Other People’s Opinions

I am weird.  I know this, and freely admit it.  I think it is ridiculous to subsume your desires to other people’s desires.  I do not worry about what other people think when I make decisions.  And now I would like to tell you why I think this is the best way to make decisions.

I was not always this way.  For the first 25 years of my life, I worried terribly about what other people thought about me.  Even worse than that, I worried terribly about what I thought other people thought about me.  That is to say, I did not even know if the things I thought other people were thinking about me ever even actually crossed their minds.

Think about that for a moment.  I spent hours, days, weeks, months, years worrying about something that quite possibly never even existed.

But, with the help of philosophy and my bull-headed persistence I was able to talk myself out of this debilitating habit.  Some of the questions I used to fight this habit were:

  • How often do I think about (let alone judge) other people?  This helped me immensely.  Most of the time I am thinking about myself.  Surprise, so is most everyone else.
  • Even if someone else has disparaging thoughts about me, what makes their thoughts more important than mine? To think about this another way: If I think blue is the best color, and John thinks blue is the worst color, who is more correct?
  • When making a life choice, who has to deal with the outcome? Or, if my parents want me to be a lawyer, but I want to be a veterinarian, who is more affected by my choice?  My parents might be disappointed if I become a vet, but I might hate every day of my life if I become a lawyer.

Overall, what I am trying to get across here is that your life is YOUR LIFE.  It is not your parents, your friends or anyone else’s.  So why wouldn’t you hold your opinion as the most important one when making decisions?