Should you care what people think about you?

Yes, you should care what people think about you. Popular media and cultural aphorisms advocate that you shouldn’t care, and this is very wrong. Here’s why.

First, other people have important feedback mechanisms you shouldn’t ignore based on how they think of you. They see you through different eyes, which means they can see your blind spots. And by definition, your blindspots often reveal weaknesses you would have no other means to see for yourself. 

But the more painful situations come in social situations. If you don’t care what people think, you’ll actively screen out social cues by refusing to listen to the subtle feedback people give on the way you’re acting, whether that be laughter, smiles, or in bad cases things like discomfort. When you ignore the bad, people will be less likely to enjoy your company. And when people don’t enjoy your company, you’re less likely to connect with them and get all of the benefits of a friendly relationship in the future.

There are some big issues that arise if you care about what everyone thinks equally. The opinions people have of you will inevitably diverge, both because they spend different amounts of time with you, see different sides of you, and have their own mental baggage that helps inform their opinions of others. It follows we should care about some people’s opinions more than others. But how do we do that?

How do I know if I should care what someone thinks about me?

You can figure out in rough terms whether you care about someone’s opinion based on whether you respect them and how much time you spend with them. It’s essential to value someone to the point that their opinion of you is credible. And likewise, when you don’t respect someone, then you shouldn’t care what they think about you. It’s just as important to value people you actually spend time with. They’re the only ones that see you in action, see the highs and lows, and have a feel for what it’s actually like to be you. Next time you’re on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, realize that nobody knows what it’s actually like to be you, so their opinion doesn’t matter. There is one person though that you should care about above all else.

Which person’s opinion about me should matter the most?

When it comes to caring about what people think, the most important person’s judgment is yourself. You’re the person who spends every waking minute with yourself, so of course, you’re the best person to be judge, jury, and executioner. That’s why it’s also important to respect yourself as well. Otherwise, you won’t value your own opinion. It’s also a painful existence if you don’t respect yourself because you become your own worst critic. You get into a situation where you’re both the person who finds their company unpleasant and the recipient of that judgment.

Are there times when I shouldn’t care what people think about me?

Yes, there are some times when you shouldn’t care what people think about you. When you’re doing something that’s never been done before, the opinions of other people can’t be valid, since they’ll be based on things that by definition have never been done. Another reason is when you have high conviction about a situation. There comes a point where the odds are so slim that you’re wrong that you should be dialing down how much you let in in terms of feedback.


You should care about what people think, but It’s really important to decipher who’s worth caring about. The main deciding factor are how much you respect the person’s opinion and how much time you’ve spent with them. That’s why the most important person’s judgment is yourself.

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