can choose to ignore what they think and say and there are good reasons for doing so.
Someone who is 100% selfish all the time is amoral and likely to become a social pariah but someone who is selfish some of the time is a balanced, well-rounded person who is likely to be healthier, happier and more successful than someone who never puts themselves first.