I’ve recently been thinking about this continually hot topic: why do we constantly care about what other people have to say about us and why do we feel the need to seek other’s approvals? Sure, you can say you’re one of the rare few who could care less what other people have to say about you, but come on, we all know you do in some form or another. And if you just happen to be one of the rare few people who score extremely low on the self-monitoring scale, well I would like to say most of the time I will be envious of you. Unfortunately, I have always been high on self-monitoring. I am constantly changing and adapting. But you see, like anything in life, there are pros and cons. While this makes me adaptable to many different situations, it can make me feel a little lost and confused about who I am too.
Yeah, I get it, seeking other’s approval gives us a boost of self-esteem. Psychology proves we base a lot of our self-worth off of it (if you’re looking for resources, I don’t have any. But will a BS in psychology suffice?). It’s seemingly necessary and natural to observe, evaluate, and monitor, but it seems we some times build a prison around ourself because we live in fear of what other people think. I can assure you, people don’t think about you as much as you might think. But that’s hindsight bias.
Hindsight bias, also known as the knew-it-all-along effect or creeping determinism, is the inclination, after an event has occurred, to see the event as having been predictable, despite there having been little or no objective basis for predicting it, prior to its occurrence.
We think we know everything. We think we can predict everything (our feelings and thoughts). We think we are more similar to people than we really are. Well science says we are terrible predictors. So let go of everything you think you know and open up, the whole world is waiting for you.
And the only thing that matters is how you view and love yourself.
As Mumford & Sons will tell you, “In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, and where you invest your love, you invest your life”.
So ask yourself this: why should I care?
1. Why should I care if you don’t like or approve of all the people I hang out with?
Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about the people you hang out with. It’s really none of their business as to why you hang out with the people you do in the first place. Everyone has something different to offer and you’re going to miss out on some amazing people if you constantly worry what people might have to say. People don’t know you just based on the people you hang out with; they get only a fraction of you. You can see what you want to see if you look hard enough for it. For example, I have a handful of guy friends and assumptions are made about it all the time. Some times to the point where I have felt ashamed of hanging out with them. You know, that girl who has a lot of guy friends and therefore people feel the need to assume she’s sleeping with all of them? I have both female and male friends and through discovering myself, I have found that many of my interests are similar to a guy and I get along really well with them. Let me tell you, there is nothing wrong with that. I missed out on a lot of fun nights because I was scared of what people thought. Who cares really? Society creates these norms and social standards that we think we must follow. Screw that. We can be anything, anyone, or go anywhere where want in this world.
Life is way too short for me to worry about that anymore. You can assume all you want about people and you’ll never be right.
2. Why should I care if you approve of how I “time” my life?
If you want to settle down in your early 20’s, do it. If you want to wait till you’re married to have sex, do it. Do whatever you need to do to be happy. If you’re constantly looking at other people to figure out "When is it okay?" to do something, you’re never going to be happy. There is no set time, (or even a time!) to settle down, have kids, or to quit partying. Some of us want families and some of us don’t. The joy one person sees after holding their first born child could be the same way one person sees the sights backpacking Europe. Why are you constantly trying to keep at a pace with everyone around you? Don’t be afraid to choose your own destiny.
3. Why should I care about people who don’t care about me?
In some ways, this is in the most simplistic form ever. For those of you who take things extremely personal, this is for you. Remember last week when that guy didn’t hold the door open for you? I mean, it would have took just a second!? Or how about that lady at McDonalds who cheated me on fries? We’ve all been there: situations that just annoy the shit out of you. Move on.
In other ways, it isn’t simple. What is my ex-best friend doing? Or my ex-boyfriend? Move forward. Say, thanks for the memories and move forward. You are the person you are today because of the person who didn’t hold the door, because of your high school best friend. It’s time to move forward and let go.
"If there’s empty spaces in your heart, They’ll make you think it’s wrong. Like having empty spaces, Means you never can be strong. But I’ve learnt that all these spaces, Means there’s room enough to grow, And all these empty spaces, Creates a strange sort of pull, That attract so many people, You wouldn’t meet if they were full, So if you’re made of empty spaces, Don’t ever think it’s wrong, Because maybe they’re just empty, Until the right person comes along" -e.h
Dare I say more?
4. Why should I care about social media so much?
Social media plays a huge role in our lives now. Whether we are on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, we are connected in some shape or form. There’s many issues about this though: it’s just another fraction of us. What people see on Facebook doesn’t grasp the full you. Maybe you don’t feel the need to try and get 50 likes on all your photographs or statuses, or reverse that, maybe you feel sad if you don’t. Your self worth isn’t calculated by the amount of Facebook friends, likes, or Instagram followers you have. So why do we care? That’s because society makes us think we should. Don’t. Nothing is ever what it seems. That girl who has thousands of Instagram followers and goes to every party in town may be the girl crying herself to sleep. You’ll never know the full story. Life is all about perspective and it’s important to understand that you only see a fraction through social media. We don’t have anything to prove.
"You never see the hard days in a photo album, but those are the ones that get you from one happy snap shot to the next". (Never thought I would quote Just Married, but here I am!).
See what I mean, though? Don’t believe everything you see. Don’t assume what you can’t see. Just do you, kay?
He said, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live” -Dalai Lama
So what are your thoughts, comments, or concerns? What would you add?