From the time we snuggle close to our mothers breast as new-born infants till the day we lye on our death-bed we crave care and Love. Perhaps we are praying we won’t die alone. It is a natural and good thing to care that our friends, lovers, and family do love us enough to be near. Even to our neighbors who we don’t really know we hope to look good. We dress well, and buy nice things to make us look good. Its natural to the human condition to want to be admired. Socially humans are built to care about their reputations and what others think of them.
It isn’t weak or demeaning to want to be loved. On the contrary it is a natural desire to want to be desired and cared about. A “good reputation” is a valuable component of our self-esteem.
Caring what people think of us is an important human societal trait. Social structural norms like working toward a good reputation can change the coarse of a life for the good. To put a healthy value on what people think of us can highly impact our goals, careers, accomplishments, and the way we treat other people. We should treat others the way we want to be treated , this ties in closely to the desire to be liked and respected.
It is when this desire runs rampant to the point of fear and obsession it isn’t good. Fear of what people think of us moves us into unhealthy behaviors. We don’t need to swing to a polar opposite in a struggle to overcome the fear of what people think of us by pretending we don’t care at all or by saying “it’s none of my business what people think of me”. Which if you don’t go to AA you probably don’t know this statement is said allot around the rooms. It’s a coy verbal act to overcome fear. Even the phrase “It’s none of your business” is crass and disrespectful and typically used abruptly as an angry response. That is not the tone I want to use toward anyone. Saying ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks of me’ supplies a false sense of superiority.
If I truly didn’t care what anyone thought of me I may be more prone to irresponsible actions with no value of what people would say or think, no social consequences per say. Best I keep my natural desires to please others. Who doesn’t like to hear the words ‘I love and care for you’? Sociopaths, folks that thrive on hate and narcissists.