This fine Saturday morning, where the construction workers do PEEP PEEP PEEP outside, and I practically wake up being angry about nitpickers – I think to deconstruct a few angles about the often thrown around statement, “I don’t care what other people think of me.”
Well, first of all – let’s start with the low hanging fruit – anyone who ever had to say that out loud – most certainly DOES worry about what others think – because if he didn’t – he would have absolutely no need to try to state such a thing to another person. That sentence, “I don’t care what other people think of me,” is much like a dog’s growl. A signal. A threat. Depending on the context.
Another thing this utterance might try to signal – independence. But most often this is said by people who actually cannot afford more and more people thinking ill of them. Of course, in what state one or another person is when saying such things, can vary – some are butthurt about an acute event, others are nihilistic long-term.
Why I really started this thread, though – is the part I have been overlooking in this sentence, until today – when I first thought of it. I’m sure I’m not the first person to notice this, but at the moment it just feels fresh to me. I don’t care what other people think of me… Versus I don’t care if other people think ill or well of me.
The exact details shouldn’t be all that important, indeed – specific image control, much like Brand Managers with nitpicking tendencies do – the specifics of HOW stupid do you exactly think I am, and does he know that I can run 60 meters in 11.5 seconds, or the correct 11.48? (for the record: I really am a slow runner – even though I haven’t tried to time it ever since Highschool was done).
But I do find that it is important whether people think ill or well of you – because more and more I start to see how wealth and life satisfaction lies in getting to share it with others, and less in individual skills and personal ambitions (about money, muscle or artistic pursuit).
But even this isn’t a question of simply how you make yourself perceivable – because what we can control about our appearance and appeal – that’s nit-picking, too. An even larger impact on how you are perceived comes from the observers – who are the people you are showing yourself to, in the firstplace.
If you are not a shitty, petty, spiteful person in any way that matters, yet someone still sees you as such – it’s not you, it’s them. If you are a shitty, petty, angry, spiteful person – well, sure, it’s you (and it still can be them, too).
Now, why this all started bothering me this PEEP PEEP morning is regarding my, hohh hohh, professional domain – how my competencies, capabilities, interests, weaknesses and strengths are perceived either by my peers or those in the position to position me into a more useful role within the organization – because when they seem to systematically misperceive me (and I see no dignified way to market what I want to market, either) – this blocks my options.
How people perceive you is connected to your optionality; HOW they perceive you – you have less control over – but what people you expose yourself to, well, that’s up to you. If the conditions aren’t there for the ripest you – you’ll get an anxiety – an urge to move.
And movement will either grab their attention for the first time – or you’ll move to a different place – maybe one with equally (or even worse) conditions for the ripe you, or maybe, just maybe – a place that’s better for you.
Now, there’s a whole bunch of great friends here on the web who like to say, “become unemployable” – which is all well and good, but even so, were I to move away from employment – I would still want to DO something useful for a little buck to get by – and ideally it wouldn’t be a solo venture – the requirement for the right people still stands.
I love doing things with people, and when they are the right people – even if it is just for a short while – all there with their energy, all know why and when – that’s the most powerful experience.
So, all in all – what the exact details are what you think of me doesn’t matter – fact is, you probably don’t think about me all that much! But there will never be any great collaborations when the image is unjust and incorrect – the oppressing image, the dark mirage – isolates us, makes us lonely… Evil ghosts, hallucinations – why all these things have a negative connotation, is very apparent, isn’t it?
Take care, love your thoughts! XD