Why You Should Care What People Think About You

By Okang’a Ooko
© 2015. All rights reserved

You’ve heard someone rail “I don’t care what people think about me!” You sometimes get so fed up you feel like shouting “I don’t care” to certain things in life. Yeah. We experience moments in life where you get so hurt that you officially don’t care anymore. There’s a danger with this devil-may-care attitude. As humans we are biologically connected from Adam. We are one body in God. We are one singular formation, male and female. We join together in social conditions and setups sharing love, sorrow, challenges and handicaps. And we grow and prosper that way. Jesus Christ once asked his disciples who people said He was. In other words, He was concerned about what people thought and said about him. As humans we are concerned about peoples thoughts and opinions about us because we need constant feedback on our interactions and such feedback helps us grow and build stronger networks. If the feedback is negatives, it weakens us and makes us either discouraged and strive to do better. That’s why to say “I don’t care what people think about me!” actually speaks the opposite. It communicates our desire to be better people. As social beings, we need to be loved, accepted and appreciated. We need to be in goods books with people all the time in order to prosper and be in good health. That’s why we sometimes go out of our way to please others. That's why we strive to get into positions of power so that the society can accept and appreciate us and reward us. We post random images and stories in social media in order to attract attention and win approval of people we haven’t even met. People want to be noticed, loved, accepted and appreciated. Without love and comfort of our fellow men, we perish. We talk and engage in conversations because we want our opinions to be accepted. We want to get a standing ovation.

We want good things. We want money. We want wealth. We want power.

United we stand, divided we fall. Each individual gives off a specific energy conducive for the well-being of the society, and some more of an individual persona. You cannot, man, oh man, stand on your own. Your formation thrives on strong social linkages. That’s why a man in the fullness of time links himself to a woman and starts a family. When a man is banished from a family unit, he is called an Outcast and he cannot live long on his own, either he finds another unit or he perishes.

Can you, oh woman who fondly loves your husband bear being separated from him? Can you contemplate noncommunion with Christ without alarm.

And yet you hear someone saying, “I don’t care what people think about me?” What a vain selfish tired tard. You are in God’s protectorate sorrounded by humanity and protected by systems built by humans for your survival and comfort and you say you don’t care what people think about you. You say that to suppress some inner guilt as a result of some sin you committed against humanity and you’re maybe angry at people but the truth of the matter is you cannot live your life alone. Sooner than you think you get caught up and your inner person puts you on trial and you find how vain and senseless your sense of self actualisation is.
The tarnished phrase “I don’t care what people think about me?” is a cop-out. It’s a rebellion towards society and it is destructive to you. It’s dangerous and it’s going to drive you to death even. Then people will forget about you.

Granted, you can’t please everyone. A lot of people you meet in life are heartless and irritating beasties who have no feeling and will trample you down and run you over. I don’t know what percentage of the population is stupid but most people you meet in Nairobi are. People gossip; people spread rumuours; people character-assassinate…. people want you finished and deflated like a tyre. People prickle their ears for bad news all the time. Do you know why? It’s because the heart of man is desperately wicked. Similarly, you can’t shut up everyone. No matter how good you’re doing or through what circumstances you’re going, there will always be a group of people who will hate your guts for the heck of it, just ignore them. Be a real person with a unique attitude. Even if someone doesn’t like your attitude, don’t apologise for it. Do the right thing and uphold good principles and rules, sometimes there’s no need of apologising.

In life we face tough situations and circumstances. They say life is better if you stop caring too much and it’s probably true if you contemplate. Once you do this you will will understand what you’ve been missing for so long. Sometime trying to please people can be a total waste of time and effort. But don’t say “I don’t care what people think about me?” Actually maybe you’re right: people don’t give a damn about you. Too bad, nothing you can do about that? Wrong. Thing to do? Try being good for a change and send Satan packing. Make decisions with your mind, not your heart. The heart is too sensitive and emotional, decisions made with your heart are sure to give you sharp pains. Here’s what. One, accept yourself the way you are. Two, know your limitations (and that includes the friends you keep and the circles you operate in. Don’t try to be in a class you don’t belong in. Don’t beg for attention, if he/she were interested in you, they would have noticed your sincere efforts, if they didn’t just offer them a sweet Goodbye. Instead find your natural habitat and dwell there. The earlier you understand this the happier you’ll be). Three, forgive yourself. Don’t harbour guilt for so long and pass judgment on your poor self. Sin committed and kept too long unconfessed grows stale and becomes contagious in your thoughts. Pray, confess, repent and be at rest. Then settle matter quickly with the person you’ve wronged. That way God forgives you and the matter is solved here on Earth. Four. Learn to love people (Humanity, not some people you have issues with), don’t be mad with people, maybe you are the one putting too much demands on people. Slow down and learn to love. Be quick to ask for forgiveness and don’t be shy to reach out and mend fences even if you’re the wronged party.

Did I talk to someone? Let me know.