Social Question

janedelila's avatar

Do you REALLY care what people think of you?

Asked by janedelila (3904points) August 20th, 2012

My boyfriend is obsessed with image. I live in a small town and travel enough to realize this isn’t the whole world. I don’t care what the people here think (aside from him, my bosses,[whom I actually have respect for], and my children). This infuriates him, as he feels it directly reflects on him. It’s not as if I roam the town daily telling people to f*** off, or showing my private parts. I just say how I feel to a face and not a back. He hates that so much that he’s feeling we aren’t compatible. What do you think?

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31 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Absolutely not.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Depends on the day and my mood.

DigitalBlue's avatar

Yep. Wish I didn’t, but, it has a very profound effect on me. I am true to myself, but it hurts me very deeply when people dislike me for who I am – even people that shouldn’t affect me at all. It’s a really bad habit.

Kayak8's avatar

I did when I was younger, but not so much these days . . .

JLeslie's avatar

I do want to be liked. Not that I need to be liked by everyone, not even close, but I do conform to some extent, because of expectations in society. Clothing, make-up, hair. I don’t let it rule me, and I like to glam up now and then. What sucks is when I pull myself together to be respected, like if I have a complaint to make, or going to the doctor, I resent it a little bit that society works that way. Doctors of all people. Studies show they will take you more seriously if you are dressed well.

As far as being direct (since you mentioned it) where I live now they seem unable to handle direct quite often and I don’t give a shit. I do not conform in that way. People seem two-faced to me when they are nice to your face and then turn around and talk horrible gossip. I judge them for it. How ironic right? Cultural differences I guess. There way is the passive aggressive way in my mind.

mangeons's avatar

Sure. Honestly, pretty much everyone does. Even the people who say they don’t.

janedelila's avatar

@mangeons I respectfully disagree. Although I have respect for some people, because they have earned it. Mostly though, I do not care. I grew weary of letting other people’s opinions govern my life and decided to respect my own opinion. I know a few other people like me, and it’s great feeling.

mangeons's avatar

@janedelila Perhaps I should have said most people care rather than pretty much everyone. Of course there will always be those people that really don’t, but in general the majority of people do care, at least sometimes. I don’t always care what people think of me, but I often do. I just feel like many (not all, but many) people who say they don’t care what people think of them just aren’t being completely honest with themselves. (Like I said, that is not to say that there aren’t people out there who actually don’t care!)

gailcalled's avatar

I wear jeans, tee shirts and stupid socks when I see my doc. I just started with a new PCP and found that we got on famously when I showed up in my new t-shirt with Milo’s picture on it.

I do care enough to be pleasant to everyone here in this little community. However, I do pick my close friends carefully…but it is nice to have a large circle of casual acquaintances and “Hi, how are you?” buddies.

jca's avatar

If I didn’t care what people thought, I would wear pajamas to work and fart in public.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled I actually wear jeans and a tshirt also to the doctor, but still I kind of pull myself together. I’ll go to the grocery store with no make-up and my hair in a clip. I don’t do that when I go to the doctor, unless it is a doctor I have known for a while, or if I am obviously, easy to make a diagnosis sick. I have problems that medical science has limited information regarding, or not easily cured, and I need the doctor to not dismiss me as a nut job, hypochondriac, high strung, or demanding.

woodcutter's avatar

Sort of. It depends on which people.

gondwanalon's avatar

Someone once put it something like this:

When you are 18, you worry about what people think of you.
When you are 40, you don’t give a damn what people think of you.
When you are 60, you realize that people have never thought about you. They are all thinking about themselves.

Shippy's avatar

I never used to care, I do now. I realized I burned to many bridges, was too forth right, said what I thought and now I know my opinions didn’t really matter to anyone anyway. I’ve learned to be agreeable as much as possible. Because when the chips are down the strangest people give you a hand and a hug when you least expect it.

Sunny2's avatar

I do not care what people think of me, but I DO care about what I think of myself. I am not religious in the least, but I do believe in the golden rule. I treat people the way I would like to be treated and that doesn’t include telling anyone off. If my partner did that, I would be offended, but then, he wouldn’t be my partner if he had done that.

abundantlife's avatar

WHo cares attitude is really you should adopt and keep living your life.

ucme's avatar

Close friends & family…yeah sure.
The remaining population of the globe can take me as I am, for I care not one jot.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t want people to dislike me but I won’t change who I am to please those who don’t.

