Don’t you feel tired and a bit restricted because you always care about what people think of you?
Do you let people’s criticism bring you down or do you always feel the need to justify your actions?
I used to worry about what people say about me that there were times I missed out on a lot of things. I could not let myself go and just have fun for the sake of having a great time, for example, afraid of doing some silly dances because heaven forbids, people might find me laughable.
Until one day, I woke up and decided; today is the day that I’m going to stop caring much and just screw what other people think. What should be important to me is what I think! Well, okay, fine, it wasn’t as dramatic as just one day. But you get my point.
I am a proponent of Nietzsche, especially his belief on Amor Fati. Everyone has its interpretation of this. But for me, it sums up as living our lives, in such a way that we’d be happy living them again and again if we’re bound to repeat the same life. So tell me, what if you die and come back, and have to live the same life, will you be happy to live the same life again?”
Although, when I say, screw what others think of you, I’m not saying to throw morality out of the window (I don’t entirely agree with Nietzsche on his concept of morality). Screw it, doesn’t mean that you do unspeakable acts because you don’t give a rat’s ass anymore about the opinion of others. No, not all. There are still opinions that matter: from the people who care about you and of course, yours.
That decision to stop caring much was probably one of the most liberating things I have ever done. And I was reminded of this recently when I had a conversation with a friend.
“So it doesn’t bother you? What they are saying about you?”, she asked.
What exactly are they saying?”, I replied.
Well, they were asking who financed your travel. Like, do you have lots of foreign boyfriends that paid for it?”, she replied.
I took a few minutes to feel and assimilate this. And I could frankly say that human as I am, there was a little bit of annoyance, but overall, it was a bit amusing how they’ve come up with this kind of conclusion. First, I just know them in passing, and barely even talk to them. What these people based their stories on are what they have seen on my social media.
So I replied, “No, not at all. Why would it bother me? There was no truth in it. If I let their words affect me; I have to stop traveling. That is something I refuse to do even if I can’t afford to do it, most of the time. I am a working woman(no pun intended) after all; I earn my money asexually. But wow, I must be one hell of a femme fatale in their eyes for them to make that kind of conjecture.
I could get angry and be blue in the face, trying to defend and deny it (not the femme fatale part, hahaha). However, let’s face, it is one of those “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” kind of situation.
If I don’t show any reactions, they will persist to talk, make some speculations and even comment that I am not saying anything because I could not defend myself because there is some truth in what they are saying. Right! On the other hand, if I react, and get angry, typical reply and not even a good repartee will be: first, “Why are you mad if it is not true?” and second (if I try to explain why I am mad), “Why are you so defensive?”
Might as well be damned and screw what they think!
So I further commented, “Nevermind me, though, the question is, why have it affected you that much, what they were saying, about you?” Are they your friends? Do you want them to be your friends”?
If it’s someone close to you, that I could understand. But these are individuals who are not part of your life. Not even someone, you could consider as friends. Besides, people who talk behind your back, are not your friends. And if ever they are, those are the kind of friends you could live without.
We know how juicy it is to listen to gossips and how tempting it is to repeat them. Even I am not above this (at times). Somehow the drama and misery of others are so juicy that they keep our hearts aflutter and our tongues wagging. There is a word for it, “Schadenfreude,” a German word, which means, pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune. No wonder there is an adage, “Misery loves company.” I think they are just plain miserable about their lives that they make stories about you to make them feel better or they are just nasty busybodies.
I don’t have specific advice on how to go about screwing what others think, except, make a choice and practice not to care as much.
If you know that you have done nothing wrong and are not hurting anyone, then screw what they say. You can’t keep living your life accommodating other people. Even if you try, they would only put more restrictions, because they see that they can. The next time they’ll say, “jump,” they expect you to answer, “how high?”
Sometimes, though, you are your worst enemy. Screwing malicious opinions is one thing; easier. But there are times when we have decided on things that affect our lives, but when friends and family question that decision, we have the tendency to buckle under pressure. And that is one of the things that you have to figure out. If you know you are doing what is best for you, then what they say (because they don’t understand it) should not carry that much weight unless you are also questioning that decision.
Your life, your future, your decisions, your restrictions. So screw what they say, and live it!