Do You Care What Others Think of You?

Hey everyone! I wanted to get on and make a quick post on some thoughts I’ve been having lately about opinions. I’ve never posted something so spontaneously, but if you’re into this sort of thing please let me know in the comments!.


 

You know what’s interesting? People’s perception of who they think you are.

This isn’t a new concept by any means, but something I’ve noticed more and more as I navigate new adult relationships.

So often we navigate life with preconceived notions of people we know and people we don’t know. We do it without even thinking, like breathing. If you wear tight jeans, a beanie, and Buddy Holly-inspired glasses, you must be a hipster who only listens to Bon Iver and would never be caught dead driving a Ford F-150. You catch my drift.

It’s one thing to do this to others, and it’s another when it’s openly done to you.

For example, if I cuss or say I like a certain type of music or activity, I sometimes get the response of, “You like that?” or “I can’t believe you just said that!” accompanied by a surprised face or befuddled laugh. The emphasis on the word you is said with such intensity, as if we’re not all complex people whose interests are ever changing.

It’s crazy how our outward appearance dictates people’s entire opinions of who we are, almost immediately. I do it too, don’t get me wrong. Like I said, it’s easy. Like breathing.

I was listening to an episode of Marc Maron’s podcast the other day and his guest was Sean Lennon, John Lennon’s son. Sean said something about living his life as the son of a music icon, and the pressure and assumptions that surround that life that got me thinking. He said others’ opinions of us only hurt if some part of us believes them to be true.

I guess I’ve never thought about it that way before, but it’s absolutely true. If you have the willpower enough to believe in yourself, other people’s opinions of you should not produce any sort of negative feeling. They only make us feel bad if we already feel that way about ourselves. Like their negative view of you somehow reaffirms your own negative view, therefore making it true and scarier.

Damn. That cut me deep.

Maybe all of this makes me sound like a very sensitive person. As much as I’d like to say I’m not, I always have been. It’s something I try to choose my battles on each and every day.

So for some, this idea of other’s assumptions on your character doesn’t even register.

What I’m getting at is that I think we should all strive to stop judging so harshly. Instead of almost challenging someone with your surprise at their interests, in a sense causing them to feel some sort of shame, embrace it. Look at it as another mark on the list of things you like (or don’t like) about them.

So for now I’ll continue to say an age old mantra to myself:

Life is too short to care what anyone thinks about you

Life is too short to care what anyone thinks about you

Life is too short to care what anyone thinks about you