The opinions of others on ourselves - why do we care?

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  1. jlpark profile image78
    jlparkposted 11 years ago

    The opinions of others on ourselves - why do we care?

    Whilst we can all try to say "I don't care what anyone thinks of me" it's likely to be a lie - we do so! But why? Any answers?

  2. SidKemp profile image84
    SidKempposted 11 years ago

    I would suggest it is because of what we already believe about ourselves. The average person thinks over 10,000 thoughts per day, and most of them are negative. Whether we admit it or not, we constantly run ourselves down. Then we need the opinions of others to boost ourselves up - or confirm our fears and run us down even further.

    There is another way - a path of self-awareness. Please read my hubs on the 7 Habits, on Zen meditation, and on self-evaluation for more. Particularly, you might like "What makes self-evaluation so hard?"

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Excellent answer as always, Sid.  Voted THIS answer as THE BEST!

  3. profile image0
    Ghost32posted 11 years ago

    Sure.  SURVIVAL. 
    If a group becomes convinced that any one member is "not part of them", i.e. "too different", the group tends to become a mob and attempts to destroy the "different" individual.   Herd mentality or whatever.  Keeping that in mind, it only makes sense to care SOME about what others think of you--because if they're thinking of killing you, and you miss the signals, guess who's going to end up dead?

  4. marwan asmar profile image65
    marwan asmarposted 11 years ago

    Because its human nature. In general we like to be thought of as "good"

  5. d.william profile image73
    d.williamposted 11 years ago

    Great question.  Most people are insecure for many reasons.  Some stem from T.V. shows that usually only show perfect looking people, some from their perception of themselves that they got from family members that constantly criticize them for whatever reasons.  So, we see ourselves as imperfect in comparison to what we perceive as a 'perfect'  person. 
    If we find we are not the smartest person in our class, we view ourselves as less intelligent than those around us.
    We are constantly reminded of what, or who, is more intelligent or beautiful than we see ourselves.  So we look for confirmations of our worth from others.  When it is positive we are elated and tend to pursue whatever it is that gives us that positive affirmation.  If negative too often it leads to depression, self loathing, and feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and low self esteem.
    Those who do the criticizing of others have their own defects that they try to overcome by finding fault in others.
    When we realize we are all that we can be,  in a world of such diverse beauty, we may logically conclude that everyone is beautiful in their own way, and that includes us as well.  So when we reach that plateau we can honestly say that the opinions of others matter very little in our lives. 
    But hateful, and spiteful names and comments still hurt even the most 'secure' person.  It is just human nature.

  6. ChristinS profile image38
    ChristinSposted 11 years ago

    I look at it a bit differently. We are all affected by the thoughts and opinions of others to some degree, but when I say I don't care what others think of me - what i mean by that is that I will continue to be true to myself regardless of what others think of me.  That doesn't mean I don't consider their opinions or value their input for what it shows me, but it means in the end, I decide what is right for me and that I walk my own path authentically.  I can value others opinions without letting them bend me out of shape or cause me to veer from myself to please them etc. 

    I spent too many years being a "people pleaser" at all costs and I was miserable. When I became true to myself I found joy smile so it's not that you don't "care" it's that you don't let it change your core self.

    1. d.william profile image73
      d.williamposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      great reply, it would be the conclusion to my own statement in a perfect world.  You are one of the lucky few.

    2. Lady Guinevere profile image64
      Lady Guinevereposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree with your answer.  Those who treat others like fools will be the fool in the end.  What goes around, comes around.  What you sow you shall reap.

    3. WalterPoon profile image68
      WalterPoonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      If it's an individual's opinion, you shouldn't give too much weight to it. After all, it's just his/her opinion. But if it is that of an organization, e.g. your hubscore... By the way, the more I do, the more my hubscore falls, LOL. It disappoints.

  7. profile image0
    jonnycomelatelyposted 11 years ago

    I like the answer from "Ghost32" best.  It points to the fact of us being a gregarious species, with the survival instincts still very much part of our psyche.

