You know we shouldn’t care – but we do

I’ve read that it is none of your business what others think about you.
I’ve also read that no-one can make you inferior without your consent or to accept who you are and revel in it.
All wonderful words and all words that we take to our hearts and attempt to apply to our lives
BUT
when it comes down to it, we do care what our family/co-workers/friends/anyone else thinks of us.
We care because deep inside there is the need for acceptance as validation that we are doing something right.
We care because many of us don’t want to be responsible for hurting another person – especially inadvertently.
We care because we care.

Nobody wants to be painted with negative words by others. I could say that this is human nature.
There are many out there who say they don’t care what others think of them but if you probed the depths you would find festering wounds left by the thoughtless words of others.

So if we are honest, although we know that we really shouldn’t care what others think of us there are countless millions of us out there who do.

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74 thoughts on “You know we shouldn’t care – but we do

  1. You are pointing some interesting out here Sue.
    I think, that from old times as I remember back, it was important, that no one talked bad about us, but this was the minding that time.
    If we want to feel free, I feel it important not to worry about, what other think about me, because I feel, that I do my best to be a kind soul to other souls. If anyone find that bad, they have a big problem.
    When we behave in a good way to others, we don’t have to mind, how others are thinking about us. They may have a very boring life, if my life is more important to talk about.
    Just my opinion.
    Irene

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    1. I think you’ve got it Irene. There is a difference between ‘not caring’ and ‘worrying’. If I like who I am and what I do during the course of the day, there’s not a need to worry about what others think. But taking the same scenario, I still am going to want others to think good of me.

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      1. If you always do your best to behave good, you never need to mind, that anyone think good about you. Then you only deserve the good things. Don’t worry about that, life is to short for that.
        Irene

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    1. I think that if we take too much notice of what others are thinking and saying and begin to lose part of ourselves that the problem develops.
      My family often say “Harden up princess”. Although they are joking, they are words that maybe I should take notice of more often.

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  2. If we didn’t care what people thought of us I think the whole structure of society could collapse. I would probably never do housework again. I think it is the degree to which you care that can be a problem. I think for those that don’t care it often is that tough outer coat that people don in response to, often childhood, hurts.

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    1. Irene I love the fact that you said if people didn’t care you would never do housework again!!! That really made me smile.
      I think those of us who care need to suit up with some armour. lol

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  3. I care what people think, but I do not let it run my life, or change who I am. I may not be everyone’s “cup of tea”- that is what makes the world go round- but I attempt to get along with co workers, and act appropriately.I agree with Irene Waters that it is the degree to which you care that can be the problem.Honestly,as I have gotten older I care less about what people think, I spent too many years allowing it to take up too much space in my brain!!

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  4. well Sis the 2 Irene’s ,Kate, Daily Musings,Dave have all spoken the truth we do care what people think of us and we do try to please these people but Sis the only one we should really please is ourselves find your inner peace Sis and what others think will fall in line ,and if it dosent well as dailymusings said you cant be everyones “cup of tea”

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  5. If we absolutely and truly do not care at all we would all be psychopaths and really selfish, not caring how our actions will impact on others. As always it is about balance. I used to care too much and believed all the negatives were the truth and was miserable. Now I force myself to take on board the criticism and sieve it to see if there is any kernel of truth and take it on board. If it is unjustified then I bin it. But I don’t allow it to ‘destroy’ me anymore.

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    1. I also believed much of what I was told in the past. Whilst I still care what people think of me, I am learning to deal with it better.
      I hope you also continue to grow and heal.

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      1. Work in progress thanks suz. Yesterday a friend of a friend on fb commented my hurt anger and lack of self love were v obvious from my posts. I was taken aback as l thought I was healing and on my way.

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  6. Often times the ones who claim they don’t care what others think, are in fact the ones who care the most. It makes us vulnerable to admit that we care. Sometimes it even makes a person feel weak.

    The truth is, we do care and I think that is important. Caring what others think should control our lives, but it is because of that, that we care, love and have compassion on others. What they think of us, is what compels us to be kind to one another. Otherwise, we would be selfish with everything. After all, selfishness is easy and our way is always better… for us. But, life isn’t all about us. It’s about others.

    So, should we care? Yes absolutely. Should we let it keep us from living. No. Nothing should keep us from living.

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  7. I will respectfully disagree with you to a certain extent, Sue. There is a difference between caring about others and caring about what others think of us. Our unconscious insecurities or feelings of inadequacy can manifest in the conscious mind as being worried about hurting someone’s feelings or offending them or “what ever would they think of me.”

    When I suggest that we should learn not to worry what others think of us, I am not suggesting that we should lack empathy or be self-centered. If one tries towards becoming a spiritual person, without regards to how that might manifest for anyone, then such a person would behave in a righteous, humble, and upright manner, and have confidence in this. Thus, there would be no fear of being found inadequate.

    Your quilts are beautiful, and as they are an expression of what resides within you, so are you. Speaking of which, have you ever thought of making personal quilts of love for premature babies? Has anyone ever thought of doing this?

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      1. What a touching act for such a tragic and even heartbreaking circumstance. I have only ever attended one funeral for a stillborn baby, whose poor parents had suffered this before on a few occasions. So very sad.

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        1. I have attended one also. Sadly the parents were two people with intellectual disabilities. Their grief was no different to that of any other person but they had more difficulty in processing it. Very tragic and sad occasion.

