General Question

ShauneP82's avatar

Should I really care about what other people think?

Asked by ShauneP82 (790points) April 14th, 2009

I really don’t care what other people think. But just the same what do you think about, anything? This question arrised when discussing the condemnatoin of homosexuality. Does anything really matter? We are all afterall destined to be dead in the end. Regardless who thinks they are right. Should we really care? Voice your opinion.

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23 Answers

Triiiple's avatar

We care what people think but its how much your putting into it. Of course we all get nervous when thinking about other peoples critiques just know how to brush off the negative.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Eh I agree to a certain extent, though your rationalization for it is wrong. We are all dead in the end, but that is no excuse for not caring what people think. I mean why take a shower, we will all get dirty again anyways.
I care what people think about me because I want people to think I am successful, smart, and a good person. I mean if enough people think that you are something, then it basically validates that and it becomes true despite what I might think.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It certainly depends on the people involved
there are some people that I quite respect and it matters to me what they think, certainly

dynamicduo's avatar

Generally speaking, I don’t care about what other people think. It’s guaranteed that you’ll find a broad range of opinions about every single topic, so already I acknowledge that any outlook on any issue would be contested/debated/argued by some person. I also acknowledge that I can’t change how other people think, and how one thinks often contributes to what one thinks about or one’s opinion.

At times, it is important to consider other people’s thoughts. Such as if you actively solicit advice, it would be disrespectful to then ignore the answers. Or if you’re deciding what to have for dinner, it’s respectful to consider other people’s thoughts.

But in my day to day things, personal things, outlooks on life? I simply don’t get value from caring about what every person thinks about. Sure at times it’s good to consider a different point of view (if not for the fact that it lets us rethink and reaffirm or change our previously held beliefs), but to continue with your example about the recent homosexuality thread, I would not get any value from other people’s opinions as I am 100% confident in my opinion (which I will not state here, don’t want to derail this thread). In fact I’ve chosen to avoid such threads in the future, they seem to come up time and time again and yet the end result is the same (no one really changes their mind, the discussion is never resolved, it occurs again, repeat literally ad nauseum).

There are, of course, certain people who transcend this, and whose opinions I value no matter when or where. But this is the exception to the rule.

crisw's avatar

I don’t care what you think- as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else. It’s when thoughts prompt actions that we have an issue. So, for example, if you want to ban gay marriage or abortion because of your religious beliefs, then I care very much about the consequences of your thoughts.

Also, I would hope that we, as humans, try to be rational. It bothers me very much on a personal level to see people who insist that irrationality is a good thing.

ubersiren's avatar

I think it’s a good idea to get a general idea of where you stand sometimes, but always put your feelings first.

VS's avatar

My husband has a favorite saying: “They don’t pay my rent? Fuck ‘em!”
That pretty much sums up my opinion about what other people think, too, except that I do care about what people think OF ME. I like that most people think I’m pretty smart, successful, and loyal and faithful as a friend. There are of course, other people about whom I could care a whit what they think including what they think OF ME.
And to answer your question within the question, does anything really matter? We are all destined to die anyway, so why should anything matter? Well, it matters because that’s part of life and living, and if we really don’t care about ANYthing, well, that would point to a diagnosis of clinical depression, and there are meds for that.

nebule's avatar

I still trying to figure out how NOT to care what people think because I care too much…so I don’t think we should care what other people think at all

ShauneP82's avatar

Sounding good so far keep it up guys. @dynamicduo love the addition, good thoughts. @VS you husband sounds pretty interesting.

kevbo's avatar

Conspiracy nut job (and one of my more recent influnces), David Icke, talks about the “hassle free” zone and the price we pay to get out of it or stay in. If you can stand up to ridicule (or worse), then you can step out freely and think, speak & do what you want (harm nonwithstanding—that requires additional power & influence).

oratio's avatar

I don’t think anyone of us would be on Fluther if we didn’t care about what others were thinking. It would would kind of negate the point of this question, wouldn’t it?

dynamicduo's avatar

@oratio Not really, it just means I ask far less questions than I answer. This has the added benefit of limiting my questions to ones that I truly appreciate the hive mind’s contributions, such as finding an emergency cookie recipe.

tinyfaery's avatar

I only care about having the good opinion of people whom I love, or those who have an effect on my life, like my boss.

squirbel's avatar

@ShauneP82: I also don’t care what others think.
@crisw: I also don’t care what actions people take as a result of their thoughts, because that would mean I care about their thoughts… which I don’t.
@oratio: Regarding Fluther, when I originally came here it was a place for experts to answer specific questions in their areas of strength. Not a chatty site. That’s still what I prefer, even though it has grown into something different. So I still don’t care.

Perhaps if my ego was a bit smaller, I might care. But I’m happy. And life is stress-free.

In essence, my point is – whether or not you care is something for you to choose. :P

nebule's avatar

@kevbo I’ve just been studying this line of thought this evening… (Anti-Contractarianiam and such like) getting out of the massive contract we are so inherently part of… will be looking David Icke up thank you!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

i never thought not caring = a stress free life

SeventhSense's avatar

It is my experience that those who say that they don’t care what others think are usually quite concerned with getting others approval and hence the question. They are just unsure as to how to get that approval so they stand behind a kind of devil may care attitude. It’s the flip side of the same coin-(caring heads, don’t care tails). If one really didn’t care what other people thought, then one wouldn’t bother raising the question at all…because they wouldn’t care.
Having consideration for others, thoughts, opinions and feelings is what civilized society consists. Without genuine concern for each other, life is very unpleasant. People spit in stores, show disregard for other’s safety, run red lights and so on. But to be consumed with concern about others opinions can leave you paralyzed with anxiety, guilt or fear. So on the clinical scale, we have the Woody Allen neurotic on one side and at the other extreme the Ted Bundy. I think as society it’s best to err towards neurosis while moving towards the center.

ShauneP82's avatar

@SeventhSense You are right. Truth be told I just need a hug. Will you hug me? sniff sniff.

tinyfaery's avatar

I 100% disagree with @seventhsense. You constantly make sweeping generalizations. My “enlightened self” has shown me that all that truly matters is what I think of myself. Other people will never know what it is to be me, so their thoughts on the subject are meaningless.

ShauneP82's avatar

I am pretty sure I just asked this question to engage peoples thoughts. @SeventhSense do you have something against me? I feel some tension in our relationship. Is it just me? Why haven’t you hugged me yet?

VS's avatar

@ShauneP82 He is quite a colorful character!!

SeventhSense's avatar

I wasn’t here. And I’ll send you this.

wundayatta's avatar

I guess I’m not clear about this question. It seems to me that if anyone really didn’t care about what other people thought, they’d be sociopaths. Are you all sociopaths? Well, except for @ShauneP82, I doubt it. (Just kidding, @ShauneP82).

So, if you are not all sociopaths, then you must mean something else when you say “what other people think.” I think that maybe you are interpreting this to mean if you care about judgments other people make about you.

If this is the case, then you don’t care what spouses, children, neighbors, employers or whatever think about you. You don’t change in response to other people’s judgments. This is nonsense, of course, so you can’t mean that.

Maybe you mean “do you let other people stop you from expressing your opinion when they don’t agree with you?” Now that makes more sense as an interpretation of this question. The answer to this is:

Sometimes. If they offer good reasons and tell me things I didn’t know or didn’t think of, I care what they think. If all I get is vitriol and condemnation, then I won’t bother to participate any more. If they spout nonsense and clearly have no clue about how the world works, I don’t care, and I’ll keep on saying my piece. But on some level, I always care what people think, because if no one were listening to me, I wouldn’t bother to say anything.

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