In an evermore connecting society where personal value is wrongly correlated with social status, it becomes easy to get swept away in the opinions of others. Who likes who, who wronged who, who is doing what and so on are all regular topics in our daily interactions. Let’s not forget, gossip evolved as an evolutionary device – a successful one at that.
Yet despite this, those with their eye on living an honest and fulfilling life should avoid any temptations of this social Whodunnit. It’s true. Caring about what others think of you is an arrow to the knee of your happiness. Here are 10 reasons why.
1. Nobody Knows You Like Yourself.
People can be arrogant in the fact that they tend to judge a persons character within second of meeting them. We all generalise, we form assumptions, we create an opinion of people from the first moments of the first interaction, often inaccurate ones. The truth is, despite the lightening-quick opinions people form, nobody knows you like you do. You know your own strengths, your own weaknesses, your likes and dislikes more than anybody else in the world. Yes, people can be quick to judge. Are their perceptions of you at all accurate? It’s unlikely. Don’t concern yourself with them.
“The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself” – Thales
2. Nobody Likes to Feel Bad About Themselves.
We all like to feel confident and that we lack nothing major in our lives. Since it is often difficult for people to directly face their personal issues head on and get over them, people like to bring others down as a means of feeling more secure about themselves. People who readily form negative opinions are often casting their own insecurities onto others as a means of overshadowing their own. It is admittedly easier, but that doesn’t make it right. It’s often nothing to do with you in the first place.
3. You’ll Be Forever Walking On Egg Shells.
Do you wan’t to live a life of anxiety? A life where the views of others sting you like a wasp every time you hear a negative or insulting remark about yourself? I bet you don’t. If you do, you’ll quickly become a people-pleaser. You’ll be that Mr. Niceguy who gets trampled all over by everyone in fear of offending anyone. Mr. Niceguy on the outside, is Mr. Sadguy on the inside. You’re better than that.
4. They Will Take You Everywhere But Up.
Successful people don’t care deeply about what others think of them. Why? Because there are some terrible people out there, and in order to achieve something great you’ll have to make some of them angry. If on your path to success you find that absolutely everybody is agreeing with you, then you’re probably doing it wrong. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. So why not Do.
5. You Simply Don’t Have Time.
Success means becoming the strongest, most well-rounded version of yourself possible. In order to achieve success, you’ll have to build upon your strengths and minimise your weaknesses. How can you expect to do that if you’re too busy wasting your time contemplating the views of others? If you want to be successful, you don’t have those precious seconds to throw away. Focus on developing yourself, not developing others’ thoughts.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
6. Confidence Isn’t Rooted In the Thoughts of Others.
How many times have you heard a confident person say that they get their confidence from the negative opinions of others? Not many, I bet. It’s usually the contrary. Confidence comes from realising the pettiness and inaccuracy of other people’s negative view of you and then ignoring them. Confident people know exactly what they lack and they get comfortable with it. They don’t need others to do it for them.
7. Only Those Who Aren’t Going Anywhere Criticise Others.
In Andrew Carnegie’s world-renowned book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, he mentions the importance of not criticising others if you want to be successful. Before he was president, Abraham Lincoln criticised a man in a local newspaper and it almost landed him in a sword fight. He learned never to condemn people ever again. And then he became president. So… yeah.
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity” – Dale Carnegie.
8. If You Do, You’ll Become Them.
If you concern yourself with the negative views of others for long enough you will end up believing them. It’s a sad truth. You will turn into the very person you are trying to avoid because you don’t have the will to ignore opinions. This is bad. Don’t be fooled into a false version of yourself, remember that nobody knows you like you do.
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
9. You’ll Adopt Their Habit.
Since we are the average of our peer group, the thoughts of others begin to dominate our minds. You could end up adopting their negative habits yourself if you’re not careful. Specifically, you will begin to automatically ridicule and form negative opinions of others in an effort to overshadow your own. Can you see the cycle here? It’s the echo chamber effect in full swing.
10. You’ll Regret It On Your Deathbed.
Not that I want to take a gloomy turn in this article, but it might just be necessary to drive my points home. In Bronnie Ware’s touching book “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying”, Ware recalls her years in palliative care and her interactions with the dying. She noted their top 5 regrets. Can you guess which was top? Yes, it was listening too much to the opinions of others.
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” – Top regret of the dying.
Featured photo credit: PixaBay via pixabay.com