“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Growing up I often heard the phrase “You shouldn’t care so much.”
Derivatives of this idea included: So what if they’re talking about you. Who cares what they think? He’s a jerk; why do you care about him? You’re your own person; why do you care about what she’s doing?
I associated the word “care” with stress, because in all these instances, caring meant feeling bad.
It meant being overly worried about someone’s opinion of me, or feeling for someone who didn’t feel for me, or thinking someone was somehow better than me.
I frequently responded, “What kind of person would I be if I didn’t care?”
I also argued that not caring could be a limiting choice.
Sometimes someone else’s criticism contains a valuable lesson. Sometimes someone who seems like a jerk really needs someone to take a chance on him (or her). Sometimes someone else’s choices help us illuminate the path we really want to take.
If we decide to stop caring in all instances that might push and challenge us, we risk closing ourselves off to insights, relationships, and ideas that could change our lives for the better—and potentially do the same for others.
I’ve since realized that the real message isn’t to stop caring, but instead to recognize how we care and why so that we don’t give our power away.
Sometimes we care with fear; sometimes we care with love. Sometimes we care with self-respect; sometimes we care with self-contempt. Sometimes we care with a sense of possibility; sometimes we care with fears of inferiority.
The important thing is that we don’t let caring about people or circumstances detract from our ability to care for ourselves.
A friend of mine recently told me she’s stopped caring about what people expect of her. Knowing that she values those relationships, I concluded that she really meant she stopped stressing about how well she met their expectations.
She essentially decided to stop worrying about things outside her control, and focus instead on all the things that were within her power.
That’s what it means to care for ourselves: to do our best and celebrate that, even as we keep learning and growing.
So I bolded my favourite points from this article above! Of course I CARE about others, but there are many different types of caring (as described above)
I have often been the worrier, one who cares what others think, close friends, friends of friends, even strangers actually! I've been out with that crazy (and lovely!) friend who can't help but grab the attentions of passers by and am somewhat ashamed to admit I'll be all "Shhh...people are looking" --I mean so what they're looking - and possibly judging? Could be for good or bad reasons but...what does it matter really? I also believe that as humans, we are most interested in what WE ourselves are up to, I doubt others are tossing and turning, losing sleep over my life situation, and vice versa..
I've had all sorts of thoughts and ideas about this. I have come to discover that - it depends on the day really! Where is my self-esteem /confidence level on any particular day?....because the better I'm feeling about myself, the higher my confidence and the less the opinions of those around me - matter. Of course I'm talking about negative feelings towards me. Judgement. I am most definitely open to the all kinds of differing opinons on a variety of topics! But I admit that I've always wanted everyone to like me. This doesn't seem realistic though does it? I read a simple quote once "not everyone's
going to like you".
With every year that passes I realize, this world is full of all kinds of people, we are all unique with different perspectives on, well, everything! Wouldn't life be boring if we all thought the same way? I am always fascinated and interested in differing views and opinions :) C'est cool, non?
I do believe in a yin and yang world. That one thing cannot exist without it's opposite. I am not popular when I bring this up in conversation. But I believe that good cannot exist without bad, how would we know what light meant if dark didn't exist? What about peace and war? What is War? Not peace and what is peace...not war. This world of opposites does not justify to me some of the horrible things that go on in this world but...do you see what I mean about one thing not existing without it's opposite?....I do wish for a world of love for with that we can work together and accomplish so much, but with love comes hate...I can trip myself out thinking about and I'm starting to write a book here, so I shall slow down and say..
In conclusion, people are just awesome I love them. We a literally changing every day, growing apart and together. One idea or comment does not define someone. We are complex! But I truly believe in the quote from my previous post about ego. Sometimes we just need to take a nice big breath relax and smile. We only get this one fantastic life to live as you know... Dr. Seuss said it best: