What People Think, an EssayA Story by Suze
How much should we really care what other people think of us?
The first thing that comes to mind when I ponder what other people think of me is: “Who Freaking Cares?!”
I always feel sorry for people who can’t even run to the convenience store without checking a mirror first, or who can’t allow a single hair out of place at any time due to the fear of making a bad impression. I can’t entirely understand when a person cares so much about what others think that they sacrifice their wants and even their needs to the thankless gods of the public opinion. It’s a prison in itself, this preoccupation with being liked by everyone at any cost. If it’s not being liked exactly, then it’s at least a preoccupation with being safe from comment or criticism. It’s an invisible prison that keeps you from truly being yourself. I can’t imagine trying to be or look or act perfect at all times. That is why I surround myself, as much as possible, with people whom I trust. If I can’t trust those around me to treat me with kindness and respect even when my lipstick is smudged, then what am I doing around those people in the first place?
Sure, there are times and places when we want to make the best possible impression. Meeting your sweetie’s Mom and Dad for the first time? Yes, you absolutely want to look, smell and act your very best. It is totally understandable to stress over the impression you are making at times like those. But once you’ve met them a few times and the comfort starts to set in, don’t you think they want to get to know the real you? Or are they really going to be more into some automaton with perfectly groomed hair and nothing interesting to say? We limit ourselves by thinking we always have to be utterly perfect and above reproach in every situation. If we are afraid to be whom and what we really are, warts and all, then how will we ever come to truly love and fully appreciate ourselves? And how will anyone else?
Let’s be honest though, we all care at least a little what other people think. Even if you only care what one other person thinks, it will still have an effect on you. And this is not an entirely bad thing, either.
If I ever want to do something that I am not sure of, there is one question I will ask myself before making a decision. That question is: What would my Mother think of that? I ask that because my mother’s opinion of me and of the things that I do counts for a lot in my life. Not because she is judgmental or critical, in fact it is quite the opposite. It’s because she is a loving, nurturing, caring and kind soul. She is the type of person I would like to be, and so what she thinks of a situation or action is going to matter most.
Then there are my friends, the people in my “front row”. I love these people, adore them. I also know they love and adore me. The important part about that, though, is that these are the people who love me not just despite my imperfections but often because of them! Because really now, how much fun is it to hang around with perfection? Not a blast, I wouldn’t think. Although I certainly care what these people think of me, I know I don’t have to put on the polish to impress them. All I have to do is be me.
But if someone is going to judge because my shoes are scuffed, I’m not a size 6 or because I don’t put on gobs of makeup every day - well then, that’s where a big old “F**k ‘em” becomes fully appropriate in my book. If someone thinks they know my insides just by judging my outsides, then their opinion matters less than nil to me.
So let’s start thinking less of what the snotty lady at the makeup counter thinks of us and more about what we think. What impresses you about yourself today? What do you think you could do better? Whatever those things are, own them. They are yours and no one else’s. And because of this, it is your opinion on them that matter most.
© 2012 Suze
About~Hi, my name is Suze - thanks for stopping by!~ I am a fiction writer mostly but have found that I have a taste for essays lately as well. I'm here to seek the opinions of other writers on my work, .. more..
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