Why You Should Keep Doing You, Even If Other People Don’t Like It

Why You Should Keep Doing You, Even If Other People Don’t Like It ©iStock/Eva-Katalin

As women, our ability to think critically about people and situations in our lives is our greatest gift and our greatest burden. We sometimes think the world revolves around us and that people are following our every move, but in reality, no one really cares about anyone but themselves — and if they do, it’s just because they don’t have enough going on in their own lives so they’re preoccupied with yours. Either way, you need to stop being concerned with how others see you, and start doing what you want without worrying about being judged.

  1. You don’t have to spend hours of your life on social media just to fit in. Most of us spend way too much time scrolling through our feeds so we don’t miss out on anything “important.” You really don’t care that much, but you figure you should go through your friend’s baby shower pics anyway and like a few, just to show her you care and that you’re still a “friend” (even though you weren’t invited and you haven’t spoken in five years). But why are you wasting your time trying to get people to remember you exist? Just focus on your real friends who you actually still talk to, and let everyone else drift away naturally.
  2. Don’t put yourself down because of something embarrassing that happened in public. We’ve all had toilet paper stuck to our shoes or accidentally tugged our skirt into our underwear (or something equally embarrassing). Whatever, it happens, and no one who saw it knows who you are, nor will they be able to remember your face if they see you again. There’s no reason to be mortified in front of complete strangers who’ve all had their fair share of mishaps, so don’t be hard on yourself or blush every time you think about it.
  3. Don’t use the past to decide your future. Don’t skip your high school reunion just because of that embarrassing “spaghetti incident” that happened junior year. Even if people remember, all that’s going to happen is that you’ll all have a laugh and then get on to better stuff, because I guarantee something more interesting has happened in the last 10 years (and if not, that’s really sad). Your old classmates really don’t care about what happened back in high school because they’re too preoccupied bragging about their own lives. Even Romy and Michele realized they didn’t give damn what their old classmates thought, and look how happy they were in the end.
  4. You don’t need validation from others to know what you’re worth. When you post a selfie, you keep tabs on how many likes you get and who comments. When you post a status update, you do the same. And then if you get no likes or comments, you think you didn’t look sexy enough or you wrote something stupid, and you start feeling bad about yourself, and it’s all downhill from there. But it’s really detrimental to judge yourself based on these statistics. You know how good you look, you know how witty you are, and if other people don’t happen to click that little heart or thumbs up (because they’re not following your every move), then that shouldn’t mean you’re anything less.
  5. Life’s too short to waste time trying to get others to like you. Don’t go out of your way to impress others just for compliments. If they didn’t notice you before and aren’t interested in starting a relationship, maybe you shouldn’t be concerned with them either. If someone likes you, they’ll gravitate towards you without you having to go out of your way. Instead of trying to get everyone’s attention and praise, just let things happen naturally and you’ll be forming fewer but better connections.
  6. If you want something, just go for it. Your life is what you make of it, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But that doesn’t mean life is fair – in fact, it’s anything but. That’s why you need to actually make an effort to go for what you want. Your boss might not just give you a raise or promotion because she feels like it; instead, you need to ask and prove that you’re qualified or you deserve it. What’s more important: being able to write “manager” on your resume, or making sure your coworkers don’t think you’re an overachiever? It’s time to stop caring about what others think about you, and do what would be best for YOU
  7. People are going to judge you regardless. The sad truth is that no matter what you do, people will always judge you anyway. You’ll never be able to please everyone or be right all the time, so why aspire to be something no one can ever be? The only thing that happens when you’re concerned about how you look to the world is that you end up being paranoid, stressed, and obsessed with your reputation. Most people aren’t aware you exist, and those that do aren’t paying attention to you, just as you aren’t paying attention to them. When the time comes and you catch their attention, they’re going to judge you based on their personal opinions anyway, so who really cares? Being judged seems to be part of being human, so you might as well do what you want and not look back.
Chelsey is a freelance writer in NYC. She's pretty normal by today's standards, or at least that's what her mother tells her.