Not caring about what other people think about you is not the same thing as not caring about other people.
Whenever we think about not caring about what other people think about us, we usually think in terms of something like: “I don’t care about what people think about my dress or my haircut” and stop there.
We seldomly realize that not caring about what other people think about us would include our family and friends as well. And this right here is why it is so hard. Sure, you can say you don’t care about what other people think of you, but do you really?
Do you really not give a damn about what your parents think about you? Most people live their lives fulfilling expectations. A lot of my friends live that way, and also myself, to some extent. It is really hard to not care about what other people think about you.
Is it healthy? I believe not. If you’d live your life, purely satisfying other people’s expectations about you, you’d be a slave to the flimsy wishes of others. Flimsy wishes that other than those of your mom, don’t put you on the highest shelf, for everyone is worried mainly about themselves.
It’s not healthy to be unaware either. There is a difference between caring and being aware, being aware gives you an idea about the waters you’re sailing, socially speaking.
When we speak about this topic, it seems like we are dealing with the topic of how to become more of an asshole, an uncaring asshole. But that’s simply not the case, because, I really don’t think that people want to be assholes.
We care a lot about what other people think about us because we want, in a deep sense, to belong, and, cheesy as it sounds, to be loved by others.
So, maybe in your head, when you think about the care you have about what other people think about you, you’re thinking that you do because you yourself care about others, and you, therefore, take care of your actions around others. But this here is the trap we all fall into.
When you live your life that way, you don’t really place other people on your priority list, but yourself. And the things that you are looking for in the first place, belonging, love, and the like, come when you actually care about other people, and not about them caring about you, like a child.
I believe we all want to care for others naturally, we are literally social beings. Our sociality is what makes us the apex animal in the human kingdom. It is better if you stop playing the game of being liked, and start playing the game of living ideals.
When you live by ideals, your attention is better placed. You are not measuring your actions against scorn or smiles, but actual good. If you were only concerned with being the most amazing version of yourself, in terms of say, courage, wisdom, or friendliness, you wouldn’t be concerned as much about the more superficial stuff we tend to worry about.
When you play the game of fulfilling expectations, if you think about it, you’re really just playing the game of “master-slave”, or “parents-child”.
Your actions are defined by either punishment or reward. The very opposite of freedom. Scary, isn’t it? But we don’t really see it! It is hard work to notice how you are being directed by other people. You literally have to do an effort to be an adult and act in your own regard.
This is the most ethical thing you could do, because, you’re not trying to be nice, you are actually being nice of your own volition. Do people like it? People don’t? It doesn’t matter, that is not why you are doing it, you are doing it because you have a higher goal and intent in mind, and meeting a person like that, is beautiful, be that person.