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Do you really not care what other people think?
Old 06-30-2017, 10:06 PM   #1
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Do you really not care what other people think?

By spending time on various forums, (especially ER), there is sometimes a comment by posters who for various reasons try to convince the reader that they absolutely don't care what other people think of them. (Usually this comment comes up on discussing their limited and dated wardrobe, old car,crabgrass, not giving a rat's behind, not needing to impress people, etc).

Now I can totally buy into the issue of not feeling compelled to want to impress anyone else. On the surface being FIRE gives us that option. But really, truly deep down inside its a human trait to want to be accepted in some regards, and by being totally agnostic to what others think, I feel based on one's actions to be that way seems to be truly off-putting, and really invites a discussion on mental health issues if that is truly the case.

So every time I read someone who states that "they don't care" what other people think (of them, or by extension their behavior, things, etc), I feel that its really a bit of internet bravado in most cases.

(As an aside, at a basic level I don't really care what other people think about my vehicle, (its not new but in great shape, and looks nice to me), but on the occasion I do get a compliment on it I can't help but feel some pride, and that almost turns the tables a bit that someone took the time to make a positive comment and that in some ways is an affirmation of myself, values, decisions, etc. Does that comment make me care? Yes, but it does not compel me to seek affirmation from the next person driving by, but I will gladly take the accolade if that were to happen.

That said I do know one guy who probably does not care what other's think of him, but he has some serious mental health issues, and suffers from paranoia and is a psycho. So as always, YMMV.
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:30 PM   #2
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I care a lot about what Frank thinks; luckily, he is very accepting and not judgmental.

However, I don't care so much about what strangers think any more, now that I am growing older. Perhaps that is normal. I don't think that is internet bravado, so much as growing old and outgrowing the self conscious attitudes of youth.


I like to be complimented by strangers, but don't take it very seriously. I'm just heartened to discover that a stranger would care enough about others to compliment anybody (not just me). What a nice thing to do.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:16 PM   #3
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......

That said I do know one guy who probably does not care what other's think of him, but he has some serious mental health issues, and suffers from paranoia and is a psycho. So as always, YMMV.
I think paranoid people always care what they think people think about them.

As to caring, I like to think of it as a long line from care greatly to don't care.

An example is I shave some days and other days I don't, but if I'm going to a party I'll shave, but going to the grocery store, not a chance.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:18 PM   #4
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I care quite a lot what my SO and 3 cats think of me To a lesser extent, I care what others think of me. There is a neighbor in my building who hates me with a passion. I don't care for her at all, but it would make life easier if we could at least greet each other. She won't even acknowledge my existence, and stares right through me. It's rather uncomfortable to be hated so deeply. I think she has some mental issues. She is also racist, which doesn't help (we are different races). I am not particularly concerned what she thinks of me, but it's nice to at least have my existence acknowledged. I'd be happy to reciprocate.

It's nice to be able to get along with your fellow human beings and share at least a modicum of respect. It helps the world go round.

But if my cats didn't think well of me, I'd be crushed
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:19 PM   #5
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So every time I read someone who states that "they don't care" what other people think (of them, or by extension their behavior, things, etc), I feel that its really a bit of internet bravado in most cases.



.
I don't care what you think. (j/k)
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:26 PM   #6
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I'm much less sensitive to what others think about me than I used to be. (Anyone remember high school?) Having said that, I think it would be the rare person who really does not care what others think (about at least some aspect of their "being.") I could be wrong, but please, please, please don't hurt my feelings by telling me you disagree!

Perhaps more telling is that the various groups of folks whom I care what they think is shrinking. Maybe it's an age and experience thing. YMMV
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:32 PM   #7
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Yes and no.

I do care if people think I am rude, or crazy, etc...

