“I don’t care what other people think of me”

​When someone goes against the current, they’re usually asked a variant of this question:

“How do you cope with the resistance you meet from others?”

The answer:

“I don’t care what other people think of me.”

It’s the calling card of every self-confessed revolutionary, maverick and contrarian out there. It’s also a lie.

Humans are social creatures. We view ourselves in relation to others.

Everyone, whether they admit it or not, cares what other people think of them.

In fact, this determination to say “fuck you” to what others think is an indication that they care more than normal.

The opposite of caring what no one thinks is caring what everyone thinks. Both are equally ludicrous strategies. If you care what everyone thinks, you’ll never end up being yourself. You’ll be so responsive to other people’s comments and opinions that you’ll never be comfortable being what somebody doesn’t want you to be.

If you try to please everyone by shape shifting, one, you won’t achieve it, it’s impossible. Two, you guarantee that you’ll never be happy yourself.

So what’s the solution? Should we care what everyone thinks or what no one thinks? The answer lies in the middle:

Don’t worry about what most people think of you.

Key word: most.

I define “most people” as everyone who doesn’t a have a genuine and sincere interest in your success and happiness.

We should care what others think, but only those who, in turn, care deeply about us.

An easy way to figure out who these people are is as follows:

Would they cry with you when you are sad?

Would they smile with you when you are happy?

Would they celebrate alongside you when you succeed?

Would they help shoulder the burden when you are under pressure?

Would they help you solve a problem?

And do they care enough to tell you when you are in the wrong?

These are the people whose opinion should matter to you.

Fuck everyone else.