    My curiosity is about my Commenter Level, which has been downgraded from VI to V.   I am wondering why?   What have I said?  Did I offend someone?  It does not really matter to me, except that I don't like to offend people.   That is part of my own "survival instinct."   Sure, I want to remain authentic in what I say/write, but a bit of feedback is also part of the pattern of survival.

  8. WalterPoon profile image68
    WalterPoonposted 11 years ago

    Who say I care? If you call me a genius, it won't make me a genius. If you call me an idiot, I don't become an idiot. But if you treat me with disrespect, I invoke Moses' tooth for tooth, LOL.

  9. definitions profile image58
    definitionsposted 11 years ago

    People don't think, that's the big secret.  They're too busy thinking about themselves, their jobs, their mortgages, so they're not thinking about other people.  They might say something unkind, but that's really just about them.

    1. WalterPoon profile image68
      WalterPoonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Right, and the next moment, you ask them why they said that, they stare blankly at you and ask, "When did I say it? Don't simply say!", LOL.

    2. definitions profile image58
      definitionsposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      @WalterPoon: Exactly!  They're so busy from one minute to the next, trying to get through their lives.  It's not worth analysing too much, I say.

  10. Darksage profile image60
    Darksageposted 11 years ago

    Is normal for us humans to want to know what others think about us. Devastating or not, it matters to us even how small it is. I mean other people see us in ways that we don't see ourselves. I may find myself, cool, attractive, but others may not find me that way. So I would ask for their opinions. The thing is don't be afraid of criticisms as they may make you a better a person. But what other people say to you, does not mean that's who you are.

    1. d.william profile image73
      d.williamposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      there is an interesting article in the science magazine that sums it all up best: … 7.abstract

  11. IDONO profile image60
    IDONOposted 11 years ago

    First, it's very important to evaluate the source of those opinions and the motivation behind them. They can be constructive or destructive. I don't instantly react to those opinions, but I do consider them. I find it extremely difficult to be objective about myself. Like most people, many times I see myself to be what I wish that I was rather than what I actually am.
        I think that the "I don't care" attitude is a defense mechanism when actually one is saying,"I can't handle the truth." Not caring what others think sounds like an excellent recipe for isolation.
         And you are right. It's a lie. Let's make it simple. If one doesn't care, then why get a haircut? Why wash clothing? Why mow your lawn? These things aren't done because they make one feel warm and fuzzy inside. They are done to project an image in order to bolster the opinion of others, even if they don't know you.
         Opinions of others is what motivates us. The only way other's opinions could mean nothing, would be if we knew EVERYTHING. I don't know anyone like that.

    1. d.william profile image73
      d.williamposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      UR point isn't made with ur examples. We mow to keep bugs, snakes & mice away, we cut hair, shower + cause it is health & comfort motivated.opinions do matter, it's the degree they effect us that matters-->constructive criticism-->OK-in

    2. IDONO profile image60
      IDONOposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      OK. Mow designs in ur yard; shower with Axe and get a Mohawk haircut. I've seen manicured yards with the inside of the house being a dump. Ur question implied 0 degree of effect. Not what degree of effect. Can't be both. Sorry I wasn't more specific.

    3. d.william profile image73
      d.williamposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      My point? there R always exceptions 2 every blanket comment about others. Opinions R like rectums, everyone has one & most of them stink. We R all entitled 2 ours - I'm just saying. The ending on my other comment was: insults not so much.

    4. IDONO profile image60
      IDONOposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree DWilliams. That's why I began with considering the source. You are right. Insults are useless. I never believed in motivation by demotivation. Constructive criticism only comes from one who cares. The rest are self-serving.

  12. Aadom23 profile image59
    Aadom23posted 11 years ago

    Its so true many people say they don't care what others think of them but it's surely a lie. Its is a form of being accepted; we tend to care so much of what others think of us that it is very difficult to take in criticism and negative opinions. The only way in which a person can overcome what others think of him/her is if that person has very good confidence in themselves.

