Why do we care what others think? A team of researchers from University College London and Arhus University in Denmark says that the area of our brains associated with reward is more active when others agree with, and reinforce, our own opinions. It also states that the opinions of others can easily affect how much we value things. Humans are social by nature. They want to be accepted and liked by others.
Being conscious of other people’s reactions provides us with information about the state of our relationships. Caring about these connections naturally involves caring about what those people think. Maybe you are willing to upset someone close to you by not caring what they think of you, but you will eventually want to resolve or transcend a particular problem.
Hence, caring about what others think can help you maintain and preserve valued relationships. Even the most independent individual or person is significantly affected by other’s reaction to them. It all started early in life, as people learn what and who they are through the eyes of other people especially children when they learn to see themselves from their parents. People who develop negative self-image might need frequent reassurance to show that they are okay.
On the other hand, those who have positive self-image might only need reassurance during difficult times which trigger them to doubt themselves. It is important to note that these people do care about what others think of them, just that they do not let it take over or dominate their self-perceptions. The real problem with most people is that they care too much about what others think. They are more concerned with other people’s reaction than their own self-assessment or even worse, they do not know what they are thinking as they are too eager to please others. The bad thing is that they think that when others are thinking about them, it is always on the negative side.
They tend to worry about other people’s opinions and pre-judgment as though as they are doing something wrong. It is an uncontrollable issue. It is literally in our subconsciousness. We are all normal human beings, seeking for joy and happiness, wanted to be favored by people around us and not creating unnecessary problems. Nowadays, society has lots of rules that we need to follow in order to survive.
So how can we neglect what others think about us? For example, if you are preparing for a job interview, you will need to put some thoughts into what your potential bosses will think of you. You must leave a good image on them so as to improve your chances of getting hired. The first thing interviewers will look at is your outfit. Before you even speak to the interviewer, you have already made an impression based on how you are dressed. This shows that people are judgemental. Moving on, if we do not care how people think of us, we will miss the chance for valuable feedback.
If we decide to cross our arms and not accepting other people’s opinion but just wanted our own opinion to be validated or approved by others, we risk closing and losing ourselves off to relationships, ideas and insights that could bring a better change to our lives as well as for others. However, we do not need to care what others think all the time. It is not necessary to care what every people thinks of us in every situation. We need to pick and choose. For example, we do not need to care about people criticizing us for not doing well in exams as long as we did our best and we know our limits. On the other hand, we must care how our words and actions may affect other people and try our best not to do anything that might hurt someone else’s feelings. Besides, we also need to decide how much weight we give to what others think. Caring what other people think does not mean that they have the final say in our life.
The final decisions still rest in our hands just that we take what others are thinking into account. We do not want what others are thinking about us to change who we really are or severely limits our life in any way. In conclusion, we think that there are times when we should care about what other people think about us, and times when we should not as well as how much weight we give to what other people think.