Caring is, without a doubt, a good thing; but there is a such thing as caring too much – especially when it comes to caring about what people think about you. In that respect, there’s a fine line between caring enough and caring too much. And while walking the tightrope of that line is quite the challenge, falling onto either side of the line is sometimes difficult to classify.
Caring too much and not caring enough often look the same. The girl with the extremely short skirt, the guy who looks like he just rolled out of bed, the dude in the Speedo at the beach, the woman with too much makeup, the woman with not enough makeup. Any of these people could fall into either category. I’ve presented this point through physical examples, but we can look at it from a behavioral standpoint as well.
About a month ago, somebody told me that not a lot of people appreciate my humor. As somebody who enjoys making people laugh, this statement pushed me to look in the mirror and truly think about the things I do and say. I worried that I cared too much about people’s opinions of me. But after about a day of doubting myself, I concluded that I do the things I do to make myself happy, and I say the things I say to express the way I feel.
Sure, sometimes I’ll do/say things to make people laugh; and sometimes, I’ll get absolutely no response. But if you know me, think about it – when has that ever stopped me? When has telling an awful joke made me shut the hell up? [Sentence about how I’m hilarious 95% of the time anyway removed.]
There is another reason I didn’t allow that one comment to keep bothering me. Some people probably just don’t understand me. They might not understand my point of view, how I present it, or why I even think that way. I know that, as a guy, I’m supposed to be this simple creature with only one animalistic desire. Instead, I’m this complex human being with ideas and emotions and stuff – and that one thing I’m supposed to be concerned with doesn’t even crack my top 5 list of things I’m after in life (probably a close 6, though). Having said all that, I can’t hold people accountable for not understanding me; but at the same time, it’s not something I should have to worry about.
And to make things clear: it’s not that I don’t care what people think about me at all. I just have unrealistic acrobatic aspirations regarding that fine line of caring, and a fear of heights to go along with them. Everybody wants to be liked. It’s completely natural to yearn for the acceptance of your peers, your family, and members of the opposite sex (or same sex?). However, some people live their lives as if this is the most important thing. (As we already know, it is obviously love… or peanut butter.)
I came across this blog entitled “How to Not Rub Someone the Wrong Way” on eHow.com, and it actually made me laugh. The fact that people care this much about other people liking them is unfathomable to me – and the fact that somebody actually wasted time writing about it is just as ridiculous. (And the fact that I’m writing about it right now might be just as silly.)
We live in a diverse environment. Everybody is after something different in life, and that’s our prerogative as human beings. People have different tastes, so you can’t please everyone. Some people make that their ultimate goal – it just doesn’t happen to be mine.
My point is that you should be able to make yourself happy. Connecting with other people is fantastic, and mutual respect and acceptance are wonderful as well; but you need to like who you are. You need to do things because you want to do them – other people just need to be able to accept that.