Others and their concerns about us

The Ego and The World
Drawing by Adrian Serghie

   Have you ever wondered how much time do we spend thinking about what others think about us? But how much time do we spend thinking about others? How are these two answers affecting us? In my opinion, sometimes it affects us more than it should.

   Here are some words that got stuck in my mind:

“I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.” – Charles Horton Cooley

   Let it sink for a moment… I think Mr. Cooley is trying to say that we think about the opinions of others so much that we’re behaving according to our beliefs about their beliefs about us. That’s why I think we’re losing ourselves in time and that’s why we need to spend so much time to remember who we truly are. Why are we doing this? We’re doing it to be accepted by the others. We’re doing it to feel that we’re part of some groups. We’re doing it because we’re afraid about what they might think about us if we were behaving differently.

   The problem with this is that whenever we want to do something, we will think about first and then we’ll think about us. The fear about what others might think is killing so many dreams and the worst part is that it’s not even true. Yes, maybe you’ll stop your daily routine to think about what X did and even judge a little, but you’ll let it go by the end of the day. That’s what most of us do. We are not giving a crap about what the others are doing, but we’re spending so much time about what others might think about us. So if we know that we are not caring about what others do, why is it so hard to understand that same thing applies to us? Obviously, the others don’t care about what we’re doing just as we don’t care about what they’re doing.

   The answer to this why is fear. And it’s not even the fear of failing, it’s more likely the fear of what the others might think about us failing. We’re afraid that they might think we’re some worthless pieces of sh*t that we can’t achieve anything. They don’t give a crap and the ones that do, they’ll say that they new it all along that whatever we were trying to do it couldn’t work, and if we do succeed they’ll say that we were lucky and as you see, none of the opinion would be true.

   Both failing and succeeding require lots of work so no luck would be involved. In addition, they can’t see the future so they couldn’t know. Since the others can’t have an accurate opinion, wouldn’t be better to stop carrying about their opinion? Wouldn’t be better to put ourselves first since we are the ones living our own life and also because the others don’t give a f*ck?

   You know what’s funny? We worry about what the others think about us and the others worry about what we think about them and the reality is that no one worries about anyone. Isn’t that just too much time useless spent?

What do you think? Is this worrying about what others think about us any useful?

33 thoughts on “Others and their concerns about us

  1. What others think of me is none of my business. It took me a long time to get to this point and I still have quite a bit of work to do on it. All my life I was afraid of what others would think of the real me so I conformed. I finally came out of the broom closet as a witch and I am now living my dream as a full-time RVer. I have never been happier!

  2. Honestly? I’ve always been of the opinion that I’m not that important for other people to talk about. And if I am? Well, it must be meaningful if they are talking about it and I don’t take that as a bad thing!

    I once heard that if you’ve never failed than you haven’t tried enough. That keeps me going too.

  3. I don’t care any more what anyone else thinks about me. There’s a quote from Jay-Z that nails it for me and it’s who I am every day to everyone I meet in life. ‘I’m a mirror. If you’re cool with me, I’m cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don’t like what you see, then you’ve done something. If I’m standoffish, that’s because you are.’

      1. I guess my own sanity, I used to worry about what people thought about me a lot. I know now that I’m a polite and generous person, so if some people can’t see that, then it’s best not to dwell too much on what they think.

  4. I love this post

    I reminds me of the ideas 💡 flowing in my mind when I wrote a piece about “Self”
    Most of us will spend our entire existence on this planet and not discover “who” & “what” we are.
    I personally think that’s because most of us are lost without true identity, by default, we seek our self definition through others.

    And it’s not so much that something is wrong in doing so. But we’ve been reinforced for so long for doing so (often subconsciously) that most of us can’t even begin to understand that although “We are one”, We also have individuality.

  5. Very well written. I believe caring too much about what other people think hinders all aspects of life. Some of us are conditioned very young to have that kind of thought process, and it’s very hard to break away from. I think it would be very freeing to the mind to not have to give a f*ck about what everyone thinks. Unfortunately its easier said than done. I envy those that can.

    1. I totally agree with you that some of us are conditioned very young to have that kind of thought process. My wife is exactly like this because that’s how she was raised. It’s a huge challenge to “break” this habit…

  6. Two images (We and They) making and shaping each other up in a participatory thought process inside their heads. Once developed and brought together, both are inevitably bound to be in conflict at many levels, such as, emotional, physical or psychological.

      1. Basically survival at the beginning. Problems with bipolar etc does not go well with worries about what others think of a person. Then I got to a place where I decided why the hell should I be like other people, some of them I don’t even like

  7. People are going to think everything about anything. I learned it the hard way that my life’s decisions are my business so I should worry more about what is working out for me.

  8. Firstly, amazing post.
    I can relate to it because today only, I was so worried thinking about what my colleagues would say if I won’t be good at my mid- semester race. I was so worried that for a moment I even thought of changing my subject from Physical Education to IP, but your post was all I needed.
    Though, it’s still very hard for people (like me) to stop thinking about what others think about them, but, I am trying my level best to not pay heed to them. I am who I am and I’ll do what I want to do and that’s none of their business for sure!
    Thanks Bogdan!

    1. Thank you very much for reading and I’m glad if this helped you! Maybe it comes instinctual to think about what others think about us because it was somehow related to our survival, I think (I need to make a post about that).

  9. It’s only useful if it has an impact on your life. If your boss thinks you’re inept, well – you should know so you can either find another boss or rectify the situation. But most of the time, what other people think of me is not my problem.

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