    1. WalterPoon profile image68
      WalterPoonposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Seems like your first sentence and your last sentence contradict each other.

  13. self-counsel profile image60
    self-counselposted 11 years ago

    We know ourselves better than someone else. However, in my humble opinion, we should also listen to what other people have to say about us--especially from people we love and trust just like our parents, siblings, and friends. They are the ones who could observe our own self from the outside (behavior, habit, action). Their constructive criticism about us would help in developing a better personality.

  14. Lisa HW profile image63
    Lisa HWposted 11 years ago

    I think different people have different reasons for caring, but I think the most legitimate reason to care about what others think of us is that people treat us based on what they think of us.    If people can't/don't/won't see (or at least imagine or consider) that there may be a lot more to us than what they see, we're essentially invisible.  Worse, though, we have people talking to us, or treat us, as if their "reality" doesn't even match the "reality of what we are" and know to be true.

    That aside, I think there's something respectful of others in at least caring a little bit about some of what they think about us, at least in terms of our wanting to be viewed as being "some basic level of socially acceptable".  That doesn't mean not being who/what we are and instead only worrying about what others think.  It doesn't even mean worrying about what others think much at all.  It just kind of means, maybe, not "making a big, giant, 'statement'" that says, "I don't give a rat's bottom what anyone thinks of me.  I'm going to be as rude, crude and socially unacceptable as I feel like being."  We don't have to give up being who/what we are in order to fit in to one group or another (and we shouldn't).  Still, some basic level of fitting in with the rest of mankind, and some sense of belonging in this world, is normal.

    Compared to a lot of people, I'm pretty good with not caring a whole lot about what others think.  Still, I'm the first to admit that I don't want people thinking I'm something less than what I am.  I worked hard building myself into who/what I am as a person, and I like and care about people.  I don't want people thinking less of me when it comes to those things; but also, I don't want anyone thinking more of me (for the reasons I first mentioned above).

    When all is said and done, I think most people just want to be respected for the decent, caring (or whatever) people that they are.  If others think less of them that generally means not being respected for what they know is real about them.

  15. Acmontero profile image60
    Acmonteroposted 11 years ago

    In my personal opinion, no matter how many times we say " we don't care" we really DO care. For example, I will use my work place and an isue i have been having with my boss. He has been really hard on me, disrespectful, and down right mean. I get furious in the heat of the moment and then say "I do not care what he thinks of me". However, deep down I know I care. He is my boss, what he thinks of me will determine where I go in the company. If he thinks bad of me I will be stuck in the same position for a while.

    Let us be true to ourselves, hard work does not always pay off now a days. It's who you know, how you get along with them, etc. So I have to stay on his good side if I wanted to grow. Conclusion no matter how many times I say "I do not" I really do.

    1. profile image0
      jonnycomelatelyposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      How true that is.... so honest.  Great comment.  This need is built into us, I believe, maybe an instinct linked to "survival of the fittest."

  16. Kyle Briggs profile image59
    Kyle Briggsposted 10 years ago

    Some people fear the other people's opinion on them as they fear to be degraged, bullied, outcasted, and what other reasons may be. But some people put significance on the opnions of others as it is a way of improving one's self. In some cases, it takes an extra pair of eyes for us to see things more clearly.

  17. Kevin Peter profile image61
    Kevin Peterposted 10 years ago

    We live in a society. So we must give consideration for the feelings of other people. As a social being, we must try to live in a manner appealing to others. It doesn't mean we have to do all things to please others but importance has to be given to that too.

  18. profile image0
    Emily Sparksposted 10 years ago

    Everyone wants to be accepted so many times we fall into the trap of "conforming" to whomever we're around.  However, the only person we should care about pleasing is our Heavenly Father!  If He is happy with us, we don't have to worry about other peoples' response!


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