“Stop worrying about what people will say or think about you. The world doesn’t revolve around you”
How many times have we repeated this cliché phrase – or how many of us have heard it a few times? I’m sure most of us have quite a few times.
The truth is that others’ opinion or judgment towards us has a huge impact on our lives, whether we admit it or not. We all care about what people think of us and our choices in life – with the only difference that some of us care a little bit more and worry even more than that.
To be honest, to most of us there are at least ten times in our lives when other people’s opinion has stopped us from doing or saying something we wanted just because people will talk or judge.
How many times have your well-documented opinions about a controversial topic, your decision to make the first move towards the person you fell in love with, the hugs and kisses with your beloved one in front of a relative or in public, your decision to quit a job that pissed you off or distressed you, stayed only in your mind and haven’t been expressed because of the others?
“What will they say if they see me in public with my lover – who happens to be ten years older?” “What will they say if I quit my job and relax a little bit until I find my next one?” “What will they think of me if I let myself free to dance in this club? That I’m drunk?” “Will they judge me if I wear my favorite -but out of fashion- dress?” “What will they think of me if I leave everything and start from scratch abroad? How could I leave my parents who are getting old behind?”
“Why the hell should I be considered immature or a promiscuous young person if I feel ready and am able to have a kid at the age of 20? “What will they think of us if we give up on a marriage with children?” “What will they say if I buy a new car or an advanced last technology gadget during this difficult economical period of time for the most of us”? “What will they say if I finally travel to that far away, exotic country of my dreams for two weeks?” “What will they think of me now that I’ve reached the age of 30 and I haven’t gotten married yet?”
All these questions will always surround our minds and the truth is others will always judge everything because people are people and, for better or for worse, they are our strictest judges.
And to be honest, this isn’t always bad my dears. Sometimes, caring about what people will say or think about us makes us better in some of our decisions as we are given an external point of view to our thoughts, behaviors and actions. It is actually a good way to criticize ourselves -through the eyes of others- and improve lots of our important aspects.
The real problem only arises when caring too much about gossip and gabfests – as this is what it actually is– becomes worrying, only about that, too much. And it constitutes a problem exactly because it stops us from doing things.
You know, gossip has existed for a billion years; and it will always exist. Even if it is everywhere out there, and people are always talking about anything, the truth is that they don’t actually think about us as much as we think they do.
Most of the times they do it because they simply don’t have something more important to be occupied with or because they like to compare themselves with others in order to prove –mostly to themselves– that they are better than the others – the ones they tend to judge.
That’s life. No one really cares about your older or younger soul mate, your new or old dress, your journeys and your belongings, your marriage or your break ups, your new or your old job or even your health and your appearance. They may care about all these in comparison to theirs but not exclusively about yours.
When people come to judge you, it actually isn’t about you, but about them. The world really doesn’t revolve around you; and it will never, as much as some would like it to.
And even if caring about what people say has a really great impact in our personal lives, don’t forget to elaborate on what you hear, keep the good stuff, improve yourself when you think it is needed and, of course, stop worrying about the bad ones.
Next time you’ll be worried, anxious or depressed about what people will say, remember this: worrying about what others will think of you, won’t stop their thoughts or their words; it will simply stop you from enjoying your life.