These days, there seems to be this almost obsessive need to show others how “strong” we can be when it comes to pretty much everything. We drive somewhere, we have to be ahead of practically everyone we encounter, we rush to be first line everywhere we go, whenever speak about this or that, we have such a tough time saying the word “some,” everyone is so paranoid about being “politically correct” and a host of other things. Then comes social media and the personas many like to show there as well.
To be honest, the whole “I don’t care what anyone thinks!” attitude isn’t limited to just social media, but this is most often where it’s seen. Yes, we’re all aware of the sometimes alternate “characters” we assume many exhibit on social media, but this one in particular to me, is a bit different from the others.
I believe most of us know someone who boasts seemingly all day, every day that they “don’t care what anyone thinks.” I don’t mean just after one opinion here or there. It’s more like this; if you know nothing else about them, you know that they “don’t care what anyone thinks.”
If you’re one of those people who like to repeat that, let me tell you why I don’t believe it for a second.
What does “not caring what everyone thinks” really mean? Do you seriously exist for no purpose other than to just…exist? Do you not interact with a single person from day to day? Are you never happy or sad from what another person says? Do you speak with little to no regard to how it will be perceived? Have you ever apologized ever for something you have done? Do you have a job? Do you have family? Do you enjoy spending time with people?
Then you care.
I’m not stupid. I know what people are getting at when they say this. It’s just not impressive to me to hear people boast about this all the time. I don’t know why some folks feel it is “stronger” in some way to exhibit lack of concern for this and that. To me, that just speaks of a very empty person.
Okay, so you really “don’t care what anyone thinks.” So why are you here? What is your purpose? Why do you bother talking to anyone? Why do you exist on social media? Why do you share your opinions? Why did you add anyone as friends?
You get the idea.
I have said before that I don’t care what people feel about certain opinions I share. To me, that is different. What I’m stating there is that I am not compromising who I am as a person or what I believe (depending on how educated I am on the topic or how I strongly believe in it) just because someone may disagree or even be bothered by it and yes…I can comfortably say this could apply to everyone.
But I would never say that I “don’t care what people think.” Simply put, it just isn’t the truth. I don’t consider it a “weakness” to say that. Here is why.
First off, when I say “weakness” here, I’m not referring to the extreme. In other words, if you cannot make a single decision or do practically anything in life without considering what other people think, then yes, that’s when it can literally become a weakness. I consider it a little different than society’s view of “weakness,” because basically everything that requires you to be a decent human being and caring about how you treat others is somehow considered to be a weakness to them. That’s not what I mean here. If everything you say and do is dependent upon what others think, then that isn’t figurative at all. It can certainly cripple a person, because other people are essentially “controlling” them.
As for me, I have no reason to try and convey myself as “tough.” Those days are long gone. I’ll be 38 in July. I have no reason to follow what society or aim for popularity, at least in terms of how I go through life.
I care about what my spouse thinks. I care about what our children think. I care about what some close, personal friends think. For people who have ever told me that I somehow inspire them to become better people, I care what they think. I don’t aim to hurt anyone. That does not mean that every decision I ever make will need consultation from the entire world. It won’t. Every opinion I share will NOT be followed by me seeking approval, because I simply do not need it. But again, that to me, is very different than saying that I just flat-out “don’t care what anyone thinks.” I do. I have no problem saying that. I do care of what certain people think about things, especially depending on the circumstances and if I am someone they look up to or admire in some way. I do my best to set a good example. So I really need to care in some cases. Otherwise, what’s my purpose in life? How do I expect to reach anyone in a positive way?
Again, you don’t have to compromise who you are in saying that you care what someone thinks from time to time. Caring what people think does NOT mean you can’t make a single decision without them. I believe it may even be better to use the word “mindful,” because essentially, that’s what it means.
Before I write something on social media, do I sometimes think twice if I specifically know it will hurt someone’s feelings? I absolutely do. What’s wrong with that? I don’t look to fight all day, every day. Depending on the topic, I will always be mindful that in sharing my opinion(s), that I am not personally attacking anyone, because that isn’t necessary. Many who say they don’t care what others think seem to also have a LOT to say, because apparently, everyone is supposed to care what they think. I don’t know, but to me, to “not care what anyone thinks” should also lead to a person not sharing much of what they think, either. After all, it’s pretty conceited to constantly proclaim that the opinions and overall thoughts of others do not matter while in the same breath sharing your own. That would make a person a hypocrite.
And goodness knows…NO ONE behaves in that manner, right?