Actually, despite the title of this blog post, I’m actually going to say that you should care about what other people think. Yes, controversial I know, but I think that the phrase “Don’t care what other people think” actually leads to rather unhealthy attitudes. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the time you really shouldn’t care about what other people think: if somebody thinks something bad about your appearance, your clothes, your voice, your personal beliefs, your job, hobbies or anything like that, you shouldn’t worry because people are in no position to judge you on these things. In that respect, this is a good phrase.
However, there are many cases where you should care about what other people think. What if you consistently do something which makes people anxious? If you regularly do something which makes people feel you don’t really care for them? What if many of your comments reflect casual racism or casual sexism? What if you’re friends are concerned you have a problem? All of a sudden, not caring about what other people think leads you to make very bad decisions, to hurt others and to live by an unhealthy attitude. Indeed, not caring what other people think can ultimately be very self-destructive, arrogant and even selfish. Its one of those phrases which sounds very nice, but once you unpack it, you realise it doesn’t have any real substance.