Everyone Cares What Everyone Thinks

You might be one of those people who’s worked a lifetime at getting over having the approval of others; who’s struggled so much with pleasing everyone that you forgot about yourself; who’s spent too much time wondering “but what will they say? what will they think of me?”; one of those people who has overcome those struggles so much so that you’ve vehemently vowed and shouted from the rooftops that you don’t care what other people think of you!!! (Okay, so you might be me). 

The truth is, there’s no such thing as not caring what someone else thinks of us. We want people to think something of us. What that something is varies from person to person. I can sense many people shaking their heads and saying, “Nah I really truly honestly 100% don’t care a single bit what other people think about me.” But all that effort to act like you don't care, isn’t that caring? Doesn’t all the efforts to prove that you “don’t care”, actually prove that you care? If you spend time and effort making it a point to let others know you don’t care what they think, then you pretty much are saying “I care that you know I don’t care.” It’s impossible. Like finding the end of a circle. 

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And so why are we so afraid to let other people know we care? Caring what other people think doesn’t mean you make decisions based off of others’ opinions, it means you have freakin’ feelings. It means you’ll probably do whatever you want, but you’ll still hope people understand your choices. You can call it “not caring”, but I think that’s just mislabeling what it actually is. Because it’s not “not caring”, it’s “not changing.” 

At the end of the day, many of us will do exactly what we want, despite other people’s approval or disapproval. Many of us won’t change our actual actions or decisions merely because they offend someone else. Whoever you voted for probably didn’t change because you were afraid of offending someone. Don't mix that up with not caring what they think though. Because you do care what they think. In fact, this election was huge proof that most of us actually care a great deal about other people agreeing with us. 

And so, again, I’m asking: Why are we so afraid to let other people know we care? Because then we are subject to hurt. Because then we are vulnerable, open. Because if we let other people know that their opinions matter, then we are giving them power. And we want all the power. All of it. We are in control. Control is good. Control means we get to decide who hurts us. 

If only it worked that way, right? 

Call it what it is. It’s not “not caring”. You do care. You just aren’t letting other people’s opinions dictate your actions and choices. They are not the same thing, though. You are not weak for caring, for having feelings. You’re just human. There are worse things you could be…