I certainly want my boss and people who have that sort of influence over my life to respect the work I do and unfortunately, if people with power over your life don’t like you, that can hinder your progression. I won’t pretend to be someone I’m not to make my boss etc. like me.

If who I am doesn’t work for you… so be it. I won’t like it but as long as I’m behaving decently and respectfully, how you feel about me is out of my control.

jca's avatar

I love when people say they absolutely don’t care what people think of them. Are you polite to people? That’s because you care what they think of you, you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Do you wear decent clothes when you leave the house? That’s not for you. That’s because you care what other people think of you. People say “I do that for myself.” Yes, you do it because you want to feel proud of yourself. Why is that? Because you care what other people think of you.

thorninmud's avatar

Humans are social animals, and caring what others think of you is a natural part of that. Ironically, putting on a show of not caring what others think of you may be a ploy to get others to think of you in a certain way.

Here’s a thought experiment: If I come up to you and say, “You strike me as the kind of person who is concerned about how others see you”, what would be your first reaction? Would you rush to object, and defend your independent self-image, as if I’d just insulted you? Then you care.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I pretend I don’t but judging by how often I dwell on and over analyse things I have said or done, I obviously do care.

Now, I don’t care about people not agreeing with my taste in music or clothing but I don’t want to give people the wrong impression of my personality. I don’t want to come across as arrogant, spiteful or annoying.

@jca My thoughts exactly!

tups's avatar

I do care, yes, but I try not to and I try my best to not act on it. I don’t think many people are totally indifferent in that area, but some people care more than others, of course.

wundayatta's avatar

I have spent my life seeking out people who like me as I want to be. Why do you think people hang out at fluther, anyway?

In the 70s, a lot of gay men moved to the Village in NYC because they could be who they were there without getting a lot of flack. Lot’s of people moved to NYC from the rest of the country because they could be artsy or into making money or whatever, without getting the shit they normally got at home.

I live in a liberal neighborhood, so people will not think twice about my views, or my creative habits or much else about me. I’m normal here. Or standard. Not someone to point and stare at.

I don’t think any of us like to be ostracized all that much. It’s just easier to be accepted than sneered at or made fun of or harassed. So I think we do care what others think of us. Some may have more tolerance for being made fun of. Some of us are willing to search the world to find a place we can be comfortable.

In your case, you make your bf uncomfortable. That can’t last.

Seiryuu's avatar

I’m quite self-conscious and I know I really shouldn’t be, but hey, first impressions are everything. >_<

Paradox25's avatar

Ironically I’ve found out through personal experience that the more negative experiences you have with others, the more your care meter drops.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I do care to a small degree, but people tend to like me so it works.

Berserker's avatar

I do. I always say otherwise, but that’s pretty much bullshit. Although while I have tried to fit in or please others with what I thought they would like or expect, I don’t care enough to change or otherwise alter myself in any way. Or so it seems…since a weird observation I made throughout my life is that my tendency to be withdrawn and alone may very well, in part anyways, be a means I use to avoid people and what they think as much as I can, so as not to be bothered by their perception of me. This is behavior I have often, I believe, mistook for not caring. Which is kind of lame since it may be spawned by the very contrary.

augustlan's avatar

It depends on who we’re talking about, and what facets of ‘me’ we’re talking about. I care what my friends and family think of me, of course. But I couldn’t care less what anyone thinks about my casual wardrobe or the fact that I usually don’t wear make-up. This is not to say that I don’t sometimes put effort into looking better for my own personal gain (like @JLeslie mentions) or just because the occasion calls for it.

I do care, however, whether or not people think of me as a decent human being. That goes for strangers and friends alike. One can be truthful and forthcoming and still be kind, you know?

Is it really the fact that you are saying how you feel so openly that is bothering your boyfriend, or is it how you say it? If it’s the latter, you might give it some thought.

snapdragon24's avatar

@janedelila, Ive recently broke up with someone who was image obsessed and it was terrible. I was fine being me, I was fine with my past, everything that I liked about me…he didn’t like. I became paranoid, anti-social and depressed. Be very careful with people like this. They care about themselves before they care about you…and they can be dangerous.

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