• Pam

One good reason to care what others think of you

two people connecting

Has anyone ever said to you, “It’s none of your business what other people think of you”?

If not, consider yourself blessed.

It sounds great in theory, not to give two shits about what other people think, but here’s the truth; we do care and we do make it our business.

"When we stop caring what people think we lose our capacity for connection. When we become defined by what people think we lose our capacity to be vulnerable." - Brené Brown

We actually walk a fine line between caring to connect and when that caring begins to define us. (Define = controlling what we do and who we are so we fit in places that aren’t a good fit for us.)


How do we tell the difference between caring for connection's sake vs. caring that leads to morphing?

Personally, it helps me to get clear on what connecting and morphing both feel like and look like.

For example, connecting has that comfortable feeling of “Wow, they get me.” Having a bond, one that just feels like a natural fit because we have things in common. So, I'm interested in what someone thinks due to our commonalities, even when we differ in opinion.

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”—Lao Tzu

And morphing..

That's when I feel like I'm being held hostage by someone’s opinion or thoughts because there is no common bond. When I'm trying to force some form of commonality to keep the peace, as an example. That’s also when I get into the dangerous territory of people-pleasing and perfectionism.

What does connecting look like or feel like to you? How about morphing?


When we find ourselves caring to the point of defining rather than connecting here are some things to consider.

Knowing that there’s no such thing as rejection. There isn’t. It’s just God, our Higher Power, or the Universe’s way of protecting us from something or someone that isn’t a good fit. That way we have the space and the energy for something or someone that is a great fit. (This little gem is a game changer and prevents morphing.)

Look internally. If we’re looking for validation via others’ thoughts or opinions it helps to check in and find out why. What are we missing? What do we need?

Here’s the thing, when we have a void, it doesn’t matter how much we look to others to fill it. It's like trying to ice a cake without the cake. There's no place for the icing to sit. (Icing= others' validation and Cake= You being solid with you.)

Look to ourselves for our own approval and opinion. Will this make me happy? Will I have any regrets if I do or don’t do this?

A little factoid: Most people are too busy worrying about what other people think of them and what they’re doing to worry about what we’re doing.

Use our values as a guide. Our values are deeply connected to who we are. When we use them as the foundation for what we do, we leave little room for others' thoughts and opinions to define what we do or who we are.

Someone’s critical point of view belongs to them…really. If someone is critical of what we do (or us), it says a heck of a lot more about them. Criticalness is just a projection of another person’s insecurities and internal stories.

As Brene’ Brown said in her talk, Why Your Critics Aren’t the Ones Who Count”

“If you’re not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”

Such a great reminder that everyone’s entitled to their own opinions and we don’t always have to agree or take those opinions and make them our own.

So, my friends, I want to invite you to consider what would be different if you cared about what others think only for connection's sake. What would change for you? What impact might this have on you and your relationships? What would be possible?

Until next time, here's to more connecting and less morphing.

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