Should I Care What People Think of Me?
June 15, 2015 by
I will never forget one incredible moment a few years ago while working a temp job. While finishing up some work, one of my co-workers asked why I never seem to get bothered by off the wall comments by others. That day was a special day. It was the day I realized that although I've always identified myself as "sensitive" and sometimes "overly sensitive", I no longer gave a damn what people who did not truly have an impact on my life, thought of me. I don't consider other human beings, non-factors. But, somehow I learned that unless their paying for me to eat, sleep comfortably, or survive, I shouldn't waste time dwelling on their opinions.
Fast forward to today. I had a conversation with a friend and she made the same "you don't really seem to get bothered" comment I heard from someone else previously. Talk about a feeling of dejavu! She then filled me in on what's been bothering her (I have her permission to post this). After she complained that two ladies at her place of work treat her badly because of the way she presents herself, I had to wonder why she felt that way. I'm not one to blame the victim, but when you're constantly feeling bothered by people no matter where you are (gym, church, work), it's time to reevaluate the situation and see if you have any workplace etiquette faults to work through.
- What exactly did they do to make you feel bad?
They're looking at me weird. I hear quiet when I am nearby, and laughing when I walk past. Ok, seriously? Girl, we're 30 and this sounds more like high school than an office setting. Not to make an issue that is really bothering you sound small, but even if they were gossiping about you, what can they actually do to you? Just give them a polite "Good morning" and a sincere "Good evening" and go on about your business. Who knows, your greetings may actually spark up a conversation and you all may become friends, or at least cordial at work.
However, there is a chance that their giggles and pauses have absolutely nothing to do with you. Maybe, just maybe they are using their inside voices now that more people have entered the room.
- Are they "haters" or could it be possible that you're doing something that annoys people or makes them feel less than?
Some people go to work with the hopes of making new friends, others may go to work just to work and get the heck out of there. My friend has the latter approach. So, to women who like to be sociable at the work place, this attitude may come across as snobby. There is nothing wrong with either attitude, but they both have consequences. If you don't want people at your place of work knowing your business, and having the opportunity to share your business with others at work, by all means keep the two separate. But, people may find you intimidating or snobbish.
Whether you're friends with them or not, people will form opinions of you. Do your work properly and in a timely fashion, and when you're done for the day, be DONE FOR THE DAY. Clock out and leave your work woes there!
- Should I care what people think of me?
Nope, not unless it's a situation where your work will be judged by your peers. Think about your skin! Do you know what worrying about what people think of you does? It ages you! That may not be a medical fact, but it surely cuts into valuable moments you could spend doing something productive or thinking about something that makes you happy.
Heck, as long as women have mouths, they will speak. As long as they have the capability of thought, they will form opinions and as long as you are alive, there will be people who like you and others who dislike you (especially when they don't know or understand you). You cannot please everyone. After the clock strikes 5PM, where are they? Don't cause yourself more stress than necessary worrying about mouths or minds you cannot control.
Don't get me wrong...
We all have flaws. We all have things we would like to change about ourselves or things others would like for us to change. This post isn't about having a bad attitude and then an attitude of take it or leave it. It's about personalities and whether or not it meshes with others. It took a long time for me to get to the point of understanding that everyone won't like me, which is something I've also taught my kids. We are NOT all going to be friends, but we could still be accepting, polite and compassionate to others. After all, many times it doesn't mean they don't "like" you, they never had a chance to know you. I've learned that it's not meant for everyone to KNOW me.