How Not To Care What Anyone Thinks Of You

I noticed a tweet from someone that I happen to adore. She asked millions of us how is it that we can truly not care about what others think of us. At first, I just wanted to hug her because that’s what I do but then I thought, how did I finally accomplish that? I realized it had been a tough road loaded with disappointments and great discomfort. A path that I insisted on taking up having grown fatigued by it all. Tired of everyone’s two fucking cents about how I think, behave, or generally live my life.

Back then I had decided to carve way down to my very core to find out who I really was, how I truly saw the world, and what the fuck I wanted to do with the rest of my days here. This process is dense with rewards but I won’t lie, it takes real commitment, hardcore perseverance, and the willingness to not take yourself too seriously. The latter being necessary for when you bump into shit about yourself that you swore you would never change. And the coping methods that you believe help you through adversity will need honest analysis as well. You have to break your own balls, really. You’ve got to be willing to use your own harsh judgement on yourself. But the garbage you’ve accumulated in your head regarding others’ opinions of you, that you hold on to in order to continue abusing your self-worth… you need to drop that shit. Immediately.

Here’s why. No one knows you like you do. No one cares for you the way that you do. No one’s love can be as valuable to you as the love you know you need to have for yourself. And until you have it, you’re going to be chasing it. You’re going to look to anyone who gives you even a bit of attention for approval. It’s going to make you feel like shit sometimes. For a few of you, it’s going to feel like shit a lot of the time. Because you’re leaving it up to someone else to decide if you’re worthy of acceptance. Read that sentence again. Looks pretty meshuggeneh doesn’t it?

So work on you liking you. Find out what you like and don’t like. What you find acceptable and what you don’t. What you’re willing to tolerate from those in your intimate circle and what sorts of behaviors will end up with them on the outer most perimeter. Be okay with the changes in others as they respond to becoming acquainted with your alterations. With this level of focus you’re bound to change a few things.

You need to see that you and you alone are the person you trust most to take good care of you. There’s nothing that can compare with that understanding. You won’t be presenting with fear and insecurity because you’ll know, you got this. You’ll feel more like you’re sharing space and time with people. Less like a person who’s visiting everyone else’s lives.

So get in there and get dirty. Face your shame. Face your mistakes. Face your regrets. Be honest about it so you can clean that fucker out completely. Correct the things you can and forgive yourself for the things you can’t fix. You’d forgive someone you love wouldn’t you? That’s what I’m saying.

Then take that honesty and look at all the things you did with the best of intentions. Look at all the shit you overcame right up until this moment. The obstacles you figured your way through when you weren’t sure if you’d succeed. Make yourself look at all the good choices you’ve made. Reach back in your memory and see the faces of those who have smiled because of something you said or something you did. I’d bet you’ll say to yourself, oh look, an individual who does their best and fucks up sometimes. Welcome to being human.

Finally, you have got to get off the bizarre loop that constantly flashes mental pictures of how and why you don’t measure up. I ask you, who made the rules for what’s okay and what’s not?

*crickets*

That’s what I thought. So you see, there’s no logical reason to seek approval from others. On anything. Just be sure you’re truly okay with yourself. Keep yourself in check. Stay fulfilled and hungry. Set your bar high according to your own standards. Be cool to those you love and make sure they’re cool to you.
You know what to do.
Keep in mind, you started out liking yourself. We all did. Then we threw ourselves out into the world and somehow everyone else’s perspective became more valuable than our own.
What a load of horseshit that is.

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11 Comments

Filed under Atheism

11 responses to “How Not To Care What Anyone Thinks Of You

  1. youretheworst

    I’ve told people for most of my adult life, “I’m the only person who wakes up in the morning and asks, ‘what would make ME happy today?'”
    Also, this is the first comment I’ve ever made! Woohoo! Go me!

  2. wow!
    so exactly where i am right now.
    thx for putting into words what i’m feeling (ok, u can get outta my hed now)
    @DaveGrigger

  3. Elevatorlady

    Great post Jen!!! I need to take this advice and live for myself.

    Thanks for this post. ❤️ _jackie

  4. Good stuff! Great advice and description of the process involved! Truly potential life-changing information.

  5. Religionists insist that existence has ‘meaning’. What they mean by that is ‘Existence is evidence of God’. As an atheist I find that belief untenable, if not objectionable. But maybe there is a purpose to life and – after a deal of mature thought – it is to discover one’s own true identity. This is a journey to which your blog is testament. In this we agree, I think, and ultimately it has to be done alone. It isn’t easy, but it is vitally necessary.
    Help is of course available if only it is availed. Your post here is one such source.
    Moreover it is a lifetime’s work as you essay above, and as such maybe it has no final conclusion because there is always further to go, more to discover, greater love to experience. Any ‘conclusion’ is by necessity interim by nature.
    I attended a meeting last week with ‘Unmani’, an English woman who is publicly making that journey and at one point she said “I’m not interested in you, I’m only interested in me.” and, at another “You are all in me.”
    Like me, she has ‘done’ the spiritual search ‘thing’ and has rejected all the casual meanings of ‘spirituality’ and ‘divinity’ to alight upon the appreciation that the ‘Self’ is this right here right now, whatever that may be. ‘Self’ isn’t an entity but it is an identity. ‘Self’ is the very experience of existence here in this eternal moment and it is awesome.
    In other words there is no ‘experiencer’ but only the experience itself which is why it is sooo important to be fully aware of the ideas, opinions and beliefs to which ‘I’ give credence because of their tendency to overlay any experience and thereby create an ‘experiencer’. And if they include what others think of me they will just generate paranoia or psychological confusion and lead to an identity crisis.
    As the Beatles said “I am he as you are he as you are me
    and we are all together”. Love you. 😉

  6. Your hard work on unconditionally self accepting yourself has given you courage to be who you are without fear or favour. This can be taught in schools and students can be helped to understand that their worth is not tethered to how others may view them or how well or badly they may do at a task. I try to help students understand that what they think about themselves is more important than how others think of them. Good post. Thanks. Giulio

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