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    1. There is a group of ladies who make quilts for hospitals here in Australia. I have thought about doing that but I want to get better at what I do first. (You don’t see all the mistakes in the photos). Thanks for the suggestion.
      And I agree that it is important to care for others but many of us care too much about what others think of us (me included).
      Thanks for your wonderful words my friend.

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  8. Of course we care, and so we should. Otherwise we’d all be hideously selfish. But I agree with cho wan yau – assess it, take it on board if it’s true, otherwise discard it and move on. Their motives for saying what they say probably count as well. The main thing is not to let it cripple us.

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  9. I think we all care to a certain extent. At least most do. If we are kind, considerate, compassionate, and caring, we have nothing to worry about what others think of us. There will always be one in the bunch who has such a low self-esteem that they will act in a way to bring all those around them down. Therefore, their opinion doesn’t matter.

    Then there is the other side of the coin. The people who have only kind words to say. They wouldn’t dream of hurting the feelings of another, and worry obsessively over inadvertently hurting someone. That obsession grows to the point that we start to think we are being falsely judged. We feel as if everything we say is stupid. Every kind gesture is a complete fail in our minds. We bend over backwards trying to please.

    Even though it took so long for me to reach the point I have finally reached, I seriously don’t care what others think of me. I’m trying to be the best person I can be. Sometimes, that person isn’t perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what we do, someone will undoubtedly misinterpret our actions or words. It’s up to them to ask for clarification.

    A lesson I learned—we can’t please all people 100% of the time. We may not be compatible with every person we come in contact with, but that’s okay. As long as we know that we are the best person we can be, that is all that should matter.

    When looking back on all the unkind things said to me, which only kept me in a world of insecurity and depression, I had to learn to let them go. It was the only way to heal. Some of the things that hurt me were my interpretations based upon my life experiences at that moment in time. I didn’t ask for clarification because I was too hurt, or too insecure to ask.

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  10. Hmmm…very true observations T.T I’ve always been really sensitive to what other people think about me, but it gets so tiresome sometimes trying to mold yourself to everything others want you to be, and give yourself up not through the joy of serving, but because of insecurity and fear of what others will say behind your back. Much though I still have to learn, at least I think I’ve figured out that the people who don’t love you enough to accept you for who you are will never love you forever, however 100% angelically you try to treat them – and you’ll just become insincere and uncomfortable, or stop loving them in the process. Thanks for this reflective post! It reminded me of a lot of lessons I’d begun to forget:)

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  11. I agree that if we didn’t care what other people thought we wouldn’t be human but I do also think that it shouldn’t be all consuming. Everyone has their opinions and all long as you are happy with yourself and what you do, what other people think should not control your life in any way. I’ve met far too many people paranoid about other peoples opinions, some completely debilitated by them, and life really is too short to care that much 😦

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  12. No matter how we try to say other people’s thoughts and judgements don’t impact us – they do. I do believe we can control the depth to which it impacts us though – we can work through the words if we have the ability and strength, we can separate the truth from the lies. I think the difficulty lies in the space where we can’t do that – when we are not only dealing with other people’s judgement and criticism towards us but also our own…
    So well written Sue

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    1. I like this! The more we accept all aspects of ourselves the more resilience we have to deal with criticism. We are able to see the truth more easily rather than react and feel hurt.

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    2. Thank you Mich. You are most certainly right that the difficulty lies in the space where we can’t do that and we are also dealing with our own self criticism. Sometimes the words of others serve to validate that criticism.

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  13. Great post Sue! I really like your words and their specificity. Its easy to talk in general terms about being good towards others and that being enough, but the reality is, that it does matter what others people think of us. There is always a learning there. Perhaps it is a reflection of their own hurt or frustration, but sometimes there can be useful insights into our own blind spots. We are all flawed in some way and I do care if I have inadvertently hurt someone, or my intention was misunderstood. I am rarely hurt by others words, but I do care……

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      1. Hi Sue … I, like you have been deeply hurt by others and abused in the past …. it has taken many years to heal those wounds. When they are truly healed, and we feel self compassion for all parts of us, then we can build resilience and detachment from the unfair criticisms of others…. In my experience, what once would have felt like a stab in the heart becomes more like a stab into water.
        Its amazing work to do for ourselves, and something that I hope to bring to others. Val x

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        1. I apologise if I came across rude. It certainly wasn’t meant that way. (There’s that whole can’t see the tone of voice in writing thing).
          I’m so pleased you have learned to work past your pain. Truly.

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  14. Your blog title -one of my favourite Robert Frost quotes by the way πŸ™‚
    You’re right, it’s human nature to not want anyone thinking negatively of us.. But I think those who are stating that “we shouldn’t care” or “no one else can make us feel inferior without our permission” –as I myself have used these statements– are moreso trying to relay that opinions are expressed about us and we can control how they affect us. Depending on what is expressed and the nature of it; we can take it as an attack that doesn’t matter or we can grow from it or we can dwell on it…
    Just my two cents.. But, I enjoyed your well written, and honest post.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and reading. I agree it is how we react to the words of others that impacts upon us the most. It is learning how to react in the right way that is the hardest part.

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  15. Suz, you are right, of course we care, whether we want to admit it or not.
    I once had a co-worker ask me, “Whenever I see two people talking, I wonder if they’re talking about me. Do you ever think that?” I replied, “If I do have reason to think they’re talking about me, I just assume it must be something good!” And after that, she made me wonder about whether I was right.

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    1. I understand her paranoia Skinny. It really is a horrible thing to have. I guess it all depends on the workplace and I know that my workplace has its issues.
      I would just keep with your original thought Skinny. I like it. πŸ™‚

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