Yes! Those are words from Michael Jackson’s song! Am I going to sell you a fangirl story? No, I want to show you why you shouldn’t care about what other people think. The lyric is the concept in a nutshell.
No one cares.
When I was in primary school, we had this huge party. It was a big deal back then. During the event, I wanted to grab something from the cloakroom. To reach this room, you had to take stairs. There was also a low ceiling over the last few steps. Walking down is boring, right?! What Magda did? She decided to jump off these steps. What happened to Magda? With her head, she dashed into the low ceiling. And everyone saw it. When I fell down, people froze in fear. They probably thought that I’m dead. Fortunately, it ended up with a bruise on my forehead. I even got up from the ground without help. Then, I went to my cloakroom with everyone’s eyes following me. My red face was like a lighthouse between the sea of heads. My friends were rocking the dancefloor away from me. I was sure everyone is going to talk about my fall until the graduation. I felt like it was my social death.
Guess what? It wasn’t. Actually, nobody cared!
Why? First, I was an oversensitive teenager, like everyone my age these days. Second, they have their own awkward stories. It’s enough to remember and analyze. Our brains are quite egocentric. What’s the point of bothering if the other person is not in the center of our universes? Our embarrassing moments are way more absorbing than the others!
No matter how many times we make a mistake. No matter if we trip on a straight road. No matter how much do we achieve. People don’t care much about us. Isn’t it awesome?
Excuse me, what?
Let me explain this. I know that at the first moment, it sounds horrible. Like a callousness. However, it’s not that bad. It’s an instinct. Every individual has a natural thrive to survive. That demands to focus on their own business. People are busy with their lives. They usually don’t have time to foreground or relish your failures. Their needs or inner life demand more attention than the coffee you have spilled on your white shirt before the team meeting.
That’s a great reason to stop depending on people’s approval. You are free! You can do things that usually make you think “what people are going to say?”. Of course, some of them are going to say something! They are professors of damn everything. This is their civic duty to share their precious opinion! It’s an orgasmic experience! However, deep in their hearts and minds, they couldn’t care less.
OMG, they are going to talk about this spilled coffee!
Most probably, they are going to remember it for about a week. They are going to gossip for a while. Then they are going to move on. In the perspective of time, remembering some random accident of the other person is just useless.
I know it’s hard to switch on this thinking, especially when you are experiencing an unpleasant situation at the moment. But it’s worth practicing! I taught myself a simple trick that is helpful as hell.
When you feel level of what-people-will-think-anxiety rising, just think:
Will it matter in two days?
Will it matter in two months?
Will it matter in two years?
If it won’t matter, what’s the point of caring what other people think? Like comparing, this kind of worry is just a waste of time and energy. The two things you need for accomplishing your goals.
You’ll be surprised in how many cases, the answer will be “no”!
Armed in this precious knowledge, you can go to the world and also give it no fucks. Have fun!