Social Question

Ladymia69's avatar

As far as peoples' opinions of you, what is more frightening/threatening to you: rejection or indifference?

Asked by Ladymia69 (6867 points ) February 14th, 2011

We all say we don’t care what people think of us, but I feel this is probably untrue in most folks. (Usually, when people talk a lot about being proud, there is not a lot to back it up – it’s their actions that count.) I have a severe fear of performing in front of people that has kept me from doing things that I might be good at and could have a lot of fun doing (i.e., singing or reading my poetry or stand-up comedy), and I think it is because I am afraid of both of these reactions. But I am not sure which is worse…indifference would mean that they don’t even care enough to hate me…but rejection is very hard to get over, and can impede me from going forward and trying again.

Then again, I think a lot of this is just my mind f@*#ing with me, and is completely illusory. So what are some of your opinions on which is more brutal, and how do you handle these fears?

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27 Answers

filmfann's avatar

In my 20’s, my friends would be hypercritical of me, and those who didn’t like me said wonderful things about me.
I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, and I don’t mind indifference.
As Popeye so elegantly put it, I yam what I yam.

Jeruba's avatar

As long as they don’t attack me, lie about me, or cast aspersions on my character, I don’t care which it is.

I can handle being disliked; I’m just not the sort of person who is to everyone’s taste, and if I were, I probably wouldn’t like myself. Often the feeling is mutual. I have even continued to like some people who I knew didn’t like me, and in several cases I ended up making friends of them.

I can handle indifference pretty comfortably, too. Again, it often mirrors my own feeling toward them.

I would honestly rather be disliked by someone I like than the opposite. Being sought after and even pursued by someone I don’t like is decidedly unpleasant.

Tiana_Laree's avatar

This reminds me of an episode of Desperate Housewives. It was when Bree Explained to her gay son that the opposite of Love is not hate. It is indifference.

I loved that episode!

In my field of work, which is sales and promotions, rejection is much more appreciated than indifference. People who are indifferent will let you talk to them about something they don’t care about. I could be spending time & effort pursuing Achievement! Instead of waisting time with someone who is just blah, and wont buy it anyway.

My final answer, Rejection is better! It expedites things.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I was a dorky, sensitive fat kid growing up that faced a lot of bullying and teasing. Social stuff doesn’t come naturally to me and I realized growing up that what worked for me socially was to be pleasant, funny/witty, agreeable, and likeable. I see people who don’t like me as a challenge to win over, although sometimes the feeling is mutual and it works out fine.

I can’t handle rejection and it’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but it cuts me deeply. It’s… like… an active disliking/shunning, rather than passive, which is how I perceive indifference. Actively not wanting any part of what I have to offer is confusing to me and it hurts. I’d much rather have someone who is indifferent because I find that easier to deal with. I can eventually come to terms of mutual indifference with someone and coexist quite well, with minimal hurt feelings on my end.

faye's avatar

I would prefer indifference as well. I grew up with a mom who lived by ‘What will people think?’. Rejection is like a double whammy, the rejection and my mother’s shame!. I don’t worry so much about it now but am much easier in my mind with mutual indifference.

downtide's avatar

Indifference doesn’t bother me at all. Outright rejection is hurtful.

flutherother's avatar

Indifference is fine. Live and let live, but rejection is unpleasant and feels hostile.

meiosis's avatar

Given that 99.99999999999999% of the universe is entirely indifferent to my existence, I try not to get to worked up about it. Rejection, on the other hand, hurts.

perspicacious's avatar

I’m not frightened or threatened by either.

nebule's avatar

Rejection… we all want to be loved and return that love don’t we? When there is rejection there is no forum in which to do that. With indifference there still seems to be an opening to cast your love on them and hope that their hearts will open.

bunnygrl's avatar

Rejection definitely. I handle indifference on a day to day basis. I’m a lowly cog in a giant machine at work, and, no matter how good I know I am at my job, if I didn’t exist it wouldn’t bother them. I feel it when I’m there, so indifference can be coped with. Rejection however, that hurts and its a pain that keeps on giving because I’ll (or rather my idiot head) will keep torturing me over it. What did I do? Have I hurt someone by saying something stupid? If I don’t know what I’ve done I can’t say sorry for whatever it is. I’ve got the tshirt from being hurt by people and I couldn’t bear to hurt anyone else, or make anyone else feel the way I’ve been made to feel in the past. This is a GQ honey.
hugs xx

12Oaks's avatar

Of the two choices, indifference.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Rejection hurts more. Rejection and Indifference are just a part of life. You will encounter rejection and indifference alot more then you will enounter acceptance.

Cruiser's avatar

People’s opinions of me are neither frightening or threatening, they are what they are. Whether indifference, well deserved praise or contempt or whatever….it is what it is. I not only can take it or leave it, I had everything to do with their opinion(s) of me and in reality their opinion of me is precisely what I want(ed) it to be and if it doesn’t mesh with their needs or desires or mine for that matter…Ohhhhhhhh Welllllll!

stardust's avatar

Indifference doesn’t bother me. Rejection hurts more than I like to admit. All part of the great cycle I guess

WasCy's avatar

I can’t put it better than Kipling did in his wonderful poem “If”. The part that resonates here is toward the end: if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you

IF…..

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

marinelife's avatar

I don’t mind either one.

I think what is important is what you fear that is holding you back.

Have you talked to a therapist?

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john65pennington's avatar

After 67 years on earth, I have learned to be just me. At one time or another, I have been all the adjectives you have described, that effect a human being.

The word for this is survival.

You will also be a survivor. Just be yourself and people will accept you as you are.

The hardest move I have ever made in my life was in church. To take that first step to be baptised. To stand up straight, walk down the aisle, and be accepted under the wings of the Lord.

This gave me the power to be…...me.

iamthemob's avatar

This is an interesting question because my answer to the general summary was that if we’re talking about people that get to know me, indifference would be a concern more than rejection. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea – but I want to be tea, not water, dammit!

But you mention performance in the details – there, I would much rather have rejection. Indifference doesn’t allow for critique. It’s the flipside of getting a good review that doesn’t provide feedback – “You’re doing fine.” Okay – but that means that everything that I’m doing seems to work, so I don’t know if I change anything the entire thing will fall apart. ;-)

Blackberry's avatar

Rejection, because this means they actually thought it through and decided they do not like me. Indifference at least means they simply don’t care, or don’t hate me.

wundayatta's avatar

Rejection is very difficult. It can throw me into depression, depending on how much I wanted the person’s approval. Indifference—well, who notices? I tend not to get interested in people who don’t notice me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I prefer rejection over indifference so that I can move the hell on. Indifference drives me nuts because I deserve so much better.

Scooby's avatar

Neither, peoples opinions of me is not something I dwell on, I just act the same no matter what company I’m in…. I’ve upset a lot of people in my time through just being me, I’ve also amassed quite a few friends & admirers too for the same reason.. Take me or leave me, it really makes no difference whatsoever to me, at all what anyone thinks… my boss, he thinks the sun shines out of my ar’is ….. Good enough for me….

bob_'s avatar

I don’t like you, and I don’t care XD

Okay, okay, I do like you.

Ladymia69's avatar

@bob_ I can always count on you to sum it up in short form.

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