Why do we care so much about what others think? Why do we have such a high need for approval? Why do rejection or mean words cause us so much pain?
I’m seeking to answer this for myself. While in the process of creating this blog, I became terrified. I don’t typically like to bring attention to myself. I’m very introverted and private. I don’t typically like others to know what I’m thinking. I’m afraid of what they’ll think of me. I’m afraid to create and maintain this blog because I’m afraid that other people might not approve of what I have to say, or that they might make fun of me.
But if they do, so what? Is it going to hurt me? No. Not physically anyway. People can make fun of me day in and day out and I will go on living my life. I will still eat breakfast. I will still sleep. I will still play with my dog. I will still go to work. Life will go on. I even wrote an article about how you can only be offended by what you choose to be offended by. So why do I care so much?
I was searching around on Google for the answer and came across this quote from this article:
“Approval from others gives us a higher sense of self-esteem. We’re convinced that their recognition matters to our self-worth and how deeply we value ourselves.” — Tom Perry, CEO of YourCoach
The article doesn’t completely answer my question, but it does bring up some points. It’s up to you to decide how much you care about what others think, and caring about what others think has its place. To quote the article:
“It does make sense to censor what we say to spare hurt feelings, to act appropriately at a religious affair, or to dress a certain way to fit into a designated environment. (Wearing a low-cut top on a job interview at a corporate office may not be the best way to impress the company’s president.)”
In other words, we care about what others think because it can benefit us socially (keeping us from hurting people’s feelings or making them feel awkward), professionally (impressing someone based on how you’re dressed or how you act), and personally (it gives us a sense of self worth, for some reason). So, I guess I’ve answered my question. We care about what others think of us because of the benefits it gives us. But there are a lot of negatives too and I wish I didn’t care so much. It’s hard to be yourself when you question every action based on how other people might react to it. I guess you just need to find a good balance. To quote another article:
“But really we want balance. To be ’emotionally intelligent’, we need to have some awareness and consideration of what others may be thinking of us whilst not caring so much that it prevents us being effective and original human beings.”