I do not care if people think that I do not know how to spend my money, or not fashionable, or outmoded, etc...
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:49 PM   #8
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I really don't care. I think I have pretty high standards and much like money, there's always someone with more and someone with less. I'm comfortable where I set mine. Now, I may take some criticism to heart and acknowledge to myself that I should change/adapt whatever, but I don't have any hurt feelings or care what someone thinks of me outside of immediate family or VERY close friends (which are few in number).
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:53 PM   #9
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Yes, yes, and yes. I don't really care. I have been this way for years, maybe starting at 8 or 10.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:10 AM   #10
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On the internet it's hard to say. I think it could be mostly true if people say they don't care what others think on the internet. Why? Because no close human interaction has taken place, right? So, it would be much easier for someone to just walk away so to speak and be done with it. Out in the real World that is much, much harder to do, because real human emotions are involved. Not saying to some extent, that is not true on the internet, but I think it's much easier to not care what others think when online. As to me personally, I think I have learned to not care to a certain extent what others think, because some people are just jerks. But to completely not care, that is hard to do out in the real World.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:15 AM   #11
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I'm with Major Tom on this. What my five cats and one cat loving dog think of me is most important. By extension, the opinions of others who care about my pets (it's very nice the vets and vet techs have a good opinion of me and we have a very good working relationship centered around the critters well being) or pets in general are of some importance to me. So, therefore, as an example, the opinion of me held by a resident at the nursing home I visit with the critters is much much more important to me now than say that of a former mgr from my work days whom I still sometime see at social occasions who happens to hate cats. Perhaps its age, but the circle of those whose opinions matter, to some degree, is rather small and will probably get smaller as I age yet more.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:21 AM   #12
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If so many people do not agree with you, and that makes you say "I don't give a damn" too often, it could be that you are getting crazy.

My wife had a distant relative like that, and even her kids stayed away from her. I wonder if she is still alive or has died. Nobody knows (or cares).
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:46 AM   #13
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IIRC John Greaney's Retire Early Home Page has an article on "personality types" most suited to Early Retirement. Also IIRC, the ones you might expect to "not care what others think" such as INTJ were over represented among early retirees.

Not at all a M-B expert nor a devotee of psychological tests in general, but it might be that ERs ARE somewhat less prone to "follow the crowd" and worry about what others think. I am NOT one of the personality types listed so YMMV.
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Do you really not care what other people think?
Old 07-01-2017, 12:58 AM   #14
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Do you really not care what other people think?

I forgot what type I am but definitely not INTJ. I know it starts with an E not I.
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Old 07-01-2017, 01:14 AM   #15
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Yes and no.

I do care if people think I am rude, or crazy, etc...

I do not care if people think that I do not know how to spend my money, or not fashionable, or outmoded, etc...
Well said, +1
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Old 07-01-2017, 01:41 AM   #16
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If I don't care what other people think, I don't bother mentioning that I don't care what other people think. Or make it a point to mention details that may be outside the expected.

I went out to Target the other night looking for a fire resistant safe for important documents.

What I leave out of the telling is that I went commando in workout shorts and a baggy shirt, and didn't bother to tame hair that's been in desperate need of a haircut for a month. All unkempt at a place where I happily shop in a more put together state most of the time because it's a tier above Wal-Mart. At least here.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:43 AM   #17
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There is quite a difference between being a misanthrope who simply does not care about other people or their opinions and being someone who can meet life's challenges with equanimity, including dealing with people who do not agree with us. I try to cultivate the latter trait.

Friends have asked me on many occasions "Doesn't that (problem in the world/difficult person/etc.) bother you?" And my answer is usually that I try not to care too much about things I can't change.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:25 AM   #18
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Well said, +1
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Yes and no.

I do care if people think I am rude, or crazy, etc...

I do not care if people think that I do not know how to spend my money, or not fashionable, or outmoded, etc...
+1
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:36 AM   #19
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“If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call me that… I believe in what I do, and I’ll say it.” ― John Lennon

“I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” ― Amy Poehler

35 Quotes On How To Care Less About What Others Think

My F-I-L says, "I don't read books because I don't want to be influenced by other people's ideas." He had a long career as a creative advertising guy.
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Old 07-01-2017, 07:12 AM   #20
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I think it's a fine line between not caring what people think and using it as an excuse to be boorish, rude or disrespectful of others.

"I don't care what people think if the grass in front of my house is 4 feet high" is not about "caring what people think", it's about not respecting your neighbors (or yourself). I'm talking to you, you lazy bum!
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