Why do you care so much? Why do you care so very much about how people think about you? How they talk about, how they perceive you to be? You shouldn’t, but you do. Why do you care about showing up on time, or about how you look, or how your behaviour made you look? Don’t ask me, I don’t know either.
Why do you adapt how you live to meet the expectations of other people? I’ll wear these clothes because they’re in trend. I’ll listen to this music, but not that music, because that music isn’t ‘on’ right now. I’ll cut my hair this way. Sure I look like everyone else, but it’s better than not fitting in. The way I look isn’t me, but it suits the world I feel I need to fit into. Square peg, round hole; it’s a tired metaphor.
Have you ever tried not caring? A better question would be have you ever done anything for yourself, and yourself alone? When was the last time you went out, or did some activity, and didn’t plaster it all over social media, in some sort of idle attempt to prove that you are in fact, ‘living your best life’. When’s the last time you did something for you, and didn’t care about what other people thought of it? This will be an alien concept to some of you. There’s an artistry to not caring. The minority of people who truly do not care what others think of them live beautiful lives. They tend to radiate, and they tend to be happy. On the other side of the spectrum, there are many more people who claim to not care what people think of them, but they do. These people lie to themselves and end up being bitter, jealous, and angry individuals, who hate anyone who tries to push boundaries, or do things for self-enjoyment. There are much more of these types than there are truly care-free people.
Why do you care so much? Why don’t you stop? Why not stop caring about how others think of you and start caring about how you think of you. Self-hate comes from a pathological need for external approval and admiration. The minute you stop getting this form of approval is the minute you start to hate yourself for not receiving it. Internalise your sense of worth, and watch the real you start to become the everyday you. Right now, they’re probably miles apart.
It’s so natural to want approval from others. There’s nothing wrong with that in moderation. It becomes a problem when it becomes maladaptive. It becomes a problem when EVERYTHING you do is an attempt to get this approval from people. That’s the difference. I’m not saying stop caring about everything, I’m saying stop caring so much that how people judge you has an adverse effect on how you see yourself.