Why do we care what other people think about us?

It is very fashionable to talk about freedom of expression, internet provides a lot of ways for this. Almost everyone claims that he does not care how other people can interpret and evaluate his actions and words.

Is this really true? Of course not. Only a few are absolutely free from the influence of others opinions. The rest will always worry about what other people will think or say about them.

Why? There are several main reasons for this:

– cooperation,
– increased self-esteem,
– fear of self-expression,
– lack of own opinion.


People live in the company of other people for various reasons: for security reasons, for communication, for sharing experiences, for joint entertainment.
Cooperation since ancient times ensured the survival of the family. It is based on constructive communication, as well as the creation and maintenance of trust.
Of course, there have always been people who do not want to stand on ceremony and are hungry for a quick and unconditional victory. They established their power by force and war. However, such a path requires the constant availability of weapons, equipment and, of course, the army, which must still be trained and maintained.

Therefore, diplomacy arose, which is the ability to seek and find compromises between conflicting interests. Diplomacy allows you to form a trusting relationship between opponents. It is important to control what the others think about you and seeks that these thoughts have a positive character.

Not all people are in the staff of international diplomats. Nevertheless, all in one way or another interact with each other: at work, in the family, in the store. If people think well of you, then you have more chances to get something from them later, for example, promotion, help in household chores, a discount in the store, etc.

Increased self-esteem

If your opinion of yourself depends on what is being said about you behind your back, you can conclude that you are an insecure person.

On the other hand, when you know for sure that you have a positive image in the thoughts of another person, then your self-esteem is strengthened.

Almost all psychologists agree that self-esteem should be slightly above average. Overestimated self-esteem is harmful, because it develops a person’s pride and arrogant attitude toward others, and understated makes a man a limp amorphous creature.

The golden mean is the most optimal option. However, if your self-esteem is slightly overestimated, then it is likely that you will at least try to overcome the obstacle and expand your comfort zone, and therefore will develop as a professional and as an individual.

Of course, in addition to orientation to the opinion of strangers, there are many other good ways to increase their self-esteem. Moreover, the views of other people are always subjective. It’s impossible to please everyone.

Fear of self-expression

When you focus on how people evaluate you, then you limit your creative abilities. For any creativity you need inner freedom. To create something new, you need to be able to go beyond public stereotypes.

Do I go beyond public morality and ethics? That’s a moot point. It is important to remember that your freedom ends where it begins to restrict the freedom of other people. It does not make sense to hurt the dignity of others. After all, in order to create a new, it is not necessary to destroy the old.

However, the fear of being misunderstood or, even worse, ridiculed by society, forces many to give up self-realization. It is much easier to be like everyone else.

Lack of own opinion

When a person can not decide what to think about this or that phenomenon, event or other person, it is quite understandable that he wants to seek help from his relatives and friends in order to borrow  opinion on this very phenomenon, event or person.

On the one hand, anyone will feel secure surrounded by like-minded people. No one needs to prove their rightness, because everyone thinks in a similar way.

And on the other hand, you do not need to think in principle, analyze, collect information, draw independent conclusions and try to justify them to your potential opponents. The formation of one’s view is often painful and ambiguous, because there are many contradictory facts and theories.

Making your own independent choice is always difficult because of the richness and diversity of our world. Therefore, it is always easier to refer to someone else in your judgments, whose authority is undeniable in your environment and will add weight to you in the eyes of this environment.

Of course, few people will admit at least to themselves that they are constantly worried about what other people will think or say about it. Perhaps your experiences do not affect the quality of your life in any way.

But if it poisons your existence and is a source of colossal stress, then it’s time to reflect if your experiences worth your health? There are only a few close and dear people to you, whose assessment and judgments will always matter to you and this is normal.

As for the rest of the population of our planet, be sure that they also worry about what you think and tell about them yourself. So be calm and happy!

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